Consultancy Selling Success
Every business is built around an expertise. Whether you are a law firm that represents employers in the workplace, a manufacturer of insulated clothing, a physician who owns her own practice, an office equipment vendor or a commercial radio station, what makes you valuable in the marketplace is your expertise.
The new way to garner sales begins with providing your prospect with your expertise for free. This makes the relationship something the prospect values, trusts and is then willing to spend money on.
It’s not enough to train sales people in prospecting and sales skills. They need product knowledge, product fluency, and consultancy communication skills.
The successful sales person is a consultant first, a seller later.
The first step to consulting is the diagnostic conversation. If this is handled well, it is in and of itself something of value to the prospect.
It consists of the sales person asking questions to get a clear idea of the prospect’s problems, needs, goals and wants in order to discover where there is a fit for what the salesperson’s company can do for that prospect.
Once that match has been discovered, it’s time to deliver some free advice based on the expertise of the company. For instance, if you are an attorney representing employers in the workplace, you might point out the ways that you currently see this prospect as vulnerable to legal challenge from an employee. Then the attorney can suggest specific steps to take for pro-active protection. This is what consultants do. They give advice.
This advice needs to be communicated in a way that the prospect regards as clear and practical. This requires consultancy communication training. Once the prospect demonstrates a clear understanding of the solution, it’s time to close the sale. You might do it this way: “So that is how to solve that problem that you have. My firm would be happy to do it for you, or you can find someone else to do it if you cannot do it on your own.” That’s it.
The prospect can then make the decision. But one decision the prospect has already made is that you are a valuable person to know, and a very generous and capable one at that.
The more free service you can provide, the more you prove your worth. At some point, when you have built up enough leverage, you can let the prospect know that if he wants more from you, he will have to pay. If he elects not to pay, simply walk away. You’ve created some “good karma” for yourself in the market place, and you have someone who will speak well of you to others, and leave it at that. But in all likelihood, a large percentage of the time the prospect will not want to see you go because you have already been helpful. He may even have come to the point of feeling dependent upon you.
Consultancy selling may require you to remain in contact with a prospect over a long period of time, through follow up emails or occasional calls. Make sure that each contact you have with the prospect provides something of value to the prospect. Sometimes just showing that you care is enough. But it’s best if you can include a piece of information that the prospect finds valuable.
You don’t always have to provide answers, though. A large part of effective consulting is about simply helping the “consultee” gain clarification of his or her situation. A really good diagnostic conversation accomplishes that.
So at least as important as having the right answers is asking the right questions. As you help your prospect gain clarity about his situation you are providing a valuable service.
So to be the most effective at selling as you can be, develop your consulting skills. Clearly understand the expertise that makes your business so special and effectively share it with those who will find value in it. What makes my business special is my consultancy expertise.
Accelerate the success of your own sales efforts or of the sales people who work for you by engaging my Sales Coaching For Revenue Growth Accelleration. Call 404-297-4043 or email for more information.