Today, you’re going to hear more about how to go about Consultative Selling. What it is, how to get started with it, and how to really rock it without sounding like an FBI agent.
So I’m bringing Ryan Ayres on the show today to talk more about the consultative selling approach. Try to see if this is something you need to be doing to help you win more customers. Basically, it all boils down to giving clients real value and doing the things that stick to who you really are as a person.
Ryan Ayres is a business coach and virtual COO. He helps business owners who struggle with running their business be able to run their business better. Ryan gives “deep coaching,” which is a one-on-one (by referral or invitation only) coaching. Wherein what starts out as business really turns into some core things they work on together.
He is the host of Focus 53 Podcast where he dives into business processes and people talking about sales, the processes, and micro-processes around sales and running better businesses.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Ryan:
What is Consultative Selling?
Lead with value and your concern is wholly based on you becoming the person they know, like, and trust by being transparent, delivering great value, and prescribing fixes for them. The real, real value is when it doesn’t benefit you all the time because that allows them to trust you.
How consultative selling can benefit you:
- Give your customers a quick win on the consultative side.
This turns your customer’s perception of what you are from a salesperson into a trust advisor. When you assume this position for them mentally, you could be anything to them and ask you even questions outside of business because they trust you.
- Be true to yourself and be authentic.
People can sniff out when someone is being fake at a certain point in time. If you’re being that, they’re going to be on guard and you can’t add as much value to them as you want.
How do you get started with consultative selling:
- Do this early and often and don’t be a know-it-all.
Do consultative selling in nearly every conversation. Don’t be a know-it-all telling what the customer should do or not. Do it with best intentions.
- Get as much information as you can.
You’re not doing this to “leverage” it to try to find an in but because as much information as you can have, the better the conversation is.
- Understand why they allowed you to get on their calendar in the first place.
Find out through a series of questions what their true need, problem, or challenge is and work through how you can both solve it or the things around it that influence it.
- Being consultative means telling them instances of how you were able to solve a similar problem without mentioning your product or service.
Your clients want to hear how you’re going to fix your weeds, they don’t want to hear about your weed killer. When you offer solutions and things that they know aren’t yours, it builds that trust. Simply offer information and consulting services and be true to yourself.
- Be candid about it if you see you’re not a good fit.
Sometimes when you’re candid in not being a good fit, they may even adjust what they need to match what you provide. Now you’re switching roles as they’re trying to sell you on working with them.
- Have a cheat sheet or a guiding board.
Make a list of all the things you want to cover. Be careful not to be reading off a piece of paper as they may not necessarily like that.
How to be a consultative seller (without sounding like an FBI agent):
- It takes practice.
Be with people. Some people are naturally easy to talk to but if you think you’re not good at it, make sure you practice.
The key is talking about their weeds and problems and the things you’re doing in a way that your weed killer is not really the conversation and they forget where you’re from and what you’re selling.
- Have many entry points to get to those weeds vs. just pitching.
Hold the conversation with them on 5 or 6 or 10 different topics. It can be about the relationship side of the organization or their favorite football team.
Biggest pitfalls people make in consultative selling:
- Coming off as a know-it-all
When you act as if you have the answer to every problem they have, that turns people off.
- Not being prepared
- Not having a vetting process for your prospect.
Understand who you’re talking to before you just go in there and let it rip. Again, you just don’t give the weed killer to the weeds they don’t want you to look at in the first place. Let them lead you to their problem and make sure you have your duck in a row.
Ryan’s Major Takeaway:
Make sure you do your research and that whatever you’re doing is really true to who you are. Whatever your approach is, make sure you feel good about it. You’ve done it, have taken some practice, leaned into your edge, and taken some practice swings.
Connect with Ryan through his website www.Focus53.com and check out Ryan’s Focus53 Podcast where he dives into business processes and people talking about sales, the processes, and micro-processes around sales and running better businesses.
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