The consultant’s sale

Selling is the process of converting a prospects world view to yours. If you sell digital marketing, your goal is for your prospect to accept they need digital marketing. If you sell printer paper, your goal is for your prospects to agree that they need printer paper. If you sell image recognition and person detection, your goal is for your prospect to recognize that they need image recognition and person detection.

There are two ways to achieve this. The first is not to tell the whole story, withhold information, avoid some specific questions and give broad answers. The other is to seek out those who need your digital marketing, your paper or your image and person detection. Here, most advice talks about showing value, educating and following-up. The truth is most of those tasks are the marketers. The job of sales is to sell. And you sell by having a product that meets the needs of your prospect, not by educating them.

How do you determine needs? You ask.

I just sat through what turned out to be a consultative selling call. Consultative selling is more about figuring out your prospect’s need. If your prospect needs x, y and z and your product offers x, y and z, ultimately there’s no real reason your sale won’t close. The only reason is you haven’t spent enough time figuring out if she needs x, y and z.

If your lead keeps saying they want a, b and x, and you keep presenting x, y and z, that’s when sales fall through. The only next step, in this case, is understanding why they say a and b. In many cases, they might need x and y.

All theoretical of course, but after being on the receiving end of a consultative call, theory gets close to reality.