Thursday Jul 5, 2012 by Frank Belzer - VP of Corporate Training, Kurlan and Associates
The difference between the average salesperson and the great salesperson comes down to what? We could try to select one thing, but chances are that we would fail because great salespeople possess a collection of skills and strengths which help them to succeed where others fail.
One thing we do know is that in this day and age there is a real need for salespeople to be consultative in both their dialogue and thought process. Let’s talk about that second point. I have blogged many times regarding the values of questioning skills and provided some roadmaps which help you develop the right line of questioning with a prospect or client. Is it enough to simply have a list of questions or to memorize some high-gain questions? No, it is not!
Why that fails is because truly consultative sellers are not just good at asking questions. They ask the following questions in these ways and for these reasons:
These are three simple things that need to be in the background behind any of the “good questions” which we may decide are worth asking or putting on a list.
What would happen if we started thinking about these drivers before a call? What if, as part of our pre-call planning, we started thinking about numbers 2 and 4? What if, in our everyday conversations, we started working on numbers 1 and 3? Could we become a more natural and convincing salesperson? Yes, but more importantly, people would probably enjoy our company more.
The bottom line is that, although we list “Consultative Selling Skills” as a skillset on our evaluations of salespeople, the fact is that the goals of a consultative sales meeting are what define this attribute. Rather than trying to force something, simply put yourself in their shoes. Do your clients or prospects leave a meeting thinking, “That was the best sales meeting I ever had.”, “Those people really care about my business.” or “Why isn’t everyone more like that?”