Consultative Selling Activity

10 March 2014 by Charles Howden

So you think your sellers are selling consultatively?

Listen to your sellers in action, are they asking questions, or are they making statements?

Take a moment to listen to their sales conversations… What do you hear? Well-rehearsed pitches (music to your ears?) Or a succession of questions with a lot of silences in between, while your sellers listen to the answers as they consider and form their next question.

Our favoured definition of consultative selling is where “the seller controls the sales process by the by the purposeful use of questions…”

Transactional selling has a wholly different sound to the sound of consultative selling. There is more talking, the tempo is faster, more urgent, look out for the “no but” rebuttal of your prospect’s objections by a persistent transactional seller plainly ignoring their prospects request for more information.

Most sellers will be able to recall the oft used, though rarely achieved, golden rule of selling, where the talking is split 70/30 in favour of the prospect. If consultative selling is your chosen sales mode, then you can use this to test whether your sellers are actually using it, or whether they are slipping into a transactional approach.

Line-management coaching for sellers should help them to develop more effective question-sets to manage the sales process by. Those that uncover problem states, the business (and financial) implications of the problem states, the buying and implementation processes, the benefits of achieving the prospect’s own preferred solution to the problem…

Five minutes listening to your sellers in action will give you all the answers you need.

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