Consultative selling has been around since the 1970′s and refers to the technique a sales person uses to discover the needs, trends and opinions of a prospect. This type of sales training is immensely under-valued. Sales is not about having the gift-of-gab or that mega-watt smile. It is a consistently applied approach to understanding and applying the method to locate potential clients, discovering their needs and delivering products or services to satisfy their needs.
If I’m in the market to buy a car, I’m disappointed when the sales person lamely shows me the cool nets in the trunk space that will hold my groceries. Really? This is all you got? Why wouldn’t they ask if I will be toting children and if safety is a concern. (safety stats) Why wouldn’t they ask if I would like to resell a car often or keep it till the wheels fall off? (resale value versus repair costs) What if my budget needs to consider the costs of insuring a 2-door versus a 4-door. (the rising costs of insurance) These are the things that matter. I know the new car will smell good and drive well. I might want to know the interest rates they are offering. I might observe how easy it is to get in and out of the showroom and their respect of my time.
I’ve never understood the notion that as a sales person I have to sneak information past a “salesperson filter.” This is where the sales process is misunderstood. Somewhere along the line buyers began to believe that sales people would somehow make them buy something they didn’t want or need. It would be of great value to consumers and buyers to act completely opposite and be open-minded to probing questions. You might find what you are looking for faster or perhaps even find a better alternative if you are open about what you need. We may discover together that I’m not a good fit for your company, but I might be able to direct you to vendors that can assist you. You might not know the answers to my questions, but I can help you track your stats to determine the best way to buy. Didn’t know your mailer could have been produced for less money just by altering the size? Maybe you thought I was being nosy. Nope, just trying to figure out how I can help you…not sell you.