I recently read an insightful post by “sales transformation architect” Townsend Wardlaw on whether there is any difference in approach between a custom and a packaged solution sale. His argument is, no, there isn’t. But that doesn’t prevent most sellers from approaching the two as if there were.
While the example he cites is from the software world, the lessons are applicable to local media sellers. After all, many local media companies sell both bundles and customized “agency” type solutions.
“What happens most often,” Wardlaw writes, “is that when we move to packaged software or a packaged application…we move away from real, deep, intimate and impactful discovery and we start talking about the solution before we understand the problem.”
Change the product from “software” to “media” and the issue remains the same. The lesson? Don’t fall into the trap of selling the “box” before you understand the prospect’s needs.
“Maybe the way to ensure you can sell your packaged application or software better is to walk into a sales call with a prospect and just pretend that you actually don’t have anything at all, that you haven’t built it yet,” Wardlaw writes.