Solution selling is a methodology that was developed in the business to business environment primarily focused on technology sales. It’s a natural fit for the auto repair business as much of what takes place is solution oriented. For example any time a diagnosis or vehicle inspection is performed corrective actions are identified and related to the customer. These recommended repairs are in effect a solution. The solution sales methodology not only outlines the way that services are presented but also applies to the overall customer relationship. Solution selling involves mapping service offerings to the customer vision. Following are keys to solution selling in auto repair:
- Listening is Essential to Success – Solution selling is dependent on a consultative approach that allows an understanding of the customer’s perspective. This is counter to the methodology of pushing products and services. To understand the customer’s idea of what will make them happy it’s necessary to listen and understand.
- The Customer Perspective Defines Solution Requirements – The customer’s vision determines what constitutes premium service delivery. More than the auto repair services performed the entire customer experience defines a complete solution.
- Solution Provision Exceeds Corrective Action Delivery – In auto repair concern, cause and corrective action are embedded in service delivery. The corrective actions proposed to the customer are in effect a solution offering. However an overall ‘solution’ offering encompasses the entire auto repair customer experience.
- A Solution Maps Service Offerings to the Customer’s Vision – The efforts spent understanding the customer’s perspective allow the link between service offerings and customer vision. Communicating these relationships establishes the solution offering.
- The Acknowledged Agreement Completes the Sale – Customer acceptance of the solution offering results in the agreement of sale. Although the formal agreement generally focuses on the auto repair services to be performed the actual agreement extends beyond that to the complete solution offering.
- Service Delivery Confirms or Discredits the Agreement – During the course of service delivery either the customer’s expectations are met or missed. Each point in the service delivery process must be formulated to ensure that relationship goals are achieved. Processes must be defined and executed consistently in order that premium auto repair solutions are provided.
- Follow up Ensures that Expectations Were Met – As in all situations confirmation that the desired results were achieved are essential to success.
- Continuous Improvement Results in Better Solutions – Focusing on the concept of solution selling and seeking to find new and better ways of service delivery will ultimately lead to greater success in this or any other sales methodology. The goal of solution selling is not to just satisfy the customer but to delight them.