“Don’t sell the forest, sell that one perfect tree.” Focus your sales techniques on solving critical needs.

I don’t know about you, but I hate shopping malls. You’d think they’d be perfect for a busy, time-starved buyer like me: a one-stop shopping experience, with everything I could ever need, all in one place.

The problem is, I don’t want to buy every thing. I want to buy the thing – the product or service that’s perfect for me. The rest is just distraction. And sifting through every thing to get to that one thing is hard work. It gives me a headache. Sometimes I just give up and don’t buy anything at all.

Some salespeople use sales techniques like these on their customers. “We can be your one-stop shop,” they say. “Whatever you need, we’ve got.”

Sales techniques that don’t add value
These salespeople think they’re adding value. In fact, they’re really just asking the buyer to do the heavy lifting. In effect, they’re telling customers: “Let me throw a bunch of things at you, and you decide what’s best.” That’s the equivalent of a bored shopping-mall clerk who says, “Just look around and let me know if you have any questions.”

Great salespeople add value by helping buyers sift through all of their possible options and finding the one that fits best. They do it by understanding the buyer’s situation, identifying his or her critical needs, and offering focused solutions to address those needs.

We call this approach “selling a tree, not a forest.” The idea is that you probably have a “forest” of potential solutions to offer – but your buyer is only interested in a single “tree.”

Sell him or her that tree — and that tree alone.

photo credit: ogimogi

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