The biggest challenge that I find most people have when it comes to selling is understanding the difference between a solution, and a problem.

And most people when they sell, they spend absolutely no time getting to know the individual that they’re selling to. They spend all this time preparing their pitch and going in there and getting ready to deliver their pitch.

But they don’t actually understand the context of the situation that they’re actually trying to serve.

And I think for the longest time, dysfunctional selling has been evident in our marketplace, not just in its practice, but also, especially in its training. Where people are taught these, “always be closing”, “high pressure” tactics. That are really driven to show people how to get people to do things, in many cases, that they don’t want to do.

And this dysfunctional selling has almost given birth to this thing that I would call “dysfunctional buying”.

And dysfunctional buying is where people become so used to, they’re so conditioned to being lied to. They’re so conditioned to being manipulated that they actually stop being honest with the person that’s trying to help them.

That in turn creates this conflict where neither party leaves any sales situation feeling satisfied. If anything, they leave it feeling empty.

And I think the biggest way that we can overcome this is first of all, behaving like specialists, like people who actually are sales professionals. And to do that, in order to be a specialist, you need to learn how to ask a lot of really good quality questions.

And stop using this, and start using this. And really get clear on what the biggest issues that people have, but not only what their issues are, but how it’s impacting them.

Like, what is the financial cost? What is the mental cost? What is the emotional cost? How is it affecting their family? How are these issues that they’re having right now, that you can help with, how are they actually affecting them as a human being?

And what is the impact of that? And if you can get the financial impact of that, when it comes to closing someone, when it comes to offering a solution that has a price tag attached to it.

It?s effortless to close someone who has a problem that has a financial impact that is measurable, that is many, many times the cost of the investment.

So, I think the biggest challenge that we have as salespeople, as professional salespeople, is learning how to shut up and stop pitching. And understand that solutions have no value, they have none whatsoever. None. Nada!

Solutions only derive their value from the problems that they solve.

But if you can’t identify what people’s problems are, and then really identify the financial impact of those problems, but also then look at the fringe impact, on their family, their health and other things that are important. Other values too. Then how do you expect to actually get people to trust you and buy from you?

You know it’s very easy to separate yourself from everyone else in the sales environment right now.

And that’s, first of all, to act like a specialist, but second of all, genuinely care about the people that you’re trying to help.

And sales, in my book, is not about trying to sell something to someone that they don’t need. It’s about trying to help someone succeed. And if your product, and your service, can help someone succeed. And the problems that they have and the impact of those problems, and the cost of those problems are well in excess of the price of your solution or the investment of your solution.

It’s a no-brainer. It’s an easy game. Solutions have no value – they only draw their value from the problems they can solve. Stop pitching, start listening.

Kerwin Rae