Consultative selling techniques to help you win your best ever clients.
Consultative selling techniques can be summarized as those techniques that allow you to provide the absolute best advice to your potential client.
They may seem obvious, but implementing them will make an immediate difference in the effectiveness of your consulting sales process.
Here are the consultative selling techniques that you should master first.
Whenever your potential client speaks, you should listen. Most consultants think the sales process is a forum for them to sound impressive and smart, but they’re wrong.
Listening is how you gather the information you need to provide the proper advice and solution to your client. While you’re listening, observe moments where you can ask follow up questions to uncover even more information that can help you properly serve your client.
Taking notes during the sale allows you to manage and remember more information. The human brain can only handle so many items in short term memory, and you’ll surely forget most of it when you walk out of your sales meeting. Instead of relying on a device that will certainly fail you (your brain), take notes and save them in a CRM.
You don’t need to capture every single detail of the conversation, but 5-10 bullets will go a long way to capture the big ideas of your conversation.
Higher performers listen more. To be in a position to listen, you have to ask good questions. Asking good questions does two things: it helps you uncover the information you need to assess your clients’ current situation; and it shows your client that you understand their situation by virtue of the questions you ask.
The specific questions you ask will vary, but you can use templates like:
- What’s going on now?
- Why is that such a big problem?
- What have you done to solve it? Why didn’t it work?
- What would be different if you fixed the problem?
- Have you thought about doing nothing instead?
And so on. The key is to ask questions that demonstrate insight into the problems your clients are facing, which only comes through experience.
Many executives say they buy from people who challenge or disrupt their way of thinking. Challenging your client about their project or ideas can demonstrate confidence and cause deep thinking, which would lead to a highly collaborative discussion.
So for instance, I sell sales training and coaching.
One challenging question I could ask:
- Why do you want sales training from me or at all? Why not just go out and hire an army of proven business developers instead?
A question like this shows that I’m genuinely interested in getting to the bottom of what my client needs. I’m not an order taker, I’m a professional and a challenger, and I operate in my clients’ best interest.
What Will You Do?
These are just a few consultative selling techniques you can use during your next consulting sale. The question is: which will you use?
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