Solution Selling with a Positive Spin.


A lot of my hours at What’s The Idea? involve networking and business development. When not being paid for brand and marketing consultation, I’m on the lookout for brand and marketing opportunities to share with prospects. Business development can be a dirty word from the prospect’s viewpoint, however. It has to be meaningful, not salesy. 

Ten plus years ago someone published a sales book about “solution selling,” a technique whereby a salesperson meets a prospect and asks about their “pain points.” This is supposed to fast track the sellers approach. Done well it has worked. Done poorly, it’s like asking a patient “How’s your cancer?”

Consultants in the brand business use a promotion called the “communications audit,” where they go into a company and look at the totality of communications. When arrayed, they then point out all the contradictions, mistakes, inconsistencies and meaningless flah-flah-flah – hoping to embarrass the business into an engagement. I’m thinking of a promotion which is the obverse of the communications audit. Perhaps I’ll call it a “marketing high points audit.” Rather than all negative, I’ll only identify the things done well. Proponents of political advertising may disagree with the approach but then I’m not looking to get elected. I’m looking to create meaningful dialogue.

Tink about it (as my Norwegian aunt might say).