Sales Training Tips: Be a Consultant
Career Path : Business
One of the most powerful sales techniques that anyone can use is to take the role of a consultant with potential and current customers. Rather than a traditional pitch, or the non-specific free content of giveaways to draw customers in, instituting consultative selling programs focus on building a relationship with the customer and letting them express their desires in a way that makes the pitch fit the need. This is especially helpful in securing large scale purchases or building lasting client relationships. The latter is relevant whether you are a supplier to a major corporation or a retail clerk with a single client.
Good consultants are knowledgeable about their product. Theyâve taken the time to know all the features, but also the âoff licenceâ and non-standard uses for the product, as well as a good understanding of the competitors, so they know they can reliably argue for why their product is better. Sales coaching should also teach standard customer service skills like empathy and active listening, to get a potential client talking. Unique to this technique, you also shouldnât be afraid to discuss your product or serviceâs defects and draw backs. While negativity is not a good thing, an honest appraisal makes the sales person appear more trustworthy and their advice reliable.
Consultative selling programs are particularly popular in car sales. With few people completely aware of the functioning and merits of different makes of cars, and a dizzying array of statistics, car dealership employees must take on the role of educator, helping customers who may know little more than their favourite paint colour. In another example, sales training for employees selling items for interior decoration or fashion arenât just tasked with pushing the latest trends, but also making sure that items are a good fit, whether matching sturdy furniture to someoneâs busy lifestyle or helping someone pick out work appropriate clothes in flattering cuts and colours.
Sales coaching can also be given to people with an existing consultative role. If youâre already seen as an expert, for example someone who provides technical support or the teller in a bank, youâre in a good position to recommend hardware upgrades and software packages, or financial services such as bank branded credit cards or investments. In this case bringing in consultative selling programs involves working in the opposite direction, teaching sales skills to compliment expertise.
The advantage of this method is that, done right, customers do not find it pushy or aggressive. Itâs also good for employees who are skittish about taking on a sales role, as they will learn how this is just another way to help customers get what they want. Consultative selling programs are always honest and always look for ways to make the product fit the customer in a way that will diminish returns and cancelled deals while keeping them coming back.
Visit Fusion Learning Inc. for more information on sales training.