Sales stall out when buyers can’t see how their problems are going to be solved.
It takes solid critical thinking to make a well-reasoned argument that shows cause-and-effect progression from problem happening to problem solved. Sellers may fail to lay it out in a way that buyers can see and believe because:
- The seller isn’t confident that the solution will actually solve the problem.
- The seller doesn’t have technical understanding and is afraid to get too deep in the details.
- The seller is presenting generic features and expecting the buyer to do benefit translations.
- The seller doesn’t understand the buyer’s specific needs.
- The seller assumes the buyer already understands how the solution will work.
- The seller is engaging in lazy thinking and hasn’t done the mental work to connect the dots.
- The seller is scattered or unstructured in presenting the solution.
Sometimes, the seller fails to connect the dots because there aren’t connections. The seller is trying to make a sale that isn’t right for the buyer. More often, though, it’s one of the oversights above that prevents a buyer from understanding how the solution will address their problem.
Are You Making Strong Enough Links between Buyer Needs and Your Solution?
Beware of false causality and making links that aren't valid! Buyers will assume that you’re trying to pull a fast one. They won’t feel they can trust you if your connections are airtight.
When you're trying to solve a problem, lazy thinking and shortcuts may lead to illogical, superstitious, or poorly-reasoned choices. To become better at solving problems, build your critical thinking skills for nailing down the true links between cause and effect.
This video will also help you understand the differences between correlation and causation. Build your mental might by learning, practicing, and mastering these techniques!
Cause-and-effect has to be presented in a way that buyers can understand. Even if you’re not engaging in logical fallacies like false causality, you could be failing to connect the dots.
Why Buyers Don't Fully Understand the Links You're Trying to Make
It may be crystal clear to you. You’re offering a solution to the buyer’s problem, and it seems like a no-brainer. So why isn’t the buyer buying?
In interviews following sales calls, buyers who say “no” frequently report that they didn’t really see how the proposed solution was going to solve their problem. Sellers, however, seem oblivious to this disconnect. They rate themselves highly on the work they’ve done to craft and present solid solutions.
What’s missing are clear links that explain why a solution has been selected and how it addresses the buyer’s need. Usually, the seller assumes this is clear and does a poor job of spelling it out for the buyer. That’s because, to the seller, it’s obvious and easy to understand. Sellers sometimes forget that the buyer isn’t immersed in the same details and perspective that the seller is.
Buyers seldom do the work of coming behind the seller to try and connect those dots. They might ask a couple of questions, but they don’t work very hard to grasp the connections if the seller hasn’t showcased them.
To make sure you’re logically, clearly and compellingly connecting the dots for your buyer, use a simple Value Statement like this one:
Be sure you can fill in all the blanks. If you aren’t able to, it means you don’t have enough information or you haven’t done the mental work to show cause-and-effect logic.
Next Steps for Using Critical Thinking to Improve Problem Solving in Sales
This is part 14 in the series of posts about why and how to build critical thinking skills you can use to excel in selling. Be sure to bookmark the CONNECT2Sell Blog or subscribe to our weekly newsletter so you won’t miss these posts. Each one offers additional ways to build your mental might. If you want to go back and catch up on the ones you’ve missed, just click on this link.