Today I want to share some valuable information to assist you in determining how to sell any buyer you are dealing with now.
I have been asked by sales people – how do I know if traditional selling, relationship selling or consultative selling is the right method to use? Great question with a simple – not easy – answer.
First, the best way to determine the best method is to determine what the buyer knows about what you are selling. You want to determine the level of knowledge and working experience a buyer has for your product or service. How often have they purchased this type of product or service in the past? In other words, what is their experience factor with your product or service?
Second, based upon the information you discover regarding your buyer, you will determine if one the buyer already knows everything or most everything about the products or services you sell. Or, if you determine the buyer has gaps of knowledge or has no knowledge about buying your product or service, then your strategy is to educate the buyer – focus upon the buyer learning about your offer.
Finally, the method you use to sell is now determined by what the buyer knows or does not know. There are three sales methods to choose from for improved sales success…
- Transactional selling – This is used with the buyer who already knows what they want and what is important to their buying needs. There is no need to educate this buyer, so you only need to get an offer in their buying process. Getting the offer on the table puts you in play with the buyer. Unfortunately, when there are no unique differences to a product offering, then price and availability become the key factors for evaluation and awarding a sale. There is no need for fancy presentations or special bundling of product and service combinations – since the buyer already knows what is available and all the specifications, doing anything fancy makes the buyer feel like the price is too high.
- Relationship selling – This is used when a buyer has a gap in their knowledge regarding a particular product or service. It becomes your strategy to combine the actions of building a trust based relationship and providing an educational or learning environment for the buyer. Thus, the buyer learns more about the products or services you have to offer, what to look for when evaluating these products and services and case studies of how others have used your solutions to improve their situation. This method is very useful and successful when you have a new buyer or inexperienced buyer working with you. Your focus is to educate the buyer while building a strong trust-based relationship.
- Consultative selling – You will use the consultative method of selling whenever you are selling a product or service that has never been or seldom purchased by the buyer or the buyer’s company in the past. Your role becomes one of the consultant who is looking at the processes used by the buyer’s organization and using metrics to determine return on investment. As a consultant, you must have the business acumen to find multiple problems, link the problems together into a larger problem, get agreement on the size of the problem, create a sense of urgency to fix the problem and show the buyer how your solution will improve their situation. The improvement needs to shown in financial terms so the buyer can validate ROI and payback time lines. Once you master the consultative selling methods your sales success will be higher.
There you have the levels of buying for your tool box of knowledge. Remember, the buyer who knows your product offering is usually a transactional buyer. Focus on giving these buyers an offer they will approve – usually a lower price or best price situation. The other buyers need to learn more to become effective buyers. Inexperienced or new buyers need the relationship building sales method in order to feel confident in their decision to buy – usually from the sales person who helps them become a better buyer. The final example is the new buy rather than buyer. You could actually have a very experienced buyer in overall terms who has never brought what you are bring to the table. This requires a consultative selling method using financial data and understanding work flows and processes to educate the buyer on why they need your solution.
There you have another B2B sales tip. Use and watch your sales success grow.
you will apply a sales strategy using one of three methods of selling. One method is the older, more traditional technique – the transactional method.