In sales you need to start with a prospect’s problem, then diagnose the right solution.
It’s like visiting the doctor. You can share your symptoms, but the doctor has to ask the right questions to prescribe the right cure. That’s why the more questions you ask a prospect at this early stage, the better. You uncover more of their requirements, build closer connections, and reassure them with your knowledge.
You also reduce the risk of spending time (up to 3X as much) on deals that won't close, compared to deals that do.
Of course, it means you need to more flexible and adaptable to the answers you receive, and less reliant on sales scripts.
However, it also means you take a lot of the guesswork out of your approach, because you know exactly what’s needed. Plus asking questions is naturally more customer-centric, something we all know is such a crucial element in modern business.
Let’s look at some methods to know how you’re solving your prospects’ requirements.
Before and during your first proper meeting, make sure to:
Dig downWatch out for comments such as “We want to improve our overall performance”. They’re no good to you or your prospect. Dig down and ask what they mean by “improve” and “performance”. Compare the answers with your solution, checking to see there’s a natural fit.
Ask open questionsUse questions that open up discussions. For example, “Is there anything else we need to cover” or “Do you think this solution would meet your needs”. Your goal is to keep the conversation flowing, and build rapport.
Use “The 3 Whys” approachWhy does your prospect need your solution?
(are you sure they need it?)
Why should they choose us?
(what evidence do you have they’ll choose you?)
(what makes you think the customer is ready to go ahead?)
Educate your teamA solution-focused approach means every conversation with a prospect is unique. So make sure you have a detailed, up-to-date knowledge base. One that your sales reps can use whenever they face technical or unexpected questions.
Built for B2B sales
Through this approach you focus on how your product solves problems. Instead of purely about what your product does. That’s why the approach is so effective with organizations which expect customized services. Your prospect can visualize the different ways your solution meets their needs – which is a pretty powerful selling point!