How to Make Consultative Selling Work for Your Business
Consultative Selling explores a selling technique in which the salesperson acts as an expert consultant, asking questions to determine what the prospect needs. The salesperson, in turn, uses that information to select the best possible product (or service) to meet a need.
Sales as a profession can contain many dangers. Some seen, some heard and some even from personal experience. There have been many recorded instances of sales people being treated very badly by customers just because they carry the tag of sales people. Most of the time, the harsh treatment is mainly down to customers who have been on the receiving end of a poorly planned sales process. Changes have to be made in the way how a sale is conducted, thus consultative selling is the best way to go.
This brought about a new revolution in selling, where certain words are attached to the end of job titles in an attempt to show the public its professionalism. Words such as specialist, consultant and even newer concepts were being coined to give customers the feeling that they were dealing with more than just salespeople.
SMEs face the challenge of placing these titles onto their staff simply because of the perceived gulf in class between consultants. However there are few easy ways to find out if you can incorporate these selling styles in your current organization.
First, you have to understand your current sales process in your business.
Is the sales person required to present a long list of features which can be tricky for your customers to grasp initially? Do your customers mainly already know what they want and the role of the salesperson is simply to provide assistance? Generally, the consultative selling process works better for organizations that provide services.
Service based businesses demand that their sales people are able to recognize the MAIN challenges of a customer, and the ability to match what the organization can provide to their current needs. Having said that, there are many product-based businesses who have adopted a consultative approach and are now enjoying the rewards.
If you have decided that the consultative selling model is for you, and would like to apply it into your business, here are 3 simple steps on how you can apply it into your business.
#1. Lead Management
Leads can move into your business from various sources; online sources, referrals, flyers, etc. When you have obtained a lead, how you manage this lead will sometimes determine whether you win the business.
The critical step over here is the INITIAL call. During this call, the sales person will not only be booking an appointment, but also asking more about the main challenges that the lead hopes to overcome.
The sales person must also be very clear about the reason that the lead has left their details with the particular company. All in all, this call also helps to build the rapport that is essential in a consultative selling model.
You have done all your ground work and are now sitting in the meeting room of your customer’s office. It is now time to present your solution to your customer. You want to launch into telling him why you are the best company to provide solution and even at the best price possible.
However, consultative selling is not like that. It is made up of a series of questions within the presentation process and having the spotlight on the face of the customer instead of your own. All you are trying to do in these presentation sessions is to ask the questions so that your customer tells you the exact reason that he needs the solutions for.
The ability for the sales person to ascertain those concerns will influence the success of the sales process. After that, you simply show your customer the solutions that you can offer that solve their challenges and why you are a credible company to deliver on those proposals.
#3. Follow up
There will be instances where the sales person is unable to close the sale on the spot and this step will be required. Following up with your customers whether or not they continue your services will ensure that you remain in their thoughts and considerations.
Check out my video, Secret to Sales – Stop Selling and Start Helping People Buy.
Enjoy the application!
Maresa Ng – Asia’s Top Business Growth Specialist
Maresa Ng is a Passionate Entrepreneur who helps business owner grow their business to a stage where it is commercial, profitable, and can continue to work without them. Maresa has worked with thousands of business owners and she has been turning around businesses since 2008. She was a corporate and investment banker, but now she is the leading Business Growth Specialist & Business Advisor in South East Asia. She always believes, as entrepreneurs, you can have Great Quality of Life through Great Business!