A great many salespeople will say that they take a consultative selling or solution selling approach when working with clients.
Unfortunately, the research does not substantiate this. According to one research study by Forrester Research, buyers felt that 85% of sales people did not understand their business and found meetings with sales people ineffective.
If you’re a business owner or sales manager, that is a frightening statistic.
It is easy to understand how that happens.
Most business people and sales people believe they work for a great company and have fantastic products and services.
In fact, we’re so excited about our company, products and services that we feel compelled to tell potential prospects all about their merits.
Unfortunately, the prospect doesn’t really care.
In fact, the more you talk about the things you do and sell, the less interested the prospect becomes.
Prospects are interested in one thing – themselves.
Prospects are self-interested. They have issues they are trying to resolve and they are looking at you to help them resolve them.
Consultative selling is focused on the needs of the client and not on the benefits of your products and services.
What you sell should only be presented to the client in the context of the issues they’re trying to solve.
Essentially, the customer is looking to you to help them produce a certain outcome or resolve a certain issue.
Your products and services are simply the mechanisms you use to solve the problem or achieve the goal.
If you want to sell like a pro, you will need to change the nature of the conversation you’re having with your prospect.
80% of the conversation needs to be about the issues the client is dealing with, and
20% of the conversation is about your products and services.
Use the following checklist to take your consultative selling skills to the next level;
- Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the client’s business before you meet with them
- Make a list of the typical issues your product or service solves
- When you meet with your client, ask them what issues they are currently grappling with
- When you win a new client, take responsibility not just for delivering your product/service, but also checking that the client issues got resolved
When a customer feels that you are putting their interest first, they are far more likely to buy from you and they are less likely to negotiate harshly.
It is not unusual to see sales cycles cut in half using this approach.
And it’s also critical if you want to sell at premium pricing
FREE Resource: I produced a special CONSULTATIVE SELLING CHEAT SHEET that I give my private clients to use. It will help you uncover the issues your prospects are trying to solve. You can download it for free using this link.