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Sales 101 – The Power of Consultative Selling

Consultative selling is a sales technique that involves fostering trust and partnerships with customers. How can this help businesses increase sales, not just in the short-term but as a long-term marketing plan? The true meaning of consultative selling is about serving the customer. Not just saying the words, but really trying to find appropriate goods or services or to solve problems for customers.

A company must be genuinely motivated to help customers for it to be most effective. Consultative selling involves being engaged in constant and informative communication with customers in order to have a feel for their needs so suitable answers can be provided to them. In a consultative selling model, the sales representative becomes a consultant. The point in this approach is to deliver solutions.
Most companies are still deeply ingrained in the approach of convincing customers that the products they sell are the best for everyone. Niche’ marketing to smaller, more tailored groups has helped change this. When customer needs are not really examined, people can be turned off by the offer because they don’t hear anything that really helps them or makes them feel valuable.
For example, an automobile sales agent is offering the latest model of a vehicle to a young couple with two small children. In the old approach, the sales agent is expected to peddle the amazing new features of the car. He tells them that it has four-wheel drive, it is capable of reaching speeds as high as 100 miles per hour, it has leather interior and a sunroof, etc.
This approach clearly disregards the customers’ needs, which is why the couple is there to begin with. Consultative selling does exactly the opposite. Instead of showcasing the benefits of the new model, the sales person talks to the couple about what they need in a new car and advises them on what type of car has those features. Additionally, the agent offers ideas they might not have considered because she has researched, or been educated in, what a family vehicle should offer. She’s likely to point out safety features, including side airbags, the ability to clean the car or get car seats in and out.
Additionally, because they are young and gas prices are so high, she will try to find a car for them with great gas mileage, even if this means something smaller (and a smaller commission) than a minivan or SUV. This is true in wireless service sales, Saas sales, IoT sales, and really any B2B sales environment. In consultative selling the sales representative is as concerned about getting a right fit for the customer as the size of their commission. Why? Because there are advantages in doing so.

Advantages of Consultative Selling

Consultative selling is part of the newer trend towards business ethics and really serving a customer or business partner. Do a Google search on “compassion and business” and there are many sites, articles, books and blogs on the topic. Tim Sander’s Love is the Killer App is a great book about compassion and business. In it he says “Those of us who use love as a point of differentiation in business will separate ourselves from our competitors just as world-class distance runners separate themselves from the rest of the pack trailing behind them.”
People sense real caring and customers are people. Like most of us they sense the false and gravitate towards the genuine. Thus, if a sales agent (and the company) operates out of real concern for the customer, they may lose sales here and there because the true genuine fit for the customer wasn’t there, but they will gain overall.

Practicing Successful Consultative Selling

When a company starts to integrate consultative selling into their sales model, the first thing to remember is service of the customer. This involves advising, problem-solving and letting the sale go if it isn’t appropriate. It is not about just selling products. Scratch that old mentality!
Develop a customer-oriented strategy that provides real returns Sales people need to receive real training in communication, empathetic listening, and consultative selling. Customers need to be routinely surveyed, contacted and respected. It sounds ironic but in consultative selling, a company should not be overly concerned about making sales.
Even if a customer decides to buy a product that could contribute offer a high profit, it should be in their best interests to do so. If it isn’t, other more appropriate options should be offered, and this includes making a call to a competitor if all in-house possibilities have been exhausted! This is the most important point to remember when practicing consultative selling. With this, you can convince a customer that the company’s highest concern is their satisfaction and not profits.

The importance and likelihood of this customer being retained for a very long time cannot be undersold.


 

Are you interested in selling Verizon Wireless services? Call us at (855) SELL-VZW or fill out the form below.  We look forward to talking to you soon!

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Selling with Purpose and not Fear!

What is it about selling that makes you afraid? Do you get nervous at the hint of having to sell? Is it the fear of rejection that scares you? Is it the fear of not being able to communicate effectively?

Define Your Fear. What is it about selling that makes you afraid? Next question, how did you develop this fear? What is it based on?
 a) Many people fear sales because they’re afraid of being rejected as I mention.
 b) Others simply fear being the center of attention; especially when giving a presentation in front a large group of people.
 c) Some fear selling because they’re simply unprepared to answer tough questions or don’t have a deep understanding of the product or service they’re selling.
 d) Could it be you don’t believe in the product or service your selling?
 e) Other _______________________________________________
Why do your fear selling? Mentally note which one before you proceed.
Checking Your Premise. Now that you selected, I want you to check the premise of your answer. In other words, I want you to question the validity of your fear. If you chose C, for example, then your fear isn’t selling; it has more to do with being unprepared and the potential ‘shame’ of being exposed in public. Take the necessary steps to learn the product; this confidence in your knowledge will minimize your fear. If you chose B, you have to question why you’re afraid of getting up in front of others. Did you have a bad experience when you were younger? Or, are you still programmed by the “children should be seen and not heard’ parental reminder? To overcome the fear, you must first check the premise (validity) of why you hold that fear. No one every died from giving a sales presentation…at least not to my knowledge.
Like What You Sell. I can’t emphasize this enough. When you sell what you love, you’re selling from a position of belief. When you believe in something strongly, that enthusiasm squeezes out the fear. Are you selling something your really believe in or are you selling in order to get a paycheck? If the answer is the latter, you may be successful selling, but you’ll never achieve a true level of success (i.e., making money doing what you love). If you don’t truly believe in what you’re selling, you will always be selling from a position of doubt. Doubt breeds fear. Seek out products you love to sell.
Measure Success Over Time. Many trainers advocate measuring your successes on a daily basis. Let’s get real here. Some of my days are full of setbacks making measuring success on daily basis painful. Daily actions are just minor events leading up to the main event; the sale. Don’t measure minor events, measure main events. A runner doesn’t count how many running steps it took to get to the finish line, he instead focuses on getting there! Stay focus on the main event, the sale, and not the day-to-day ups and downs.
Small Elephant Bites. Remember, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Begin with small attainable objectives, than move on to larger ones. Build momentum.
Indicators. When you succeed or have a win, take a mental inventory of how it came about. Analyze in your mind the steps you took to manifest this win. When things don’t go well, do the same thing; analyze your thoughts and actions and ask, “What should I have done differently?”. Setbacks are indicators or guideposts on the road to sales success.
Don’t Take It Personal. Earl Nightengale once said that success plays no favorites. Success only favors those who persist and don’t give up. Selling is about persistence. Persistence is about not taking rejection personally. When clients or people refuse to buy from you, learn to ask “Why?”. And no matter the response you get back from the customer, learn to depersonalize it and then learn from it. Only sissies take things personally (don’t be a sales sissy)!
There is one eternal truth about this free market we call capitalism…selling keeps the economy moving. Selling is the grease that lubricates the economic machine and keeps all its moveable parts in motion. From this moment on, as a salesperson, I want you to view your profession as the necessary component for keeping this economy going. I want you to see purpose in your profession. Purpose squeezes out fear in order to make room for enthusiasm.

Now, stop wasting time reading this and go out and sell something!


 

Are you interested in selling Verizon Wireless services? Call us at (855) SELL-VZW or fill out the form below.  We look forward to talking to you soon!

Please join our mailing list. We will send you updates and specials, but know that we will not abuse this right.

 

10 Ways to Handle Objections Effectively

Objections can be the most difficult part of the working day for any sales person. This is especially the case if they are viewed as an obstacle rather than an opening. Here are some useful suggestions on how to handle objections effectively.

  1. Always try and ANTICIPATE objections in your presentation and COUNTER-OBJECT before the prospect gets the chance to use them. Too many sales people wait until objections come along. This makes more hard work that is often not necessary with efficient script planning.
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  3.  Never rush your response to an objection. STOP and REFLECT. Show the customer you are listening! Sales people often respond too quickly in these situations. This will often create friction with the client which could also be avoided.
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  5.  Repeat the objection back to the customer. This will buy you time and it will also show that you are interested in what they have to say. It’s a good idea to say the same thing but with slightly different wording. It just sounds a bit more natural and less construed.
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  7.  Remember that objections are often a “BUYING SIGNAL” because the customer is questioning your offer. If they had no interest, why would they still be talking to you? Watch out for an objection that is followed by another question! This is another sign that the customer is interested even though their “tone” may not make it that obvious.
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  9.  Ask the customer if they are interested if you think that their objection is just a SMOKESCREEN. Smokescreen objections can be a real time waster for sales people and unfortunately even the more seasoned professionals can fall into this trap. Some clients can feel overpowered by a confident sales person and there only escape is to create a “false objection” A simple way to eradicate this type of problem is by further probing in order to make sure that the objection is genuine.
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  11.  Remember that statistically speaking 3 OBJECTIONS are needed before a person will buy. How many sales people give up after the first or second objection without realizing that this person would have bought if they had persisted a little more? This can be particularly the case when a sales person is experiencing a “Bad Patch”
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  13.  Objections are part and parcel of the Sales Process. Don’t let them stop you from reaching your goals. Yes it’s true that objections can be a form of unwelcome distraction but the true professional doesn’t let them ever get in the way of end goals.
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  15.  LISTEN carefully to objections. They often hold valuable clues about the client’s needs and PAIN. An objection can often reveal important information that is often worth noting because even if the customer doesn’t buy on this occasion you may know what buttons to press the next time you speak to them.
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  17.  The better you explain your offer, the less objections you will hear! It’s important to articulate your presentation in a way that the prospect clearly understands what you’re on about. This will help to avoid objections that arise from not clearly understanding what you have said.
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  19.  Wouldn’t selling be boring if people never objected? This may appear strange at first but I actually think some customers enjoy the “bartering element” of buying and sales people should be fully aware of this. In my career I’ve often been congratulated for my persistence. I sometimes imagined that the client hated me by the time we were closing the deal. The reality was often very different in that they actually complimented my stamina and will to overcome all the obstacles that stood in the way.
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Remember that attitude plays a huge part when handling objections. It’s never about winning a battle of minds. “Think solution and use an agreeing tone rather than a contrasting one!”

Are you interested in selling Verizon Wireless services? Call us at (855) SELL-VZW or fill out the form below.  We look forward to talking to you soon!

Please join our mailing list. We will send you updates and specials, but know that we will not abuse this right.