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How to improve your consultative selling style

According to Gallup, less than half of customers feel that their needs are adequately addressed by sellers. This is a big issue for sellers, not just with respect to customer satisfaction levels but also whether the best use is being made of resources and effort in terms of results achieved. If you want to be more effective at selling then it’s crucial to understand how to meet the needs of the customer – and there is no better way to do that than with a  consultative selling approach.

Why use consultative selling?

Consultative selling focuses first and foremost on building a relationship with the customer. It’s from that relationship that insights and trust can be built so that it becomes possible to position more compelling solutions for the customer. A consultative approach works best for everyone, as the customer gets what they need and the seller achieves results. While it’s not always the easiest approach to master       there are lots of ways to improve your consultative selling style.

Don’t overdo the questions

Yes, it is crucial to question the customer so that you can understand what their problems are, which will enable you to position the best solution. However, a barrage of questions will quickly make a customer disengage. The key is to pick your questions carefully, don’t waste them, and balance those questions with insights so that you come across as credible and the questions feel like a logical next step from your insight sharing.

The value of knowledge

Consultative selling is much more of a conversation, which means that knowledge gaps or a lack of industry understanding can be easily revealed. So, it’s important to ensure that you have done plenty of research about the business and the sector in advance – the conversation may be short so you need to be ready to impress.

Establish reliability

If you’re selling over the phone then building credibility can be a challenge. However, if you can establish yourself as reliable and knowledgeable then you are half way there. An easy way to demonstrate this is to ensure that you achieve at least one follow-up after the call. The important element here is not the follow-up itself but the fact that you deliver on it. This will establish credibility, reliability and give the customer reason to believe you can deliver.

Learn how to communicate without being dominant

If you’re dominating the conversation, customers can quickly switch off. Moments of silence can provide emphasis and it’s crucial to listen as well as speak. Ideally, a consultative selling conversation is one that is guided by a seller who is concise and well-informed.

View every piece of feedback as valuable, even the negative

Although you might hear an obstacle when someone articulates negative feedback, what is actually being communicated is a need. Effectively, even negative feedback is useful when it comes to refining customer need and identifying how the relationship could progress.

Our Consultative Selling course is ideal for those who are looking to develop a selling style that achieves both better results and stronger relationships.  Get in touch for more advice and course options today.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.