We'll show you what questions to ask, and when in your sales process you should ask them.

Consultative Selling

Because successful sellers ask more questions, and that’s a fact! (Evidence from 35,000 sales calls)

Our preferred definitions of consultative selling are:

“The seller needs to work with the client to design a bespoke solution”

“The seller controls the sales process through the purposeful use of questions”

Where the seller acts as an expert consultant for his prospect, asking questions to determine the prospect’s needs and then using that information to select the best product or service for those needs.

The key is to know which questions to ask!

How should you be selling?

Consider where your sales proposition sits in the following analysis:

If your proposition sits on the right hand side of this matrix, then consultative selling should be your preferred sales model.

Also, consider your sellers’ current selling style:

We have direct experience of taking worldwide sales teams through the change of sales model from transactional to consultative.

Why can't we just pitch?

Sellers often ask us “why do we have to ask these questions, can’t we just tell them?” Well you can, except that:

  • People don’t like to be “told”
  • Buyers will have researched a range of available propositions to find answers to their problems, including competitor propositions, your own proposition. The chances are they have vastly more technical knowledge than you, and they will certainly have more application knowledge
  • The minute you start “telling/pitching” you immediately risk getting it wrong (because you cannot have enough contextual knowledge of the buyers situation) to always be right
  • Whatever comes out of your mouth is (implicitly) disbelieved, you are “selling” after all. Whatever comes out of your buyer’s mouth is absolutely, 100% the truth (from their own position), no argument
  • When you have coached your buyer to a position, they understand the logic that got them there

How do (the right) questions help?

Questions will enable your seller to:

  • Determine precisely what the best application might be (especially in highly complex environments)
  • Uncover the business drivers that support the investment
  • Identify other areas to work on together (sales opportunities)
  • Demonstrate their knowledge
  • Build trust and create engagement (the buyer’s investment in the process)
  • Uncover the information they’ll need to add relevance to their proposal

Questions will help your client to fully understand:

  • The precise nature of the problem they are facing
  • The operational implications of not fixing the problem
  • How your seller is the best person to solve their problem
  • That they should bring other, similar problems to your seller so that they can solve them too

“We Directors have work to do to develop some critical areas of our service provision. Our sales guys now know how they should be running their sales calls. They’ve got some work to do as well but at least we’ve got them started” – IL, Managing Director

Use the contact form below, or call us directly, to find out how we could help you develop your own consultative selling model.

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