There are a lot of excellent sales methodologies and sales techniques a salesperson can utilize to help them boost their performance and achieve their goals. In my mind, effective sales has always been more about consultative selling and helping others than about promoting or any specific methodology or technique.
I think the idea of driving true value for your client is what really matters. Being successful in consultative selling is to be in it for the long-haul and having the best interests of your clients ahead of your own. Great companies and great sales people are built over many years, not overnight.
What has always driven me is the intrinsic value that can be derived from the sale and from helping someone with a business pain. It is not about the money or meeting that quarterly target, but rather the overall value you are bringing. Hitting numbers and making money is also a part of it, but that is a function of doing it right. Always seek to sell properly and in a consultative manner where you are working with your client to find the best possible solution for them.
That gets me to the topic of this blog. Lets talk about consultative selling and what it is and means to me.
The basics of it:
Take an active interest in your customer / prospect.
This is more than just trying to see if your product could be a fit, but rather it is much deeper. It is caring about their needs, the success of the project, how it will help them personally and how it will help their organization in the short, medium and long-term.
Be an active listener – listening is key.
They say being a good doctor is 80% listening and 20% speaking. Sales is the same. Ask questions that probe into their needs, business pain, current challenges, cost of not fixing the challenge, fit, current situation, other ties to groups within the organization, and their short, medium and long-term plan. Understand how you can help them achieve their corporate and personal goals. All corporate goals fall into one or more of these 4 categories – keep them in mind:
Focus on solutions, don’t focus on product features.
Do I need to say more here?
Help in any way you can & go the extra mile.
This can be supplying them with additional information without them requesting it, checking in regularly, offer to have them visit another client’s site (if approved and applicable)
Be willing to offer the customer the best solution for their needs even if it isn’t yours
The best sales wins come from winning.
Customer (the person) wins, Customer (the company wins), Company you work for wins, You win.
Happy hunting and be sure to check out more of our blogs if you are looking for additional information on consultative selling or other sales strategies. For great insights into startup sales and marketing, feel free to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.