What is Consultative Selling?

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Let’s be honest here. Generally, people don’t like salespeople. Salespeople tend to have the general reputation of being fast-talking scam artists. Now more than ever, prospects always have their guards up when talking to anyone on the sales team, especially with someone they don’t know or haven’t worked with before. This can make gaining new business a seemingly monumental task. It’s imperative for a modern salesperson to be a master at building trust. At the end of the day, people don’t want to be sold to by someone they don’t trust.

Building trust with prospects that already have their guards up might seem like a difficult undertaking. Fortunately, we have a tool that we can all utilize to not only help build trust, but close more prospects, upsell current accounts, and maintain sustained success.

That tool is called Consultative Selling.

Consultative Selling

Consultative Selling is a sales approach where the salesperson engages in dialogue with the prospect before the sales pitch to gather information about the prospect’s needs. Before even talking about the product/service, the salesperson will gather as much information as possible from the prospect to determine:

  1. If the product/service would be a good fit
  2. How the product/service can be tailored to that specific prospect’s needs
  3. If the prospect is fully qualified to make a purchase

Consultative Selling requires that the salesperson ask a series of discovery questions. These discovery questions (click here for a comprehensive list of example questions) should be aimed at figuring out how the product/service will solve the prospect’s needs. The salesperson can then pitch from a position of confidence.

Why this method works

This method works because nowadays, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all sales pitch that works for everybody. All prospects are individuals and each one is different. One prospect might want to increase efficiency in their operation, while one might want to spend as little money as possible. Unless you take the consultative approach, it’s impossible to figure this out.

Asking the prospect questions will also communicate that you actually care about the prospect as an individual business. If you are trying to work with them and not just close them, they will be more willing to trust you and disclose more information. You’ll come off as less “pushy” and more like a business partner who is giving honest advice.

This method will allow you to build genuine relationships with your prospects. I have said it time and time again – the goal of a salesperson should not be to churn and burn prospects. Salespeople should develop their pipeline to the point where they are able to cultivate long-term sustained success. Consultative selling is how salespeople can achieve that.

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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com

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