Consultative Selling Solves the Puzzle Your Product Can't
© 2007 Paul Johnson. All rights reserved.
Consultative Selling is often a good fit for selling environments where the nature of the offering is complex.
Providing prospects with too many product choices can stifle the purchase process. Examples could include expansive store displays of eyeglass frames or athletic shoes to try on, or pages and pages of potential stocks to invest in. Consultative Selling helps the buyer choose the right option (or the right combination of options) to satisfy their singular purchase objective.
In a way it's like picking stars out of the galaxies in the sky. Sometimes selecting a star is simple. For example, if I'm at a sporting event and I'm thirsty for water, finding a "star" is easy. The concession stand will offer me one brand of bottled water in one size at their price. Either I buy it or I don't. A consultive approach will not serve the buyers or sellers at the concession stand.
In contrast, a consultative salesperson will be appreciated by buyers making investment decisions. Investment options are almost as numerous as stars in a galaxy. Selecting the right star, or combination of stars is made difficult by the complexity. Mutual funds have attempted to reduce this complexity by bundling together stocks, or stars, that meet certain criteria. These individual funds are similar to constellations, even though they're not called the Big Dipper or Southern Cross stock funds.
The consultive salesperson uses their familiarity with the galaxy of choices available to recommend selections so the buyer can make a satisfactory purchase decision in a reasonable amount of time. The seller's comprehensive understanding of the choices available and their workable combinations can be invaluable to the prospective purchaser.
If your product represents a simple choice for a single use, a consultive approach is likely to be inappropriate. The more complex available choices become, the better Consultative Selling will serve you and your customer.