Consultative Selling Fills an Important Gap for Buyers
© 2007 Paul Johnson. All rights reserved.
The nature of your buyer is an important factor to consider when determining if Consultative Selling is the right approach for you. Specifically, consider your buyer's frequency of purchase. The less frequently they purchase the type of products or services you sell, the more appropriate it is to use a consultive sales approach.
For example, consumers may wait years or even decades between purchases of homes, insurance policies or automobiles. Company acquisitions of furniture or computer network upgrades may also span long gaps of time. Consultative Selling is often the appropriate approach to take with these buyers.
Conversely, a consultive approach does not typically fit selling situations for products or services bought every day. Necessities and entertainment options like groceries, movie tickets or sporting events are some examples.
Frequent buyers are experienced buyers who make it a point to keep their finger on the pulse of the market. They don't have any substantial gaps in knowledge that would require bringing in an expert -- a consultant -- to assist them with the purchase. The buyer at Macy's who selects the men's clothing line is an expert in that market because they immerse themselves in those purchasing decisions on a daily basis. They're not receptive to working with a sales consultant because they believe they have enough expertise to make good decisions all by themselves.
On the other hand, infrequent purchasers tend to have knowledge gaps, and they know it. They're more likely to appreciate the salesperson who helps them understand what they don't know and shows them how to make a good selection in the current market environment. The consultive salesperson brings the expertise the infrequent buyer lacks and applies it for the benefit of the buyer.
Use Consultative Selling with infrequent buyers and be the expert who fills their knowledge gap.