For example, consultative salespersons that sell wireless service and technology to corporations and government agencies. They set up meetings with clients to determine their needs. The problem is that due to a merger, the organization has two separate computer networks in separate office buildings, and replacing them with a single network is too expensive. The salesperson proposes joining the networks wirelessly using services and products they offer. This solution is an economical alternative. The buyer knows that this purchase of services and products is a good investment, and that the consultative sales team will provide tech support and answer questions for months or years to come.
Responding to the expectations of the prospective buyer is the essence of providing consultation based selling. The Seller must generally possess a broad and current knowledge of market offerings, and be able to direct the prospective buyer in an appropriate direction.
Today Consultative Selling is almost a household word. It is an approach to selling in which customer needs are used as the basis for the sales dialogue. When the word Consultative was applied to sales in the 1970s, it was revolutionary. It marked a major transition from the salesperson as the purveyor of information and the customer as the recipient to a much more collaborative interaction — one in which the customer’s needs, not the product — was the focal point of the sale. By the early 80’s, the term Consultative Selling began to be misunderstood as a long, arduous sales process that focused on needs at the expense of closing business. In fact, effective Consultative Selling, because needs are clear and recommendations, therefore, are more likely to be on target, actually accelerates the sales cycle.
The transition from product-focused selling to need-focused selling was the direct result of market changes. Increased competition and customers’ greater access to information and sophistication began the shift of power in a sales call from salesperson to buyer.
There are three primary differentiators that mark a so-called Consultative Salesperson:
Consultative Selling is all about the dialogue between the salesperson and the customer. The word dialogue comes from the Greek and means “to learn.” In Consultative Selling, the salesperson learns about customer needs before talking product. Product knowledge is transformed into a tailored solution when the solution is delivered and positioned based on the customer’s needs and language. Needs are identified through a combination of preparation and effective probing.
Transition To Consultative Selling.(author discusses transition to consultative selling and provides model for training)
Jan 01, 2001; As the global economy focuses value increasingly on services and information, customer around the world are demanding more and...