Why Sales People Make Better Problem Solvers

By Jonathan Farrington

As far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed solving problems and that has certainly been of great assistance during my sales career.

You see, creativity is problem solving. That’s the essence of successful selling.

The foremost function of the mind is problem solving; we solve problems with our imagination, and imagination is a function of our creative ability. A creative salesperson is a problem-solver.

The basics of the selling process:

  • Determine desire
  • Present the product to satisfy desire
  • Help the prospect find the right reasons for a favorable decision

Selling is nothing more than an exercise in problem solving. By constantly keeping your imagination and creativity at work, you will develop the best attitude for problem solving. You will build an unending source of ideas. You will become an idea producer and this will be your source of “value add” that will differentiate you from your competitor.


Differentiate Between Activity and Accomplishment

Activity relates to being busy but accomplishment equates to getting meaningful things done. It takes energy to fail. The successful salesperson channels their energy into creative, productive channels leading to pre-defined goals.

Accomplishment is measured by the amount of creativity involved.

Value Added Asks …

“What service or benefit can I add to what I give my customer, other than my product?”

Not just service in the sense of speedy delivery, prompt follow-up and personal attention, which are normal adjuncts of any real sale, but a real plus idea, something extra of value to him beyond the immediate transaction, that goes beyond the nine dots of your job.

Value add, through idea giving, is the ingredient that earns you the right to ask for the order, and to expect it.