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Try selling solutions, not just products

May 30, 2023
Take the time to understand your customers' needs to more effectively market your service or product.

Here's something to consider: sell the problems you solve, not the products. Tyler Robertson, founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, recommended that during his presentation, "Building A Foundation for Future Success," at the Corcentric Fleet Solutions Conference.

I like his way of thinking. Many of us in sales tend to get caught up in explaining the features and benefits of our products and services before we fully understand the customer's problem.

Perhaps we all would be better served if we spent more time with the customer to understand their real problems before offering our product or service as the answer. Think of it the same way you would conduct a root cause analysis when a vehicle has a problem. We need to keep talking to the customer until we fully understand their issues and problems. Not just what is on the surface but what's underneath that is preventing them from being successful.

See also: It's time to deeply evaluate your operations

When we really understand the customer's pain points, we are better positioned to offer them a solution that will serve them in the long term rather than just a product or service that may provide a quick fix.

Providing a solution helps build trust between you and the customer, and we all know that people buy from people they trust.

This does not mean you don't focus on creating more value for your customers than your competitors or letting the customer know about the value added. It means taking more time to listen and to ask thoughtful follow-up questions. It could mean taking some time to do additional research to develop a solution that is specific to the customer. You can't meet unique needs with cookie-cutter answers.

See also: Choose your financial source wisely

Creating solutions sounds like it has more of a lasting impact than selling a product or service. I don't know about you, but lasting relationships with my customers are what I strive for. As a result, I will focus on finding and offering lasting solutions.

If you have the opportunity, I suggest you look up Tyler and Diesel Laptops and learn about his story. It is a true representation of the American Dream.

Patrick Gaskins, SVP of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for the company's fleet offerings. Gaskins joined the company in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. He leads a team that works with a supply base of more than 160 manufacturers to help the country's largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet-related spending.

About the Author

Patrick Gaskins | Senior vice president, Fleet Solutions

Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. Gaskins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL in 1989, and received his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council in 2002. He has held positions with GE Capital, TCF Equipment Finance, and various small independent lessors. 

He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Services, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations, and is now taking the role of Senior Vice President, Fleet Solutions.  In his new role he will lead Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Gaskins will bring to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s customers.

The Fleet Solutions practice leverages technology and the purchasing power of over 1,700 member fleets operating approximately 800,000 assets to provide its members with access to cost effective national account purchasing programs, fleet financing, asset management, and remarketing services.

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