What you sell, is not what you solve

It's fascinating to think about how you can sell one thing, yet meet many needs. As a kid, I enjoyed kicking a ball in the park, and that one ball did many things for me, depending on the day. I got rid of frustration, energy, cleared my head, managed boredom or played with friends.

One ball; many needs.

As businesses, we typically sell only a handful of stuff, yet the number of potentially different needs we meet for our customers are many times more.

It is this idea of "what need do you meet for your customer" that sits at the heart of marketing and sales. Only by getting to the real problem; the genuine desire that they have can you successfully sell your offering at the optimal price and grow the business.

The challenge many businesses experience is they don't know how to get to the heart of the customers' needs. You certainly can't get there through "sales mode". Instead, you need to listen to customers, talk with them to understand their needs and explore various options with them - not only yours. This way, you become a trusted partner, not just a sales agent.

In short, the way to sell to other businesses is to turn sales conversations into business conversations.

Ultimately, you make a sale by meeting a need, and your customer has many of those that your product could potentially satisfy. It is your job to find out how you can truly help your customer, then make the sale.

Make sure you understand your customer's needs before you try and sell to them. In fact, talk to them, don't sell to them.

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