The 12 Keys to Selling a REAL Solution

Last Updated Dec 27, 2009 9:01 PM EST

Everyone talks about solution selling, but how do you know whether or not a solution actually makes sense for the customer? It's pretty easy to come up with a technical solution that matches a problem, but what about a solution that makes sense technically, politically, financially and personally. If you're looking for a REAL solution, you'll need following 12 keys:
  • KEY #1: Who's involved and what roles they play. Know this and you know how to move the sale forward.
  • KEY #2: Who has the greatest influence. Know this and you know who you have to impress.
  • KEY #3: Who has authority. Know this and you know who to ask for the final "Yes!"
  • KEY #4: The timing for the decision. Know this and you'll know when to sell and when to wait.
  • KEY #5: The personal motivation for the people involved. Know this and you'll have leverage to make the deal happen.
  • KEY #6: Where the funding is coming from. Know this and you can prevent the deal from being scuttled.
  • KEY #7: How much funding is available. Know this and you'll know exactly how to price your solution.
  • KEY #8: The criteria for selecting a solution. Know this and you'll know how to craft a buyable solution.
  • KEY #8: What problems exist. Know this and you'll know how to present and explain your solution.
  • KEY #10: Which problems cause the most pain. Know this and you'll know how to goad the buying process.
  • KEY #11: How long the problems have persisted. Know this and you'll know how ready the customer is to buy.
  • KEY #12: What's been done in the past to correct them. Know this and you'll avoid dead ends and false starts.
The above is based on a conversation I had recently with sales trainer extrordinaire Mark Sellers. Very intense and interesting guy.

READERS: What else might be added to the list?