Keep Your Clients Close
In the cutthroat world of sales, having an edge is crucial. After all, anyone can dole out an attractive price tag. So, how can you stand out? One way is through consultative selling—a method that requires the salesperson to connect with potential clients on a deeper level by identifying and fulfilling their needs.
To learn more, Print+Promo spoke to Paul Kiewiet, MAS+, chief storytelling officer for Brandkiwi, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Linda Bishop, president of Thought Transformation, Atlanta. Here are five ways to build solid business relationships with clients, and move toward better sales.
1. Know the technique
In order for salespeople to perfect the art of consultative selling, they first need to have a firm grasp of how it works.
For Kiewiet, problem-solving is at the core of the process. "Consultative selling is an approach to selling where the salesperson focuses on getting to know the client's company and its challenges and problems, and then creates and recommends solutions specifically to solve their problem," he explained.
Bishop encouraged salespeople to dig deeper and identify problem areas that others may not consider. "Some needs are obvious, some are not," she said. "When needs are not obvious, better selling skills are required in order to help the client understand the implications of their current situation, and why improvement benefits them. These deeper conversations take consultative selling skills."
2. Set goals
Bishop warned that one of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make is reaching out to prospects without a clear goal. "They don't really know what they want to achieve," she said. "They don't have a plan to achieve it. And they don't stay focused on getting a follow-up visit, which is usually required unless you are lucky enough to be selling a product that sells with only one meeting."