Summary of Solution Selling

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Instead of focusing on a prospective buyer, many salespeople spout lists of their product’s or service’s features and benefits. Does the buyer have a problem that these advantages solve? Maybe. The salesperson doesn’t know or care. He or she “sprays and prays,” hoping one of the product’s bells and whistles will engage the buyer – who just wants the conversation to stop. Sales trainer Michael T. Bosworth suggests a different approach. He teaches salespeople to use an engaging question-and-answer process to learn potential customers’ individual needs. With this diagnostic approach, the salesperson can specify the product or service that meets those needs. getAbstract recommends the author’s clear explanation of his sales method. Bosworth shows you how to shed the high-pressure, “always-be-closing” mindset and align your sales approach with a buyer’s real desires. This is the true nature of business-to-business selling.

About the Author

Michael T. Bosworth is a sales trainer and consultant who lectures at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and at a Stanford marketing program for technology firms.



How You Sell Makes All the Difference

Today, selling is harder than ever. Expert buyers know how to negotiate, want only the best, can choose from an array of vendors, distrust salespeople in general and will litigate at any hint of difficulty. This makes selling an almost vertical climb. To reach the summit, use advanced sales methods that make the “way you sell” the pivot point of closing sales. The best sellers intuitively know how to help buyers develop “action visions” – mental images in which buyers imagine using and benefiting from a product or service in a specific context.

This kind of selling requires understanding the “three levels of buyer need.” First, buyers experience “latent pain” from business problems they cannot solve or even admit. Second-level buyers feel “pain” they can recognize and acknowledge. They want a solution. Buyers on the third level have developed “vision” and see solutions. Your job is to “re-engineer” this vision so it includes your product.

The buying cycle also has three phases. First, the seller must earn customers’ trust, help them delineate what they need, and show that his or her product is the ideal solution. In the second...

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