Episode 28: Lead to Your Solution Not With Your Solution
Listen as the Social Sales Link team talks about: “How to Lead to Your Solutions”.
In this episode, the Social Sales Link team discussed how you can show the value that you bring to the table, and how you can help solve your client’s problems and challenges. So when we lead with our solution, and you’ve provide the right value and the right conversation, the sale will come when the time is right.
Bill McCormick 0:00
Hey, welcome to another episode of Making Sales Social Live. Today we are going to talk about leading to your solution, not leading with your solution. So there’s a difference, right?
Brynne Tillman 0:13
Absolutely, and you know, this is something that was inspired years ago in the challenger sale, where as sales people, we tend to want to share all this stuff that we want them to know, not necessarily what they want to consume, and what happens is, we come across as pitching so early, and instead of becoming the magnet, the thought leader, the subject matter expert that people want to engage with, you repel people, right? You’re pushing them away, because everything we’re doing is talking about our solution. And they don’t care about that, they don’t care about how many years you’re in business, they don’t care about the major differentiator of your product, right? What do they care about, they care about the value that you bring to the table and how you can help them solve their problems, solve their challenges, and so when we lead with our solution, it’s a pitch when we lead to our solution, it’s like dropping little bread crumbs along the way that attracts them to us. And eventually, when we provide the right value and the right conversation, the sale will come when the time is right.
Bill McCormick 1:32
Right, the leading to your solution, dropping those breadcrumbs. That’s like the GPS, it’s telling them where to go, and it’s directing them. And so what happens is salespeople we’re kind of trained, unfortunately, we’re taught this sales process, right by the bosses, and by the higher ups, and we’ve got this sales process, and it’s tried and true they’ll tell you, and if you follow it, it will lead to a sale. Well, the problem with that is your buyers have a buying process. And oftentimes, the two of them, butt heads, they’re not congruent. So when we lead with our solution, what I like to say is we sound like the adults in a Charlie Brown cartoon, you know, *cartoon sounds*, because people just don’t hear you, why? Because everybody says the same thing, everybody says they have the best solution, everybody’s at the top customer service, everybody’s able to say those things. (Brynne) World Class, (Bob) yeah, (Bill) yeah, exactly.
So what does that mean? Okay, the world can be at a pretty crappy place sometimes. So maybe I don’t want “World Class”. So we need to drop those breadcrumbs, as Brynne said, and we need to lead to the solution to get them to stop and go. Yes, that’s what I’m looking for. Because that’s it, they don’t buy products, they buy outcomes.
Bob Woods 2:53
Right, and those waypoints need–and those breadcrumbs I should say, need to be tasty bread crumbs too. So that’s definitely part of the process going through, and that’s something that we talk about when it comes to potentially not only giving them insight, but making your potential buyers think a little differently about their problem, so that it actually leads to your solution. Because you again, you want to lead to your solution, not with your solution. Otherwise you’re *wah noises*.
Bill McCormick 3:21
Talking practical, like how do we do that, like on LinkedIn, what is it that we have to do so we make sure that we’re leading to our solution, and not with our solution?
Brynne Tillman 3:32
So I love that I think the very first thing we have to do is make sure that our profile is converted from a resume to a resource, or from a landing page sales page, right, to a resource. And you know, Bob alluded to this, I’m going to kind of go through kind of those five elements that our profile and our content, so we need to talk about both need to do, the first thing he needs to do is resonate with our targeted audience, our buyer, right, they need to land at our profile and go, they’re talking my language, they’re speaking to me, the next thing it has to do is create curiosity. If we can’t get them to lean in, they’re gone, they’re out of there. So how do we create curiosity? It’s all in kind of sharing the results that they can get, or they should expect, right? There are some things that they should start thinking about. And also keep “resonating curiosity” can learn live in the first line or two of your about section that can focus on the challenge that your buyer is facing, right? And all of a sudden, they go: ”Oh my gosh, they get me”, that’s what I’m going through, right. And that gets them to lean in. The third piece is, teach them something new. So if we can teach them something new if they’re there, and even if they go, those are good points, but I knew them. Why would they want to talk to you? So they have to have these ‘aha’ moments that lead to what Bob said, which I think is the most important piece. Which is what you taught them needs to get them thinking differently about the way they’re doing things today about their current situation. That’s what gets them to number five, which is the compelling moment and on a profile, a compelling moment could be they accept your connection request or ask you to connect, or they schedule a call with you. Right? If your profile’s positioned well, Bob, do you want to add anything to that?
Bob Woods 5:24
For me, it really comes down to the, “getting them to think differently”. Because you need to get them out of whatever tunnel mindset they may have about their solution. Because the moment you get them thinking differently, they’re also much more willing to accept new ideas or different ideas, or maybe even just slightly changed ideas from what they’re initially thinking. And I think that that’s the key, because if they don’t break out of that tunnel, they’re only focused at the light at the end of the tunnel. And they don’t know what that light is, they just know that it’s there.
Brynne Tillman 5:56
They don’t know all the other lights available to them.
Bob Woods 5:59
Bill McCormick 6:00
It’s about having conversation, you know, leading with your solution. There’s no conversation that happens there. I’m on it, my pitch all over you. And you go, yeah. And you walk away. And that’s it. So by leading to our solution, we’re having, we’re looking for opportunities for more conversation to happen to open up opportunities.
Brynne Tillman 6:23
So Bill, share our definition of social selling, and how that really kind of leads into this.
Bill McCormick 6:29
Yeah, so our definition of social selling there, there are many out there, but this is the right one. And this works for us, social selling is: “up building relationships”, providing real value, and being a resource, understanding that the sales will come when the time is right. We can’t make anyone buy. And listen, your sales process probably is to try to make somebody buy, as a salesperson, I never want to manipulate or try to talk someone into buying for me, because that means every time I go back, I’ve got to do the same thing that gets old fast. Let me tell them, right? So understanding that by building the relationship by being a resource, right, building credibility, and providing real value, then eventually the sale will come we have clients that contact us, four months, six months, eight months, a year, two years later to say, “Hey, we weren’t ready, then we’re ready now”, and they don’t go to anyone else. Because we’ve been a resource, we built the relationships, and we provided real value. So that’s really important in terms of leading to your solution. Because if you do those things, it will lead to your solution.
Bob Woods 7:42
And then if you lead with your solution, you’re just like everyone out there, and you immediately go out of their minds.
Brynne Tillman 7:48
Yeah, yeah, you get lost in the big mush of the pitch. But what you said Bill really resonates. And this is actually the second time today that this has come up, we had a conversation with Amy Franco earlier around this area of building relationships, and making sure that it just isn’t about friendship, right. It’s about bringing credibility to the space. And so that’s where I think and maybe we need to update our definition slightly. But it’s building relationships. Being a resource, bringing value, the resource and bringing value is what adds to credibility. You could pitch all day, I could tell you all day long, how amazing our stuff is, and you’re not going to believe it. But if I can actually provide value where you know, the listener, the reader goes, “Oh, my gosh, I never thought of it that way”. Or that’s a great perspective, right? And they’re thinking differently. I’m creating credibility because they test drove me, right. They trust drove us. And so you know, one of the things that we talk a lot about is to stop telling people how you can help them and actually help them.
Bill McCormick 8:58
And that credibility piece is so important. You know, back three years ago, right around this time, I had a banking client that was looking for LinkedIn training for their team. And I had no idea how to do it. But being a good salesperson when they asked if I could do it. I said, “Sure. Yeah, I can do it”. And I reached out, I reached out and Brynne and I connected, because Brynne had credibility, like, I remember I put in an engagement group. “Can somebody help me with this?” And I remember when Brynne replied back, I said to my wife, “Oh my God, Brynne Tillman is going to get on a call with me”, because she had so much credibility. I didn’t talk to anyone else. And as you can see, it worked out–
Brynne Tillman 9:37
It worked out in my–(Bob) The rest is history.
Bill McCormick 9:39
But this is the important part of credibility, though you may not get the sale right away. And if you vomit all over someone, your sales pitch, maybe you’ll get a sale, but you’re going to have to vomit over people a lot, but you may not get the sale right away. But in the long term by building credibility, you become the go-to-guy, that go-to-gal in your sphere of influence in your industry, that people don’t shop around. Alright, and they just go to you, you’re the guy, you’re the girl. And that’s what’s so important, and that’s what leading to your solution can do for you. What are some other ways on LinkedIn that we can lead to our solution, besides our profile?
Brynne Tillman 10:18
Content is a big one, right? So making sure that the content that we put out to our network is attracting the right people and getting that credibility, because we’ve brought value into their world. And there are really three audiences of content, right? There’s one too many. So we’re doing “Making Sales Social Live” right now, right? So this is one to two masses, anyone can join, many people will now and in replay, and on the podcast where you might be listening to this right now, not to the masses, right? So we’re not focusing in specifically, although we’re talking to sales and marketing professionals, it’s we haven’t really kind of honed in on, this is only going out to those people. The second one is one too few, right? And so this might be–we’ve created this piece of content, specifically for sales and marketing professionals. And now I get it, I maybe create a template that I now look up all of my sales and marketing professionals on LinkedIn, and I send them a semi-tailored template that, you know, as a sales leader, I thought you might find some value, that’s one too few, I really narrow down by persona, sometimes it could be by company, right? Maybe you found a press release that’s so amazing about their company, and you send it to 25 or 30 people inside of an organization that you’re prospecting, you know, so it’s specific to their company, but it’s still one too few. Then there’s one-to-one, and that’s where I take this podcast, and I find people that I think will really get value from it. And I say something like “Amy, as a sales leader that works a lot with CEOs and growing companies, I thought you might get some value from this podcast, listen to minute 2.2 43, where we talk about this, I really think it might resonate with you”, and then that’s one-to-one. And that’s really where the conversations start. Now, one too many you get engagement, and you can bring that into one-on-one conversations. There’s lots of ways to do it. But in each of those times, if we are sharing the right content that leads to our solution, right, we’re bringing value. And we’re getting hands raised, we’re getting compelling moments, responses, comments, reactions, all that fun stuff.
Bob Woods 12”46
Bill McCormick 12:47
And we’re building credibility, right along the way, we’re building credibility with the masses, right. So that’s thought leadership that’s being seen as a thought leadership and thought leader, when we go to the few, so that’s within maybe an ideal client profile sector or an industry sector, you’re building credibility there. And then when it’s to the one, you’re building that relationship and credibility with that one, target person that you’re prospecting that you remember you’re not pitching, it’s all about just providing that value and being the resource. So this is really important. This is one of the areas I think that many sales people really struggle with, because we’ve been conditioned to read, you know, your elevator speech, you know, what is that about, you know, you’re taught like, these are the things you have to know how fast our turnaround time is, and all of those different things. But in the end is people really are listening, listening to you, when you when you do that people care about themselves. If we take that into consideration, then we can make sure that we’re leading to the solution, we’re guiding them, you know, like Bob’s the LinkedIn Sherpa, guiding them along on the trail to find the gold at the end of the tunnel, which is whatever it is that they’re looking for whatever solution whatever outcome they’re they’re looking for.
Bob Woods 14:15
And I think that there’s one important thing that kind of buttonholes everything here. So when you lead with your solution, just like Bill said, there, there’s a whole bunch of things that get just kind of pummeled in your head all the time, and you almost feel robotic at that point, and you know, oh my god, I have to do this or else I’m gonna get fired or whatever, when it comes to delivering a message that leads to your solution. I think and this is for me, personally, at least, I can be more authentic as well and really talk like it’s coming from me because you know what it is coming from me. And you know, Bill is the authentic social seller, speaking of titles and things like that, and I’m I’m guessing he would agree with us, when you lead to your solution, you can be more authentic, more genuine, while at the same time building that credibility that will make you become the go-to- guy or go-to-gal in your industry, you know, really have that recognition like Brynne did with Bill years ago.
Brynne Tillman 15:20
The one thing I will say that kind of brings, what you guys are saying together is we need to detach from what that prospect is worth to us, and attach to what we are worth to that prospect. And when we can do that, then all of a sudden, we’re valuable to them. And when the time is right, the sale will come.
Bill McCormick 15:40
Until the authentic piece, it’s being so authentic, that maybe you’re going to tell someone, you know what, I’m not the best solution for you, you know, we’re talking about this, and I can see that, that what I provide you isn’t what you need, this is what you need. And that’s still being a value, and you’re gonna have even more credibility with that person. Because you know, you didn’t try to fit that square peg into the round hole, you know, your square peg of a solution into the round hole of a need. That was totally, totally wrong.
Brynne Tillman 16:12
Right, and that’s, obviously when you’re having that conversation with someone when they did raise their hand and say, let’s talk because you did a good job of leading to right, yeah, I mean, and authenticity happens in that conversation. Authenticity is happening in your content too. And in your engagement. And in the conversations you’re having publicly. And authenticity comes from just allowing yourself to be a little vulnerable. You don’t have to be perfect. There’s a lot of different elements to how you’re showing up. And that can help attract the right people for you, too. There are definitely people in the sales world that I’m very attracted to, based on the way they are right. We drop this all the time, but like “Selling From the Heart”, Larry Levine, Sherry Levitan, I watch all her stuff, right? There are certain people that you go: “This aligns a lot with me”, right? And so you want to make sure your authentic self is coming up, because you will attract the right people, to do the right business. And people that don’t align with you. That’s fine, right? Like it’s almost as a qualifier, and who is really going to be complimentary in conversation.(Bill) Alright! (Brynne) I think we’re wrapping up.
Bill McCormick 17:33
Yeah, so this was a great discussion. So remember, you don’t want to lead with your solution, you’re going to sound like everyone else. You’re going to vomit all over people. It’s not going to be good, dirty, messy. You want to lead to your solution. Think of it as dropping hints as the GPS that’s going to lead the way, to tell them which way to go. What way to turn, you know, make a legal U-turn, now to lead to find your solution. So thanks for watching this episode of Making Sales Social Live. We’ll see you next time, bye-bye everyone.