According to the Objective Management Group, 350,000 sales personnel across 200 business sectors only had 48 percent of the skill sets needed for consultative selling. To boost sales, your team needs a sales method that includes the best practices, techniques and skills listed below.
Research the Buyer
All consultative selling must begin with extensive customer research. An elite-level salesperson has in-depth knowledge of the prospect’s business and how it works. He or she knows the buyers level of decision-making authority as well as the purchasing budget. The seller also knows which competitor products the buyer is considering. Information gathering produces a clear buyer profile, which equips the seller to address any questions that may arise.
Ask the Right Questions
A smart sales process is question-focused. In other words, effective sellers ask prospects general questions and then drill down to specific inquiries. If the salesperson is selling a data backup and recovery software, he or she could ask the following:
- How often do you run backups?
- How long does the backup process take?
- Are the backups completed properly?
- Have you lost data?
- Have you lost business?
Asking the right questions reveals the prospects major pain points. In turn, this helps the seller position the product as the complete solution to their problems.
Spend More Time Listening
The foundation of a successful consultative selling relationship is trust. The simplest way to establish this bond is to listen to the prospect. The following are some tips that enhance a salesperson’s active listening skills:
- Take notes
- Eliminate distractions
- Paraphrase or restate prospect responses for clarity
- Avoid interrupting the prospect
- Ask open-ended questions
Explain the “Why”
Authenticity is an aspect of effective consultative selling. Buyers don’t want a human sales “machine.” They prefer dealing with enthusiastic, empathetic sellers who know how to help them reach their business goals. They also want to know why the seller is interested in helping them.
Follow-Up With the Prospect
Closing a deal can take weeks, so it’s essential that the seller stays in touch with the prospect. For example, the seller can send emails sharing a relevant article, asking for a status update or offering to provide additional product information. This keeps the seller on the buyer’s radar without being pushy or salesy.
Level up Your Consultative Selling Results
Effective consultative selling must focus on understanding the buyer’s needs, establishing a genuine relationship and presenting the product as a tailored-made solution.
If you’d like more information on sales training, Joe Morone can help. You can submit an online contact form, or call/email him:
Phone: (585) 732-5666
Posted on: August 8, 2018