Using the Consultative Approach to Gaining Sales
What do we mean by a consultative approach?
When you hear the word "salesman", it usually brings to mind someone that is pushy and will not take no for an answer. If you stated you were in sales with a prospective client, it would likely turn him off. Yet, all businesses rely on their sales force to bring dollars into the firm. It is the sales force that makes the company run as there would be no inflow of cash without them. So how do you attack such an image problem? Actually the answer lies in the approach that you take when networking. Your job, even though it may be sales, is to act as a consultant and try to find the perfect fit for the client. This approach is called consultative selling and it works very well for anyone that tries it.
This leads back to the idea of pricing your services based on value rather than an hourly rate. The follow-up portion of this method is actually the key to its success. The follow-up needs to be planned and time needs to be spent caring for the customer. It is not something you throw in to make the sale.
You will need to record any discussions on how the follow-up process will work for you. A planned set of dates should be written down on your power page and then entered into your CRM software for milestone triggering. If you promise anything to the customer, write it down, put it in your calendar, and follow-through with your promises. Nothing turns clients off more than being ignored.