Several people have asked me about the difference between a traditional sales person and a consultative sales person. The difference is easy to recognize, so you must decide which one you are and then chose to be different – if you want to be successful in b2b sales. And then learn how to become a consultative sale person.
First, the traditional sales person has certain traits like looking around a prospect’s office for something to talk about (rapport building?), asking a few targeted questions looking for a problem, offering a solution at the first mention of a problem and going for the sale immediately using 101 ways to close the sale. The traditional approach is short term and is all about making a sale. Presentation skills and closing skills are the important competencies for the traditional sales person.
Now, the key to your future is contained in becoming effective as a consultative sales person. So how do you become a consultative sales person? Simple, not easy, but it is simple. Here you go…
- First think of yourself as a consultant or adviser rather than a sales person.
- You are looking for win-win opportunities and solutions.
- Listen to what your customer has to say and refrain for giving snap judgments or answers.
- You want to build a long-term relationship based upon respect and trust
- You want to study and learn the buying process and the criteria used in the decision to buy.
- Asking Questions that get the customer involved and thinking rather than reciting facts or details.
- Learn to use stories (case studies) that engage the customer’s feelings and thoughts.
Being a consultative sales person is all about focusing on the customer and building a strong business relationship. This way you can make a difference with long term impact. Never be satisfied with only short term results. It is much harder to create new customers than to develop an existing customer.