Clarifying, ideating, developing, and implementing are different problem-solving styles. Thus, in this Expert Insight Interview, Sarah Thurber discusses how to understand and interact with each of the four problem-solving styles in sales. Sarah Thurber is a Managing Partner at FourSight, an international writer, and a thought leader on creative thinking and problem-solving.
The interview discusses:
Clarifying the situation is the foundation of any problem-solving. It narrows it down and enables you to take the next step in the right direction. When dealing with people who are clarifiers, salespeople need to ask as many clarifying questions as possible. Buyers nowadays are overwhelmed with the selection of products and services on the market. Research shows that having 20 different jams offered to buyers is too overwhelming for them to make a purchase. Thus, the salesperson’s value can drastically increase if he manages to clarify the buyers’ needs.
People who prefer the ideation process are creative, visionary, and they want something unique with a story behind it. For example, if deciding which car to buy, these people would like to hear some fascinating story about the car to choose it. Thus, salespeople need to help buyers to create an emotional connection with the product. Forming a big picture and emotional connection is the key selling point in this case because these buyers are passionate and intuitive rather than analytical.
Developers are very analytical and want to be sure that they made the right decision. These people are perfectionists and very detail-oriented. Salespeople should offer a couple of alternatives to buyers to see what differentiates their choice from the other ones. Developers need time to think, and this can be challenging for the sales process. Thus, salespeople must find a perfect balance between being patient with buyers and giving them a sense of urgency to decide to prevent them from becoming no-decision buyers.
Most of the business people, especially salespeople, are implementors wanting to find the solution yesterday. Research shows that implementors like to work only with other implementors because they get each other’s sense of urgency. However, when dealing with implementors, it is crucial to make sure that they go through all previous creative problem-solving processes because, if not, they can get a buyer’s remorse later. Hence, salespeople’s job is to slow implementors’ point of urgency and make them go through clarifying, ideating, and developing stages. The too quick and easy sales process can cause a terrible post-sales experience.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.