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The consultative selling approach is a selling method in which the salesperson spends time with the customer to understand the problem the customer is trying to solve and then recommends a solution that will specifically address that problem.
Consultative selling is quite different from the traditional prospecting methods hence take note of these key aspects in order to get enough prospects.
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Researching in consultative selling involves using the lead intelligence that your sales team has gathered in the process of acquiring each lead. Thorough research of the prospect, of its industry, and its organization is the first thing your sales team should do before getting face-to-face with a lead.
The more the sales rep knows about the prospect and the company including recent company news, the marketplace, and competition, the more likely it is they will be perceived as a resource as opposed to a product specialist. Upon meeting prospects, their questions will be much more focused without wasting the buyer’s time.
What you have to do is ask the client what they need, what their pain point is, and how you should help them. When you speak with the lead, make sure to ask open-ended questions.
The goal is to allow the lead to volunteer the information themselves, as a result of the trust you are building between sales rep and lead.
The goal of asking such questions is to slowly discover what the lead’s goals are, the plan they might have to reach those goals, the challenges that are in the way of executing this plan, and the timeline that’s in place for reaching them.
Always be asking questions during the consultative sales process as they are one of your greatest sales tools. Nevertheless, asking questions takes time and asking too many can make a customer feel like they’re being interrogated.
Listening is the most important thing a great salesperson must-do during the negotiation process. Active listening means that you’re focused on the person talking and you are ready to respond and repeat everything they say.
During the process, you’ll need to document everything that the lead is saying. The data you obtain will help you qualify and close the lead. You must pay particular attention to their tone, pitch, and level of enthusiasm. Such aspects will enable you to decide what your next move should be.
If you are listening closely, you need to be responding and as you answer you should be looking for the space to teach. Always remember that this is not about teaching your lead about your product or service but rather helping the lead to learn how best to overcome their problems and build a strategy to reach their goals.
Always be teaching, but rather be careful not to give away too much knowledge, meaning, you must balance the knowledge you give with the questions you ask and the answers you obtain.
Having gone through the teaching phase, it is your overall responsibility to always qualify for the lead. An already qualified lead has got goals, might or might not have a plan, definitely has challenges to overcome, a defined timeline and budget.
Always keep in mind that an unqualified lead is just as good as a qualified lead during the consultative selling phase.
Unqualified leads give you an opportunity to help, be friendly and sell. Always avoid trying to close unqualified leads since it will hurt them and you in the long run.
Having gone through all the above stages, it should be fairly easy to close your qualified leads. They have the money and you will have the necessary authority to authorize the purchase.
In case objections might occur during the closing sequence or at any point, you can always try to highlight the need for urgency and go in detail the consequences that might be for the lead if they fail to buy from you.
Hence the closing sequence should always feel natural to both you and the lead.
It’s now your turn always remember that the key to successful consultative selling is keeping a strong customer focus throughout the entire process.