What is Consultative Selling ?
Customers’ needs or pain points forms the focal point of the sale. Your product or service does not. You ask open ended questions and listen. In the process, you learn what is the pain point or needs of the customer and you propose a solution to address that pain point. Sometimes it is also called as Solution Selling.
I am of the strong opinion that the “Selling” in “Consultative Selling” should be renamed “Helping”. It should then be “Consultative Helping”. Because that is what it is. Selling does not happen here because there is no need to. Customer buys your solution since you have solved the problem or addressed the pain points.
Help your customers. They will ensure your success. They will be your brand ambassadors.
What are the benefits of Consultative Selling ?
- Customer Experience and Customer Satisfaction is enhanced.
- Relationship with the customer gets stronger.
- Sales Forecast is more predictable. Shorter sales cycles. In reality, that is. Though people may say the sales cycles are long and sales is highly unpredictable in Consultative Selling and that is not true.
- Customer does not get the feeling that someone is “selling” to them. Instead he will start feeling that someone is helping. So, you essentially remove the resistance to selling.
- Focus is on the Needs or Pain Points of the customer. Right from the beginning. Sale happens only if you solve those pain points. So, no question of customer becoming unhappy later.
- It is a win-win situation. You win only if the customer wins. In the first place.
- Referrals: There is more likely-hood of customer referring you to his friends.
- You are regarded as an Authority in your field of work. That is a recognition. To strive for.
- Customer values your time as much as he values his own.
- No false promises or false commitments on either side.
- You say what you do. And do what you say.
- The relationship is not anymore seller – buyer. It is more of a Partner – Business.
- There is more likely-hood of customer trying to adapt or adjust to your product or service. Really.
- Return on investments is higher.
- You are more likely to clock a high value sale. But that is not the idea. The idea is to address the pain point and make the customer win.
- Customer knows, understands and values that you are committed to solving their problems / pain points and not just dumping your product or service on them. So, they trust you. Remember, Trust cannot be bought. Ever.
- You don’t have to ask, probe or find out – what are the other needs or plans or goals that the customer has in pipeline that you can solve or help them achieve – instead he tells you what are those – before you ask
- Similarly, you identify and tell the customer what they might need in the near future, even before they realize it. This is exactly the reason they need you. This is where you score over others.
- You throw competition out of the window.
- You don’t win on price. Not anymore. Because, there is no need to.
Do you still need more reasons to practice Consultative Selling err Consultative Helping ?
Don’t “SELL”. Just HELP. And allow the customer to BUY.