Over the last few weeks, I have had numerous conversations with sales and marketing executives about solving problems. About ½ tell me that diagnosing problems is what they have always done. “Nothing new here, move along!”
My standard response is “maybe”. Good problem consultants are able to help people diagnose what underlying problem is the cause of symptomatic pain. Good enterprise consultative sales people know how to help organizations get to consensus as to what problem is really causing the various ills across the organization. True.
BUT, are you truly diagnosing their ills or are you guiding them to your solution? What is the difference? A good doctor is supposed to truly listen to the symptoms and diagnose the patient in front of them. They are not supposed to represent a drug company and just prescribe the “wonder” drug for everything.
- Ever seen an IT project that completed just as the vendor promised, addressing some of the pains, but not solve the customer’s problems and creating a whole host of other pains?
- Ever see a customer demo, go away for 6 months, and then come back and ask for a demo again? Same solution, but obviously they were still trying to figure out their underlying problem and whether the solution would address their ills.
- Ever see a sale where they had multiple problems, only one of which you could solve?
- Ever jointly sell with a strategic partner to create a larger solution?
- Ever see similar size companies in the same industry have completely different needs, different buying process, and even different decision maker?