Your job as a Sales Rep is to provide the best solution to the Buyer’s problems. Don’t overwhelm them by offering them more than they need. So limit the options you present. Use the Solutions Options Framework to guide your conversation with the Buyer. This approach typically results in a larger deal size.

 

Download the Solutions Options Framework today. It allows you to start off on the right foot in several ways:

 

  • Approach prospects in non-threatening ways.
  • Uncover a prospect’s actual wants and needs.
  • Tailor your message and provide the best solution possible.

 

  Solutions Options Framework

 

Trust Your Own Experience

It’s a quiet Saturday night and you log onto Netflix to watch a movie. There are thousands of choices. You search around for thirty minutes without making a selection. There are too many options for you to be perfectly right. So you give up. You either chose something from the “Most Popular” category or you read a book. You either let someone else decide or you simply decide to do nothing. This is a common, consumer decision-making habit.

 

This same habit is true in the corporate Buyer’s journey. Our personal decision-making does not magically change in our business life. So it behooves us to study consumer behavior and apply it to our business.

 

I am not alone in this belief. Business Insider recently recapped a TED Talk given by Columbia School Professor Sheena Iyengar. She provides insights into how to make decisions easier. She says “we choose not to choose even when it goes against our best self-interest.”

 

Kristin Jordan also wrote an interesting post on this topic. “Giving someone THREE options automatically flips some sort of switch in most brains to make it ok to consider all three options. People will make a decision faster and with less angst.”

 

Presenting 3 Options as a Sales Strategy

“Why is this relevant to me?” you ask. It is relevant to your sales efforts in two ways. A. How you present yourself. B. How your buyer presents your solutions to others when you’re not around.

 

Simplify your proposals. Simplicity of choice means your Buyers will not experience “choice overload.” When the buyer is overloaded, they will prolong the process. Either because they are stunned or they rush through and pick the easiest thing. Even when it’s not in their best interest.

 

Offer 3 options to be most efficient. Great jokes, stories, and Starbucks cup sizes all come in threes. And the Buyer typically picks the middle option. Simplify your proposal and offer 3 choices. Then the deal moves quicker through the pipeline.

 

Coach the Buyer. The Buyer always wants their job to be easier. So recommend they limit their RFP responses to accomplish that goal. Their boss will not experience choice overload. They think getting 24 responses to their RFP is great. In reality, they are cluttering the brains of the decision makers.

 

Whatever the sourcing process, more is not always better. When you help the Buyer make their job better, you become a trusted advisor. By coaching them through the decision-making you establish yourself as an insider.

 

solutions options

 

A Structured Approach

It is a tool that helps you discover what the customer really wants. It involves them in the creative process. Meanwhile the buyer develops a greater sense of ownership. Below are the 5 key components of the framework:

 

  • Naming – cleverly naming the options personalizes your offers and makes them less intimidating.
  • Pricing Options – a non-threatening platform to discuss customer budgets without ever actually asking the question. When the buyer is truly just looking for general numbers early in the sales cycle. Helps avoid going through a formal quotation process too soon
  • Customer Wants and Needs – Tactfully solicit feedback on what options are the most important to the customer.
  • Three Options – Provide the prospect with multiple price and feature ranges to help uncover the unknown. The middle option should be your preferred offer. Your top-tier option should include all the bells and whistles, and generate larger margins. Your bottom-tier option should be for those customers who want to go cheap. Psychologically, buyers will gravitate towards the middle option.
  • Additions & Subtractions – Alterations are easy. You don’t have to go through a formal quote / bidding process.

 

Your job is to provide the best solution to the Buyer’s problems. Use the Solutions Options Framework to guide your conversation with the Buyer. This formula for success will help you make your number.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Bernoske

Go-to Market Innovator
Learn more about Dan Bernoske >

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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