Are you wondering what consultive selling questions you can ask to sell? I have a consultive selling process that I teach that shows you how to learn about your customer, uncover business problems he cares about and motivate him to buy. Here’s the process.
It’s as simple as A,B,C and D. Consultative selling starts with what you know ABOUT (A) your customer. Rather than learn about your customer during the sales call, prepare before the meeting by reading their annual report or checking out their web site. Don’t waste your questions with acquiring basic information. A good opening question can allow your customers to talk comfortably about their business.
The next step is to find out what’s BAD (B) at the account. When things are going well, customers see no need to change so a sale is less likely to occur. If something can be improved or better yet, needs to be improved, there is a higher probability of a sale. A question like “And is that working as well as you’d like?” on an area your customer mentioned can uncover the problem areas.
Next develop CONSEQUENCES (C) of the bad situation. Figure out what the problems are costing your customers. If lack of performance skills is the problem, the consequences could be downtime, higher employee costs from turnover, lost sales or decreased customer satisfaction. A good Consequence questions is “How is (the problem) impacting your business?” Try to quantify the consequence. You can later demonstrate your value by showing how you can reduce the cost of the consequence.
The last step is DESIRE (D). You must make your proposed solution desirable so your customer feels a sense of urgency to implement the solution and buy from you. Desirability can be demonstrated by showing how the benefits from the solution far outweigh the costs to implement.
Delivering a value-driven message rather than a product-driven message will be better received at higher levels in an organization. Given the choice of selling to a buyer, a Purchasing Manager, or a Plant Manager, always choose to sell at the highest management level. Remember, the higher you sell, the better prepared you must be with knowledge about your customer and the value of your solution.
That means you have to be prepared to ask thoughtful selling questions and know how much the problems are costing your customer in consequences. Your consultative selling strategy will be best received at the highest levels. At higher levels, the scope of management’s responsibilities allows them to see their company’s broader needs.
You will certainly shorten your sales cycle when you know your ABCs (and Ds) to ask your customers questions to sell. Even better, you’ll guide your customer to buy.