Effective Selling Can't Occur Until Salespeople Perfect This

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 @ 07:06 AM

So much is written about consultative selling and the huge part it plays in the world of modern sales.  However, talking about consultative selling and actually selling consultatively are two entirely different things.  Actual consultative selling requires that salespeople ask good, tough, timely questions, and when appropriate, challenge and push back.  Most salespeople simply cannot do that, not because the questions are so difficult, but because the questions cannot be scripted in advance.  A salesperson's follow-up questions nearly always should be derived from a prospect's most recent response and that's where the challenge usually begins.  In today's article, we discuss five examples of what salespeople must do to sell more effectively.

Listening.  Many salespeople aren't even capable of stage 1 listening skills.

Here's an example.  Today, I was listening to the radio and for the very first time, I actually heard the words to songs I enjoyed when I was younger.  Back then, I felt and heard the music - the notes and chord changes - but never quite caught the words.  I'm one of those people who sings songs with all the wrong words.  So, why did I hear the words today yet not when I was younger and listening to the very same songs, over and over, many times each week?  Stage 1 listening skills.  I have developed them quite nicely over years, but did not have those skills back then.  Most salespeople have not developed those skills either.

Unselfish.  We live in a self-centered world and for many salespeople, it's very difficult to focus non-stop on what someone else is saying without thinking of themselves for the entire length of a sales call.  Until salespeople can focus on someone else, they won't hear all of what their prospects are really telling them.

Curiosity.  Salespeople must ask their prospects to tell them more about what they are hearing, but salespeople think they know what their prospects mean, so they rarely ask prospects to explain anything.

Patience.  Salespeople can't wait to talk about what they sell and how it helps.  As a result, they avoid asking more questions because it delays their presentations, demos, proposals and quotes - things in which they have confidence and believe they do effectively.  Salespeople must slow down, dig in and go deeper and wider with their questioning.

Counting Higher - Similar to impatience, salespeople tend to believe that they are selling consultatively when they have asked a few questions.  The reality is, until about 50 questions have been asked, a salesperson isn't close!  This isn't 50 scripted questions where one simply goes down a list.  This is 50 thoughtful, spontaneous follow-ups to perhaps one, or maybe two opening questions which were asked by the salesperson in the first five minutes.

Perhaps these examples will help you think of some areas in which your selling skills have tremendous room for improvement.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, sales management, Sales Coaching, sales competency

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,800 Articles

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile

Subscribe 

Receive new articles via email
Subscribe
 to the Blog on your Kindle 

 

 

Most Recent Articles

Awards

Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

MVP2018_badge_winner_SPC

Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Individual Blog -  Silver

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver


Top Sales Awards 2018 - Assessment Tool -  Gold

 2016 Top Sales & Marketing Individual Blog - Bronze

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blog 2019

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers

Top100Strategic

Top100SalesInfluencersOnTwitter



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs

 

Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader