Become A Sales “Consultant” and Take the Hard Sell out of Selling.
Sales force unite! It’s time to put to rest all the ugly sales stereotypes we have heard for years. Labels like “con artist,” “pushy,” and “one-sided” simply don’t hold true for the majority of individuals whose common traits are quite redeeming. Assertive, creating and caring are much more fitting descriptions of salespeople.
The stereotypical hard seller is becoming a thing of the past. It’s time we thought of ourselves as consultants, advisors who prosper and derive personal satisfaction as well as financial success by meeting the needs of our clients. In the words of a very successful colleague, “The hard sell turns me off, to say nothing of how my clients feel. I think people are smart enough to know what they need and want.”
A Different Approach
A sales consultant answers the question, “How can I apply my strengths to satisfy customers’ needs?” In the words of Debra Turner, a top marketing executive for DHL Courier Co., a sales consultant “asks questions, they listen, they see, understand, and move their products, services and ideas into place to meet the goals of their clients.” Ultimately, discovering ways to serve people becomes the main concern. If the job is done right, you don’t have to “sell.”
Consulting leads you to assess and resolve the problems of your clients. Therefore, you must know your market. A sales consultant capitalizes on every opportunity to learn the product, market trends, clients’ industries and other pertinent information. Education in the form of trade magazines and seminars is a continuous investment.
According to Tim Hardy, account manager for XL Datacomp, Los Angeles, CA, “A lot of people in sales make the mistake of knowing just a little bit more than their clients do about the product.” This is short sighted. Assume that your clients have knowledgeable friends! The more you know, the easier time you will have making sales because people will have faith in your words. “Knowledge is power!”
Consider your education a dual- purpose venture. You must study to be competitive but also to become passionate about your field of endeavor. Passion comes from knowing something so well that it becomes yours. Without passion, you can’t be consultative. In her book Selling on the Fast Track, Kathy Arronson, executive director of Sales Athlete, Beverly Hills, CA, expresses passion in finding educated solutions for her clients.
“The ability to solve problems creatively comes first from preparing yourself thoroughly by gathering all the information available to help you reach your goal, then by sorting or editing that information and using it to develop a fresh idea that best fits the needs of your clients’ prospects. If you do this, you’ll find that the fun of work is solving problems.
At JPA International, Inc. we feel that the consultative orientation sheds positive light on the seller throughout the entire selling process. Buyers don’t want to be intimidated or pressured into spending money on something they don’t need. They want to be listened to and advised on how to come out ahead. The best way to show you care is to listen—a consultant never forgets this.
In the final analysis, a sales consultant meets with success for being the kind of seller who knows his or her business passionately, knows the virtue of his or her product, knows his or her customer and, most importantly, knows how to put all these together so that everybody wins!
Ask about our presentation of a five-part plan uses to sell services as an executive and leadership development consultant and coach. This is a step-by-step program. One step follows directly after the one before it.