Educate Buyers with a Consultative Style, and Win the Sale
Sales professionals are finding it more difficult to wow their prospective buyers. In todays sales environment, everyone can provide pretty much the same thing, the only item left to differentiate you from your competitors is price. So the price war begins and the only winner is the buyer. You can have all the sales, but if you have no profit margin, what did you gain?
Buyers today do not want to hear about how you can provide the best service, quality, etc. While these are important, they are expectations, not benefits. So how do you get ahead of the game, without taking a loss? Discover your value and provide insight for the buyer. Sales professionals that sell in this way master the art of winning sales. This is especially true in complex sales.
The way to achieve this consultative approach is to know their business better than they do. Similar industries suffer from similar pains. If you find a way to provide value that leaves them thinking about their business differently, they will look at you differently as well. Find a way for your product or service to fit into their solution that know one else has.
Get inside the business by doing research on the company as well as their competition. Interview your prospects and be as curious as they will allow. If you want the sale, do your homework. Know their business and provide them with overall value by asking relevant questions to uncover their needs.
Think of yourself as a consultant looking for ways to improve their business. They have seen and heard all of the reps come in and give their pitch. But you are different. Look at their business in a different light, examine their needs, and are provide insights to what you have found in their industry. This consultative approach increases your value, and will give you instant credibility across all selling channels.
Providing value can take many forms. While your priority is to align your product or service to meet their needs, providing insight in other areas of the business separates you from the competition and aligns you with the buyer. For a physicians office, offering the latest ICD 10 information could be of value. A hospital may be interested in the latest trends in reimbursement, a business may want to know what cost savings they can receive by streamlining processes. Business may find information about emerging competitors in their market to be of value.
When presenting, you should have "unique value" that separates you from the competition. If the buyer is indecisive, ask them to tell you more about what concerns them, and provide them with answers, as well as client testimonials. If the buyer is still indecisive, make a case for what could happen if no decision, or the wrong one is made. Do not be afraid to point out what you think their business needs are, and why you are the best choice to fill them.
This is assertive selling with a consultative approach. Providing "value added" information shows you know their business needs and the challenges they face. Great sales people build rapport, know their customers business, uncover their needs, provide tailored solutions, and educate through consultative selling. Sales professionals that have mastered this technique are more valuable than ever before. Sell with an educational, consultative style, and get an A+ on your next review.