Many firms use the word ‘solutions’ to describe the products and services their customers buy from them. It also seems that the sales process for selling such solutions has not changed.

Consider that traditional selling involves a heavy reliance on the relationship and the old school ‘sales cycle’ (build rapport, presenting, advocating, overcoming objections, closing, etc.). Even if everyone in the company from the CEO on down now says ‘we sell solutions, not products’, the result is many sales people sell their ‘solution’ as if it is a product that needs pushing.

But really, selling solutions only works if the customer tells you they have a problem that your product or service can solve (or at least mitigate).
This seems obvious, but for most experienced sales people it is actually quite hard to do. It means being confident enough to stop a prospect and control the conversation. It takes confidence and experience to ask real business like questions and listen for the answers. The premise around listening for business issues is more commonly known as value based selling.

Stand by for more ideas on value based selling.