Consultative Selling Techniques Explained

Once upon a time doing business was fairly simple, contracts were confirmed with a handshake and advertising was limited to newspapers and the occasional sign painted on a roadside barn. Now those old ways seem quaint as engaging in commerce grows more complicated every day.  One of the terms you may have heard bandied about in today's sophisticated business world is consultative selling, but what exactly is it?

Consultative selling is basically a sales approach based on fostering trusting relationships with clients in a way that gives them the opportunity to share their desires and requirements in a meaningful way. Sales agents who undergo consultative selling training learn to engage their clients with interactive dialogues that explore their lifestyles and preferences in order to find solutions to meet their requirements. The sales agent takes on an advisory capacity to pinpoint their client's unique needs rather than to try to sell them a specific product.

Let's explore the benefits of this innovative approach to selling:

  • Authenticity -Rather than just pushing a product through rote sales spiels, the consultative selling process is focused on providing clients with solutions that feel more authentic to them, engendering a sense of trust that can lead to a more successful buyer-seller relationship. The relationship is conducted on a much more personal level than many other modern marketing methods can achieve.
  • Strong Connections -  Your clients have a set of problems that they hope to solve by investing in your company's goods or services. These become the focus of interactions, removing any of the adversarial feelings that aggressive sales strategies can cause, making the relationship feel like you are both on the same team with the client's success as the goal.
  • Understanding -  The simple act of listening leads to a greater understanding between the sales agent and their client, creating a higher level of trust that is beneficial to discovering solutions that are beneficial to both parties.
  • Answering Questions -  The consultative selling approach gives the sales agent a clear window into their client's unique perspective which facilitates finding answers to their questions efficiently and effectively. When the client's questions are answered in such an insightful fashion the buyer's confidence is increased manifold.
  • Determining Requirements - The intimate knowledge of background and perspective the sales agent has gleaned from the client via the consultative selling approach is invaluable when predicting the requirements needed for speeding up the timeline and increasing the value of an upcoming potential sale.
  • Facilitates Conversation - The shared knowledge the consultative selling approach facilitates plenty of useful conversation points to use in the discussion that will steer the interaction toward a profitable outcome.
  • Effective Sales Process - As the consultative selling trained sales agent draws out more information from the client they have built trust with, the keys to closing the deal are revealed resulting in a sale in which everyone feels satisfied.

The Australia Department of Employment and Workplace Relation's website offers information that may be of use to anyone interested in modern sales techniques. We hope this article has brought you a greater understanding of consultative selling techniques and how they can help your business.

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