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The Challenger Sale

Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

By Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Sales strategies have changed. Instead of shilling “one-size-fits-all” products, today’s top sales reps excel by providing a customized solution to a unique problem. To do this, these sales reps follow the “challenger” selling model. In this book you’ll learn what this model is and how it can revolutionize your sales organization.

Key idea 1 of 9

Effective sellers involve the customer and personalize the product.

When you think about sales, what comes to mind? Perhaps slick, fast-talking sales reps closing deals?

But why is it that we only ever think about the sales rep, and never about the customer?

Sales isn’t a one-way conversation. In fact, the most effective sales techniques put the customer first.

Solution selling is one such technique. It involves selling customizable products and services as a solution to a specific problem, rather than selling a “one-size-fits-all” product.

For instance, a car manufacturer wouldn’t try to sell just any car to a bakery; instead, a salesman would pitch a delivery truck customized to keep fresh bread warm. In other words, the car manufacturer would sell a solution to the bakery’s concerns of delivering stale bread.

So why is this approach so effective? Solution selling helps the seller differentiate himself from competitors as well as control prices.

Look at it this way: The car manufacturer doesn’t have to worry that his competitors also sell a very similar kind of truck. Also, there’s no need to compete by lowering prices. After all, price is only part of the solution on offer; there’s also customization.

Solution selling does have its advantages. But it’s also more challenging than other approaches, because it empowers customers to be more demanding, and also requires salespeople to find creative ways to ensure customer satisfaction.

After all, a solution seller’s job is all about solving the customer’s specific problem, not foisting a ready-made package upon them.

In other words, solution selling requires sales reps to do more than pitch. They have to work closely with the customer, finding out how her business works and researching every detail to offer a good solution.

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