As I’ve discussed before, the primary role any sales person or service provider should be looking to fill is that of problems solver. An article in yesterday’s USA Today provided a great example of this. Devon Bank, a bank in Chicago, IL, took an extra step to help a customer and has profited from it. The problem the customer presented was that a tenet of the Islamic religion prohibited Muslims from paying interest on loans.
How Devon Bank dealt with the issue of loans to Islamic customers is a perfect case study in sales as problem solving. What Devon Bank did was to create a lending program which circumvented the need for interest payments. As a result, they have become a major lender in the Islamic Community and their business has increased exponentially.
This is exactly the type of problem solving that sales people should try to do. Your customer is coming to you with a problem or need. If you cannot fill the need under your conventional practice or operation, then investigate ways that you can change your operation to fill the need of the customer. Remember, it is not the need to solve your own problems that are the center of the sales transaction, its solving the problems of the customer.