Consultative Selling: Top 5 Strategies You Need In 2020
Consultative selling is a sales methodology that centers around building trust with the potential clients and investigating their needs before offering a solution. The salesman’s first goal is building a relationship; their second is proposing the most suitable solution to the prospects.
To simplify, consultative selling approach prepares sellers to identify and understand client needs quicker and consequently position arrangements that lead to a successful deal closing.
The following top 5 strategies are the ones you’d probably be needing in 2020.
Strategy 1: KYC – Know Your Customer
Before you meet with your potential client, you must get your homework done properly. Discovering as much as you can about the individual you will meet with as well as about his or her organization.
Bonus Tip: Always try to search your prospect’s social media profiles to see what their interests are, and you can start a conversation with them on a lighter note to build a connection and engagement level.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are some great social media spots to begin your KYC search. The more research you do, the more information you will have, and you will have the advantage to get negotiations in your favor toward the finish of the conversation.
Strategy 2: Ask Insightful Questions
One of the core strategies of consultative selling is to realize the importance of questions being asked to the prospects. It’s commonly seen that most salespeople are not well-aware of the customer’s exact needs and in fact aren’t bothered to research that upfront.
A study report published by Harvard Business Review talks about conducting an interview of 300 professionals which concluded that most salespeople greatly lack knowledge of the customer’s business and the industry.
Therefore, from a salesperson point of view, you should always focus on asking only open-ended questions to encourage a dialogue relevant to the client’s business rather than asking too many questions that might give an impression to the clients if they are being interrogated.
An effective tip here is to keep sharing any insights related to the client’s industry that would certainly keep them engaged and would further reveal more useful information that could help you win the deal.
Strategy 3: Focus on Active Listening
It’s a human behavior that you stop active listening if you are busy taking notes or talking only about your own presentation.
Especially, if you are asking relevant questions over the phone call, you need to pay attention to your customer’s answers. And not just pay attention, try to learn about their exact challenges and goals by carefully identifying the first few important things they tell you.
You can even record the complete conversation using a reliable call recording app such as Mimik. Apps like Mimik can help you to easily record client calls and analyze them later to identify few key challenges your client talks about during the phone call.
In fact, if you’re the only one presenting and your clients aren’t talking 80% of the time at the beginning, then you are doing it completely wrong. Let them speak and share the whole story. You will not only get to know enough information to provide further consulting on, but you can also take things from their in your own way and could even upsell a better offering to them.
Strategy 4: Don’t Miss The Consultative Style
An essential element about consultative selling most consultants or salespeople will miss out is that the entire conversation should be in a consultative style.
Basically, it’s your job to make your potential customers realize and understand that they are partnering with someone who not only understands their industry segment but a professional who can help them identify needs and guide them step-by-step through the business challenges.
As a consultative salesperson, you should be highly prepared to come up with only relevant case studies and examples related to the client’s work requirements. That’s one of the key factors to help a client decide if they should hire you or not.
Bonus Tip: Most of the times we have seen that if a salesperson is able to bring up a very solid case study or success story relevant to the client’s project scope, the contract is awarded to them.
In addition, you could still have a very smooth consultative dialogue with the prospect by keeping your messaging concise and simple. In short, if you can take ownership of the conversation, you are in a better position to shape concepts and perceptions.
Strategy 5: Follow-up Is The Key
Persistence is the key to success and so does is a good follow-up strategy.
Keep in mind that you won’t win any opportunity on the very first attempt without failure especially if you are into B2B sales. Yes, sometimes luck could be very generous but 99% of the times you need to chase your prospects before they are convinced to write that first cheque.
So, make sure that you are regularly following-up with the qualified leads and your follow-up approach is timely and targets the real pain point.
With B2C sales you can still make a good sale in the first attempt, but in case of B2B, it’s almost impossible to convert a lead into a paying customer since such type of deals can even take 6 months to get to a final decision. That is why it is highly recommended that you stay in touch with your prospects by sending them relevant content or success stories via email, LinkedIn, or even calling them. The idea is to keep yourself and your product or service always in front of your potential customers.
1) Get to know your customers; Learn about their family, interests or anything they could be easily engaged into.
2) Ask only open-ended questions that starts a conversation and a longer dialogue with the prospects.
3) Listen carefully those specific sentences or ideas that the client might be repeating or emphasizing. You will always end up finding insightful data revelations from such conversations.
4) Leave the pushy salesman mentality behind. You are a consultant specializing in excellent sales closing powers so try to be like one.
5) Always follow-up. Follow-up, follow-up and follow-up.
Begin your consultative selling practice via phone conversations with real prospects. Use Mimik call recorder app in order to seamlessly record all sales calls every day and listen to them to assess the performance of your sales capabilities.