Zig Ziglar once said, “In order to achieve what you want in life, you must first help others in achieving what they want”. This quote has since been the mantra of every successful and would be salesperson. Gone are the days of a “didactic” selling approach, where the salesperson would feed information or instructions on a certain product or service he/she is selling, without first understanding the needs of the customer. In today’s business environment, customers want more than just assurances on how well your product or services is. Instead customers would want assurance on will you as a salesperson be able to understand and cater to my specific requirements, and whether can you as a salesperson provide him/her with something others can’t? This is where a consultative approach is needed in gaining the customer’s confidence and ultimately closing the sales.

Listed below are the six ways to an effective consultative sales approach:

1) Keep Your Introduction Short and Listen Actively
This is crucial in the first few minutes of the sales interaction as you want the set the proper expectations and first impressions. Do not ramble on about your product or service. After all, at this point, what could you possibly talk about? You have no idea if what you’re offering is of any use to your prospect.

2) Sell Through Questions and Show Excitement in Serving Your Client
Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Forget about trying to “sell” your product or service and focus instead on why your prospect wants to buy. To do this, you need to get fascinated with your prospect; you need to ask questions (lots and lots of them) with no hidden agenda or ulterior motives.

3) Speak To Your Prospects As You Would Do Normally
There’s never any time that you should switch into “sales mode” jargons, clichés and tag lines. Affected speech patterns, exaggerated tones, and slow, hypnotic sounding “sales inductions” are never acceptable in today’s professional selling environments. Speak normally, (and of course, appropriately) just as you would when you’re around your friends and loved ones. Customers are creatures of feelings too.

4) Pay Attention to What Your Prospects Isn’t Telling You
Pay attention on whether your prospect seems rushed, agitated or upset?
Most salespeople are so concerned with what they’re going to say next that they forget there’s another human being involved in the conversation.

5) Only After Correctly Assessing Your Prospects Needs, Do You Offer Your Products
By now, you should have a good understanding on your prospects needs in relation to your products and services. Knowing this and having built trust and rapport you know should gain a commitment of closure from the prospect.

6) Gain a Commitment of Action From Your Client
This principle obliterates the need for any “closing techniques” because the ball is placed on the prospect’s court. You don’t want the prospect to be reminded that he or she is dealing with a “salesperson.” You’re not a salesperson; you’re a human being offering a particular product or service. And if you can get your prospect to understand that, you’re well on your way to becoming an outstanding salesperson.

Ken Ng
CEO/Senior Managing Consultant