I reached out to my network for their thoughts on the Consultative approach vs. the Commodity sale… Here’s the feedback…
Click Here for the del.ici.ous bookmark to my linkedin question.
It was great to receive everyone’s input. Much appreciated… Let’s hope this dialogue stays afloat – feel free to drop a comment here if you like to add your 2 cents.
I’m looking back on these ideas as an attempt to build a new sales methodology, or a new idea on how sales can function into today’s marketplace. Of course, as several contributors pointed out – everything depends on what you sell, what industry you’re in… everything always depends on something, but something always has to start somewhere…
My focus is on re-thinking the entire sales approach. Almost every “sales process” out there now is positioned from a seller-centric POV, but the trouble is that sales has become a buyer-centric reality.
When sales people get frustrated by specific elements of the sales process, it’s usually due to the fact that they are still “pitching” and “selling” to prospects. Selling is no longer something that happens “to” a prospect, but “with”… and this is proof of the buyer-centric world of today. Selling, when done at it’s best is a process of helping someone get what they value, of acting as an agent or broker of services to leverage what your company can do for the prospect.
It’s not just the latest and greatest idea from sales trainers – its based on a key facets of human nature:
People value what they think more than what they are told.
By helping prospects arrive at their own conclusions and by involving your prospects in the sales process itself, you leverage their buy-in and participation. Doing this automatically sets you apart from your seller-centric competition. You simply operate differently.
In a time of increasing commodification of products and services, the subjective concept of value has migrated away from product – and now resides in the seller. Too many sales people don’t recognize that shift yet, and therefore fail to provide value despite their best efforts to do so.
It’s not so much what you sell – but how you sell it.