This is an excellent article from a magazine I recieve – Business Solutions. The article below is from the Sept 2005 edition, p 14

Stop Selling Products And Services
Business Solutions, September 2005
Written by Megan Burns

One of the things I love about my job is talking with VARs and integrators, learning what successful resellers are doing, and sharing that wisdom with our readers. Some VARs have developed a niche in helping local governments obtain government financing, others are thriving in the education market, and still others are developing custom software to address a market need. The common thread is these companies don’t simply sell a product or service. I’m serious – they don’t. The successful VARs and integrators I speak with every week are selling solutions to customer problems.

Sometimes, your customer may not even know what his true problem is. In this case, investing some extra effort up front can pay off with a bigger sale. We recently featured an installation review of an integrator whose customer wanted to deploy wireless notebooks to all of its field technicians. The integrator, instead of taking the easy route and selling the company the notebooks it thought it wanted, asked a few pointed questions and spent some time riding around with the field technicians, observing how they performed their daily tasks. The integrator learned that the company not only didn’t need wireless notebooks, but its network infrastructure couldn’t support the desktops and applications it was already running. The integrator proposed upgrading the network, adding some uninterruptible power supplies and battery packs, improving the software applications, and then – in phase five of the project – deploying wireless tablets. […]