Top 3 Reasons to Use Consultative Selling Skills 
Consultative Selling Skills
Consultative Selling Skills are used by organizations in many different industries to drive high end Business 2 Business sales, and whilst Consultative Selling Skills are undoubtedly difficult to get right, the rewards are high, given the typically high values of the products & services involved. The great advantage of Consultative Selling is that the fundamental principles can be used on any product or service, in any industry. Even a traditional telephone sales call can be approached in a consultative manner. This flexibility combined with the maturing of sales organizations has resulted in a definite shift over the years by companies who had previously been using a more traditional Transactional Sales Methodology, and who have moved, or at least try to move, into a more Consultative Selling approach. Other than the obvious financial gains, what are the main reasons we should abandon our existing sales methodology for Consultative Selling Skills which are difficult to implement and challenging to perfect?
1. Consultative Selling Skills put your Customer First
It is widely accepted that the Customer Buying Journey has changed, but so also has the modern day buyer. They are educated, smarter and armed with more information than ever before. More importantly they do NOT like to be sold to, instead they prefer to gather information and make decisions on their own terms. Modern day buyers recognise traditional sales techniques and worst of all are put off by the traditional Features and Benefits transactional selling approach. Consultative selling is client centered approach that after an in depth diagnosis, includes a review of all the different options open to the client, to solve a particular business issue, in the best way possible for the client. This may include reviewing your competition with the client, discussing the continuation of the status quo or other options that do not involve you and your company. How often do we do this and how objective are we?
2. Consultative Selling Skills help you avoid common sales mistakes.
These continue to be the number one cause of sales people failing to hit sales targets. Unfortunately because these skills are the most basic and unglamorous they are taken for granted. After all our years in sales consulting, sales training and sales coaching we have come to the conclusion the most simplest of skills are more often the most difficult to change. Simple things like listening, asking questions and empathising are things we all believe we do, but when we are on the hamster wheel of sales at 100mph we miss things out and rush everything. Remember if you want to speed the sale up, slow the sale down. A relentless focus on basic selling skills will more often deliver a greater return on sales revenue than the “Sales Master Class” or the “Advanced Selling Techniques” courses available. Not that these are poor quality or relevant, but you may be trying to teach people algebra when they cannot count to 100 correctly and consistently.
3. Consultative Selling Skills give you the edge over the competition.
Most sales people believe they miss orders by miles, when in reality it takes very little to lose the sale. When the kitchen remodelling sales person visits the buyer at home and parks on the buyers driveway; it’s over. It’s over because when you come home from a hard days work do you really want to find someone else’s car on your drive, forcing you to park down the street?
When the software sales person talks so much techno babble and uses buzzwords the non-technical buyer switches off, it’s over. When the pensions & investment sales person turns up 45 minutes late for the interview for a $150,000 per annum job because he slept in it’s over. All these are true stories shared to us personally by Business Leaders. It only takes the smallest of mistakes to lose a deal, but the good news then is, it can only take the smallest of things to help you win the sale.
Consultative Selling Skills will help you sell more, to the right people and that can never be a bad thing. You may however have experienced a “Consultant” who whilst trying to sell to you never listened or was just plain rude, and you’re thinking “Why would I want to be like that?” Well not all consultants use Consultative Selling Skills, and not all Consultants can sell. Interestingly one of the most difficult groups to teach Consultative Selling Skills to, are believe it or not Consultants. In one particular case a Consultant speaking of his business partner said “Do you know what Freddie’s wife says to him, last thing at night? – Shut Up!” Freddie had no concept of basic selling skills and his ego prevented him from investing the time necessary to learn, understand and implement the adjustments required to be good at selling. There is no place in Selling for your ego, and we should focus on getting it right, not being right.
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