Tip: Focus on 'Solutions Sales' to Meet Customer Demands - Modern Distribution Management

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Tip: Focus on ‘Solutions Sales’ to Meet Customer Demands

Give customers what they want by shifting away from just product sales.

Focusing on “solutions sales” rather than “product sales” is a strategic shift that can insulate a distributor against looming threats facing the industry, according to Paul Giler, regional industrial sales manager, Mayer Electric Supply, Birmingham, AL, in New Solutions for Customer-Defined Value.

“It’s no longer just selling a brown box; you could buy a brown box on Amazon,” Giler says. “We’re doing more solution-type selling, trying to solve a need. The customer may have asked for this, but what does he really want?”

Giler uses the old example of a customer asking for a hammer and a nail when they really need the best way to hang a picture on the wall. A distributor has to provide a better, smarter solution instead of just the hardware.

“I don’t think you’re going to see online companies provide that,” Giler says. “When there’s a problem, a customer can pick up the phone and we’re going to answer their question and show them something they haven’t thought of.”

Read more about how to respond to changing customer demands in New Solutions for Customer-Defined Value, from the 2017 Distribution Trends Special Issue.


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