The word solution has to be one of the most misused words in the English language! Practically every company in the entire world is bragging about their “solutions” in their marketing material and on their websites.
But there cannot be a solution without a problem to solve, right? Think about it: who’s got the business problems we are trying to solve? The customer. Can you prescribe a solution before you know what the problem is? No, you cannot!
To quote Wikipedia:
In business, a solution is a product, service, or combination of both which is said to solve a business or consumer’s problem; the term is often considered an overused and unimaginative buzzword.
Overused? Definitely! Unimaginative buzzword? You bet!
Who Can Call It a Solution?
Where am I going with this? The point I’m trying to make is:
The only person who can call it a solution is the buyer.
There, I’ve said it. Now, what does that mean? We at CustomerCentric Selling Europe believe that a salesperson (or his or her company) can’t and shouldn’t define a solution. In our opinion, only the customer can in fact call something a solution. The salesperson’s job is to help the buyer define the solution for him or herself – not to do it for the buyer or before the buyer.
Isn’t it really quite presumptious for a mere salesperson to come barging in and announce to a customer that he or she hast the solution – even before the customer has shared a single goal? No wonder buyers tend to find this approach offensive! A sure way to lose a sale if you ask me.
But with the right sales process, the salesperson guides the buyer to deduct that what he or she needs is in fact the very capabilites that the salesperson has presented.
This is the only way a solution can really come to existence – because the buyer said so.