Some people believe that good sales people are born that way and you can’t teach someone how to be good at sales. But this isn’t true – god sales people aren’t luckier than anyone else and they aren’t born with a certain skillset that gives them an advantage.
What the best sales professionals do have that maybe some of their less successful counterparts don’t is the drive to work hard (and I mean really hard) and, perhaps more importantly, a well-practised sales process that they have honed over the years into a well-oiled system for success.
Now there are plenty of sales people with a pretty successful sales processbut nothing in this life is ever perfect so there is always some way in which it could be improved. One of those ways is to use consultative selling skills. Sales methodologies such as Scotsman qualificationinclude the consultative selling approachnot only to increase your win rate but also to help identify the leads that won’t result in a sale. Essentially learning how to lose quickly instead of expending time and energy on a sale you can never win.
Want to know more aboutconsultative selling? Read on…
Find a need, and fill it
Consultative selling is sometimes called need-based selling. Find out what potential customers need and then find a way to fulfil that need. This is a quite different approach to just banging on about the products or services you already have in place and trying the hard sell with those. But if a potential customer doesn’t need those products or services then you have zero chance of clinching the deal.
This approach requires listening to your potential customer (I mean really listening) and trying to understand how you can help them. So instead of spending time extolling the benefits of what you have to sell, spend your time more wisely. It may not result in an immediate sale but it will help you build a better relationships with that particular contact, which could lead to greater deals in the future – ones with which both parties are entirely satisfied.
Consultative selling techniques also help identify unpromising leads that can be abandoned (although don’t forget the importance of good relationships for future business).
Consultative selling as part of a sales process
Using consultative selling techniquesdoesn’t mean an entirely different approach to selling and it can usually be included in your existing sales process with a bit of modification. As with all existing and new sales techniques you will probably try them out first in order to hone the relevant skillset. You should be able to learn quickly how the approach works best and whether it is suitable for some or all of your contacts.
If you manage a sales team, you might want to think about introducing this concept to a trial group of sales people, then use their feedback to improve the technique so that it work wekk for your industry and the type of customers and clients you are targeting.