Having been a salesperson before, I understand what customers go through when approached by aggressive sales people looking to get commissions for goods/services sold to them. In most cases there is no time for the client to think and buy a product or service willingly as they are won over before they even do that. It is not an experience they look forward to and some clients may actually avoid the sales employees whenever they see them on the streets.
They say working smart is better than working hard, right? I am a firm believer of this statement and this is why I have embraced the consultative selling idea which is basically selling without really selling. In this method of selling, a salesperson behaves like a consultant and hence gives true and honest advice without necessarily forcing potential clients to buy what they have to offer. This way, sales people do not appear like they are out to fish for commissions but rather have the interest of the clients at heart. The consequence of consultative selling is that clients will look forward to meeting the sales force and eventually buy more from them.
Before you get too excited, here are a few tips that will help you be effective with consultative selling;
1. Be as Calm as Possible
I know how thrilling consultative selling may sound but the key to nailing it is being calm, composed and totally relaxed. Apply little or no pressure but rather, genuine advice and help. Let your potential customer know that you will maintain the relationship whether they buy what you have to offer or not. This is such a plus as the customer knows that you are not malicious in your actions but want to genuinely help them out.
2. Knowledge About What you are Selling is a Must
This selling skill can only work if you know what you are selling. I mean with the advent of technology, answers about anything in the world are just a click away therefore, your success relies on how knowledgeable you are about what you are offering. Let your customer know why your product is better than that of your competitor and what benefit it will bring to their lives.
3. Etiquette is a Plus
You have heard before that the first few minutes with a potential client determine the success of any sales person. Well, I am just confirming the truth of this fact. It is very practical. The rule of thumb is to frame your initial conversation in a way that is attractive to the customer and makes them want to hear you even more. Be sure to let the potential client of your intention, explain your products, ask questions and finally be grateful for the opportunity. The secret is to be as professional and genuine as possible.
4. Ask Questions
I imagine that I would be super bored and annoyed when a sales person pumps words into my ears without letting me say what is in my heart. This is a mistake that most sales people make. Asking the customer questions like, “What’s important to you?”, “who are the likely users of the product?”, “how often do you want to use the product” ……..gives the client the picture that you truly care about them.
5. Suggest Solutions for The Potential Client
When questions are asked, answers are required hence better be ready to offer some solutions you think will be of help to the potential customer. Let them know that you identify with their concerns and suggest some of the solutions that have worked with you or you think will work for them.
Are you a salesperson looking for a different sales experience? I recommend consultative selling as it will bring the much needed freshness in your career and most importantly more cash in your wallet. All the best!