Friday, October 12, 2018

Selling as Problem Solving

This is the second in my series on selling IT services. In last week's post, I explained the difference between selling services and products. In this week's post, I want to address a strategy that I employed with tremendous success in my career doing technical sales: turning selling into problem solving.

Engineers are Natural Problem Solvers

If you are a successful IT professional, problem solving probably comes natural to you. The day to day work of IT professionals is trouble-shooting and problem solving. However, for many of us, the idea of selling ourselves or our services makes us uncomfortable. Many times, we feel that making our clients happy means solving their problems. And that is true, to a point. In general, especially if you are a consultant or managed service provider, solving your clients problems is not enough. To win new clients and keep your existing ones, developing relationships with your clients is vital. 

The way I have always looked at selling IT services was that I was solving problems rather than selling services. In that way, I did not feel "fake" in any way. In my consultations with potential clients, I always focus the problems and issues that they are experiencing and the ways that I can address those issues. In that way, I feel like a problem solving engineer, rather than a salesperson. The end result is I solve your problems; you pay me money.

Obviously, to be successful, we all need to work on our interpersonal and communication skills. However, if we can reframe some things, like sales and marketing, as something that we are comfortable with, like problem solving, then we can approach sales meetings and potential clients with more confidence. 

Focus on Problem Solving

In any sales meetings with potential clients, I would always focus on two things:

  1. What are their problems or pain points
  2. How am I going to solve those problems and remove the pain points

By focusing on the problem solving aspects of your work, you can avoid any type of "sales pitch." Once you create rapport by explaining how you will solve their outstanding issues, your potential client will then often ask you how they can work with you. This removes the need to "sell," rather you are merely explaining your services.

In the end, the process boils down to three simple things:

  1. The client has problems
  2. You can solve those problems
  3. They will pay you money to solve those problems

That is how to have a sales meeting that any engineer can feel comfortable and confident in.

A Final Word

would love to help in selling your services or developing your business. To learn more, I invite you to sign up for a free consultation:


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Selling as Problem Solving

This is the second in my series on selling IT services. In last week's post, I explained the difference between selling services and ...