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.
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.