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What is Consultative Selling?

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Consultative selling is a phrase that has been around for a while and is used by many sales professionals still do this day.

However with the increase of key terms in sales such as social selling consultative selling is falling down in the pecking order of sales techniques and yet should still be considered as one of the biggest and most effective sales tactics available. And some may argue that consultative selling is the foundation of social selling anyhow.

In a nut-shell, consultative selling is the act in which a sales person plays the role of a consultant. The sales person will assist the buyer and to help then to identify their needs and will then act to satisfy those needs where possible. It is really as simple as that.

Consultative selling is the back bone that all sales people should be using in their sales process no matter how long that cycle is. Historically consultative selling has been reserved for longer sales processes and larger purchases in which the sales person can have more patience and develop a stronger rapport with their prospect. However, I am a firm believer that consultative selling can also be very beneficial for smaller sales cycles including retail sales.

You see, no consumer ever wants to feel like just another target. No consumer wants to feel like a number. They want to feel like they well looked after, appreciated and that they have also received the best possible product or service for their investment.

So how do you become more of a consultative seller?

Be Curious

The best way to sell to anyone is to ask plenty of questions and to remain curious. Just for a second, think back to the last time you went to the doctors. The chances are you did not walk into the consultation room and have the doctor take one look at you and proceed to trying to offer you a medicine that is on offer at that moment in time: “Ahh, I know what you will like! This new Trazapan Potion is on offer right now and is guaranteed to make you better!” It doesn’t work like that does it. They ask questions. They probe. They test. They ensure that they understand your needs and desires way before they offer you something.

Asking more questions in the sales process is a sure-fire way to increasing your sales and working as more of a consultative seller!


It is all well and good asking questions but be sure to understand your buyer’s needs. Do not be afraid to ask further questions to help you clarify, and do not feel embarrassed to admit you need time to research or think of a solution for their needs; this will only help to develop a stronger rapport.

The majority of the time, your buyer may not fully know what he or she actually wants. By being a consultant, and by working hard to understand your buyer you will be able to guide your prospect through the sales process and find the right solution to the problem.

Mirror Your Prospect

Everyone is different. And as we mentioned in last weeks article regarding naked butlers, it is important to know that no two people are the same and that you have to adapt your pitch to your buyer. Just because a certain script or a certain way of talking to someone worked for some sales does not mean it will work for everyone.

Take the time to care for each and every single one of your prospects, treat them as individuals and you will soon find that you will become a consultative seller in next to no time!

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