Being good at sales isn’t just luck and despite what some may think, good sales people aren’t born with a special skill that sets them apart from everyone else. They best sales people are hard workers who have a well-practiced and well thought out sales process which they have honed over the years into a smooth and successful system.
Even if you have a relatively successful sales process, there is always room for improvement.
Including consultative selling skills into the way you approach your sales leads can not only help you see increases in your sales figures, but it can also help you to sell, or lose the sale, much quicker. This is a fundamental premise of methods such as Scotsman qualification. This will allow you to move on to the next lead more quickly and ultimately make more quality contacts in the same period of time.
So, just what is consultative selling and how can it help you?
Find a need, and fill it
Consultative selling is also often referred to as need-based selling. This type of strategy involves you learning from your contacts what it is they need, rather than simply trying to sell them a range of products or services. Spending some time to speak to your contact and find out what problems they have that they need to solve can help you to really understand what it is your contact is looking for. If you are wildly offering various options to a contact who has only one specific need, you are very unlikely to hit that need by coincidence and therefore you will spend plenty of time trying but still not get the sale.
For those who understand and use consultative selling techniques, they will find that the extra time they spend listening to their contacts is well spent as they can determine whether or not they have a product or service which their contact is likely to invest in. Unpromising leads can be laid to the side to save wasting time trying to push a product which is of no interest to the contact. Instead, time can be better spent coming up with unique packages and deals which appeal directly to the need of the contact, thus improving the chances that a sale will be made.
Introducing consultative selling into your sales process
You don’t need to completely change the whole way you conduct your sales strategy in order to introduce consultative selling skills. You can begin to introduce these techniques once you have made first contacts with your leads in order to test out their viability. You can learn relatively quickly if a lead has the potential to become a quality contact by simply asking some searching questions and finding out the needs of your lead before trying to go in with a big pitch.
If you run a sales team, then you should consider introducing this concept to all of your sales force. Having everyone on the same page in terms of how best to spend their time when attempting to turn contacts into sales figures should see productivity rise alongside your sales numbers. As a sales leader you can provide your team with a sales road map which outlines the best practice in order to boost their numbers and help you see an increase in reliability and predictability.