What is consultative selling? Basically, it's the sales approach you're introduced to in this website/blog, and our books.
Consultative selling, is marked by three factors:
First, the sales person's focus is on the prospect's needs, rather than on the product or service.
Second, to find what the prospect's needs or objectives are, the sales person asks the right questions, and listens --- really listens --- to the responses. ("Really listens" means not just half-listening to hear some way of pouncing back in and taking over the discussion.)
What kinds of questions does an effective consultative salesperson ask?
First, the questions that his or her experience has proven to be relevant to the product or service they offer.
Second, questions that open up new ways of thinking about problems and about fresh solutions to those problems and needs.
Third, the consultative sales person, having asked good questions and absorbed the prospect's responses, then --- as would a good management consultant --- proposes a sound, cost-effective way of filling the needs that turned up.
Sometimes it turns out that this prospect does not really need anything the consultative sales person has to offer, but so be it. The honesty in saying so helps build the kind of credibility that can pay off in the longer term, either with prospect later, or with someone they refer.
Next post: Why consultative selling is a powerful sales approach, in both the immediate and longer term