Challenger Sale Principle: “Lead TO, not WITH your solution”
I have the honor of talking with sales reps from all over the world who have taken a keen interest in becoming Challengers. A common issue that reps often bring up is their inclination to bring product or solution into the discussion too early.
The typical problem is that reps ask questions about prospect’s business, circumstance, pain, etc. Their asking questions isn’t necessarily the problem. Their problems ensue when they ask aimless questions hoping to pick up on keywords that their product or solutions solve, then they jump right into solution.
Two prominent problems ensue:
- Solution Fatigue – Prospects wear out from seemingly endless and aimless questioning
- Unripened Prospects – Without getting to the root, the prospect isn’t ripened to hear about change
A New Way
In order to avoid the two aforementioned problems, establish in advance where you aim to lead the call or meeting. Your questions should intentionally aim toward uncovering the problems your solution uniquely solves. As you begin to uncover the pain points, don’t transition to solution yet as you are likely at surface pain…where the problems are still merely intellectual for prospects, not emotive.
Following are three questions CEB uses for message development that will help you determine questions to ask that lead TO your solution, not WITH your solution:
- What are the typical prospect’s problems and how are they currently solving?
- What do you know about their problems that they don’t?
- Considering what you know, what should they be doing differently?
Understanding the answers to these questions is critical in determining where you are leading your next prospecting call.
Jeff Michaels is a Sales & Marketing Executive that has worked with executives, leaders, & teams for 25 years to create repeatable success regardless of industry, economy or circumstance.