The heart of consultative selling is dispassionate diagnosis.
How the Diagnostic Step Goes Wrong
In my role as sales coach, I listen to thousands of hours of recorded sales calls which I use like game film in sports.
I hear salespeople with all levels of consultative sales.
Amateur salespeople try to control when they pitch and use hard closes. They try to control situations and people, but when they try to exert control, the buyer feels it and resists.
Experienced sales pros, know to ask questions, rather than pitching. But if our intent is to get the buyer to a predetermined place, we ask may ask leading questions.
As we review game film, it becomes obvious that when we try to lead them, they resist.
This is not really consultative selling, either.
The key to consultative selling is detachment from the outcome. Rather than trying to guide the buyer to a specific conclusion, a diagnostic should be dispassionate.
In order to achieve this level of consultative sales skill, you might think of it as trying to achieve what the Buddha called NO MIND.
You are not thinking of your next question, you are not thinking of persuading the buyer, you are not telling them anything and you are not wondering if they like you.
If you are detached from the outcome, you execute the diagnostic process and listen.
I know it’s hard to be detached when your manager is breathing down your neck and your sales funnel is not as full as you’d like. But the more you need make your number, the more you need to focus on the buyer’s numbers.
The key to consultative selling is: Be detached from the outcome.
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