The current pandemic situation has posed several challenges for IT sales. A good number of IT companies are finding that what worked efficiently before is not effective now. Hence, consultative selling is getting more attention. You need to know what it is all about and the different steps involved. During the initial stages, the concept can be found to be somewhat intimidating.
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Know the 8 steps of consultative selling
1. Get to know what is not involved with this aspect: It does not involve product or solution selling. It helps connect clients about different business issues by conversing with them. Your contacts may be interested to discuss and hence, will come to you, treating you as a peer. Simply relax to chat with others to share valuable ideas.
2. Ask questions about your client’s business: Do some research to know some business issues faced by your clients. You can discuss topics related to your client’s business issues.
3. Instead of focusing on selling, get comfortable with clients: Experts recommend entrepreneurs not to discuss business all the time. Rather share ideas and discuss other related topics. Stop worrying about pushing sales.
4. Recommendations to clients should not always be on things that your company is eager to sell: Recommendations provided should not always relate to your offered solutions. Perhaps, trying to solve your client’s issues may end up sending them to another business or solve on their own. Although you may not have any sales today, you are likely to develop a relationship of trust. This way, your clients will seek your assistance to discuss issues faced in the future. It can help increase your sales.
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5. Stop worrying if you are not aware of solutions pertaining to your customer’s queries. Either you know more or need to access the right places to seek crucial information. If you have other customers belonging to the same industry, you can know how they solve such problems effectively. You can provide suggestions accordingly to help your client to take such an approach.
6. Lack of confidence: This can perhaps be your biggest obstacle. At times, most technology sales executives tend to freeze on the consultative selling They may simply be worried about not having the right answer to their client’s queries. Industry experts consider this to be a major obstacle faced by companies and sales executives trying to make such transitions.
7. It is rather a collaborative procedure requiring you to identify the solutions together. You need to help your client to know what type of returns they can expect on a particular project. You also need to show what productivity gains they can enjoy. In IT, this particular aspect can be quite tough. But this is the right approach to take if your client prefers analytical information. It will make sense to emphasize productivity gains. If your client takes a strategic focus towards a problem, you do not have to offer a similar analytical information level.
8. Be prepared for a much longer sales cycle. Avoid getting surprised in case, your sales cycle remains the same. Sales managers share a major concern while switching over to this particular approach is increased sales time. Sales consulting clients may expect consultative selling to take a longer sales cycle. When facing issues, clients are likely to consult you and be prepared to take immediate action as suggested.
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You need to understand that it is about them and not about you. When other sales types are taken into consideration, a consultative approach involves low pressure. You should try to help your clients by providing suggestions although there are no sales involved now. You can expect sales to happen in the near future. Following the above 8 steps of consultative selling can help you to succeed in your business.