(USING SPIN QUESTIONING)
Consultative selling is a process in which customer needs are used as the basis for the sales dialogue. Typically this is done using strategic and comprehensive questioning. In today’s market, traditional sales approaches have diminishing value. The democratization of IT has ensured that customers (or clients) have all the information they need about products and seller. They aren’t looking for just ‘information’ anymore. When they communicate with sellers, what customers expect to learn is the value a product or service is going to add. Which is why many organizations are now striving to position themselves as selling “solutions” while acknowledging that their sales approach needs to be different.
The biggest advantage to the consultative selling approach is that it helps the salesperson build rapport quickly while simultaneously presenting themselves as an expert resource for their prospects. Consultative Selling can change the type of relationship you have with your customers or clients. It can help differentiate you from many of the competitors who may not be adopting this approach. Dialogue is the key to consultative selling.
With Consultative Sales, the customer’s needs come first. Needs are identified through a combination of preparation and effective probing and drilling-down into customer answers. This approach focuses on using strategic questioning skills to engage in a dialogue with a client or potential client. A consultative sales process requires the salesperson to constantly request feedback and use that information to ask the right questions at the right times. We use the SPIN selling methodology that comes from a highly influential book with that same title by Neil Rackham. The reason why SPIN Selling is effective is because it was developed following the careful observation, by sales experts, of 35,000 sales calls. Through this observation it became clear that the quality of questions asked by a salesperson were key to the success of a sale – which is the whole idea behind consultative selling.
- Understand the role of questioning in sales
- Identify the appropriate sales process for a Consultative Selling approach
- Ensure product and market knowledge is developed constantly
- Work on listening and questioning
- Develop an aptitude to ask questions
- Understand the customer’s mood, behavior, and triggers
- Apply SPIN to guide your customers to need pay-off
- Make sure the fundamental selling skills are embedded in your style
- Build stronger long-term relations with your clients
- Ensure Internal functions and support are aligned with this approach
- Enhance customer loyalty
- Sales Executives
- Sales Managers
- Customer facing teams