A lot has been said and written about this one. Solution-selling was also in-vogue about a decade ago. At the time, it meant selling working systems instead of their individual parts (or at least this is how I remember it). This came with the uptake of professional services, the VAR ecosystem tremendously benefited out of this trend.
As systems got more commoditized, the term evolved to focus on the outcomes that were delivered by the “solution”. The analogy of “selling holes in the wall” instead of drills was born.
Aren’t solutions the least we should be all selling? The benefit to the customer is what matters, and this thinking not only benefits the buyer, but also the seller. A product or service that delivers sensible benefits to the customer can be priced at a fair level, and it is usually easier to sell.
True solution selling though, requires to always start with the customer’s needs and desires, which usually implies a relationship of trust. I have found that this is the hardest part. The approach also implies that you must be willing to walk away sometimes, or even better, recommend someone else’s solution.
We sometimes forget that our purpose is to solve some problems for our customers.