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12 Great Selling Skills! Selling Based on Consulting

12 Great Selling Skills

Chapter 5: Selling Based on Consulting

What you get from achieving your goals is not as important

as the person you become

by achieving those goals. – Wolfgang Von Goethe

The most successful

and highest-paid professional salespeople are those

who are positioned in the minds of their clients as a friend,

a mentor,

and a consultant.

Sales consulting is more

than simply developing good relationships with customers.

It requires you to position yourself as someone

with enough experience

and insight

to help customers satisfy their needs.

Approaching sales

by consulting will help you move to the top of your field.

It is a valuable

and indispensable tool in handling complex transactions,

where many factors are involved

and competition is a key factor.

While experience

and knowledge are key factors

in consulting sales,

the process starts with your appearance.

If you don’t look professional,

you’ll never convince your clients

that you’re really their best option,

the one who can help them solve their problems.

“97% of the people who quit to soon are employed by the 3% that never gave up.” – Anonymous

************

The importance of images

Everyone is extremely concerned about the image issue.

95% of the first impression you make on people

is determined by your clothes.

That’s because normally your clothes appear

on about 95% of your body.

My father is a carpenter.

The only suit

I had as a kid was a cheap suit rented

from a local store

that I wore to my high school graduation,

even though I didn’t graduate.

I worked as a manual worker for a few years

and then got into sales.

Because I had no money,

I wore the same clothes day after day

as a salesman,

the clothes that I kept in the backpack

I always wore with me.

After completing a few transactions,

I was able to afford a better outfit,

but not much better.

I wear a shirt and wash it every night

under the inn’s pool faucet.

I have a dull brown tie.

The shoes were too big for me,

and it made my every step waddling,

not to mention a few holes in the inside.

This made no sense to me

until I realized

that it ruined my image every time

I approached a potential client.

When I was selling stocks for a mutual fund,

I bought a piece of clothing

so cheap that it looked like a pile of clothes.

My shirt doesn’t always look nice

and I don’t even know how to tie a tie.

However, I have always been patient in my work

and as a result I have sold more products

and made more money,

even if I looked terrible.

One day, a friend of mine politely asked me if

I was open to hearing feedback about my outfit

and appearance.

Fortunately, I am a very obedient student

and active in self-improvement.

When I told him I had no idea how

to dress appropriately for my job,

he told me to sit down

and give me a full explanation of the importance

of dress in building trust

and confidence in customers,

the different styles of clothing,

the ways to choose and combine the right clothes.

It was a really big turning point for me.

He took me to the tailor and arranged

for the tailor to make me a polite

and courteous suit,

one tailored just for me,

from initial assessment to choice of material

and Finally a complete and well-fitting suit.

Finally, when I tried on the clothes,

I was really surprised by my new look,

when compared to my previous appearance.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling

but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

****************

My sales skyrocketed.

I sell more and more products,

at higher and higher levels.

Very soon, I was selling to seniors,

even the presidents of larger and larger companies.

I got referrals and passed on from clients.

Soon after,

I became a sales manager,

recruiting and training consultants in six countries.

These days,

it seems most of us have moved

into the habit of dressing informally.

People wear jeans and even bras to work.

They wear shorts and flip flops.

They don’t bother to brush their hair

or shave properly.

They wear collarless

or unbuttoned shirts.

And when people dressed like this associate

with people dressed like this,

they get the general impression:

“everyone is dressed like us.”

But this is not true.

The most important factor in sales is credibility.

Credibility means that people trust and trust you

and believe that your product/service is good

them, that you will deliver on your promises

and do exactly what you say.

“If you believe it will work out,

you’ll see opportunities.

If you believe it won’t,

you will see obstacles.” – Wayne Dyer

***************

Trust is everything.

The reality is that people choose the clothes

they wear every day.

The clothes you choose to wear accurately

and thoughtfully represent who you are,

your personal image.

That outfit will tell the world,

“This is me!

This is the real me.

Love it or hate it!”

The key to dressing appropriately is pretty simple.

Let’s go back to the Law of Cause and Effect.

Look at the most successful

and highest-paid people in your field,

and imitate them.

In the neurolinguistics program,

it’s called “modeling”.

When you imitate someone in your field,

you will soon walk,

talk,

think,

and act the way they do.

And you’ll quickly get the same results they’re getting.

The second part of the image-building process

is dressing well and using jewelry.

The principle is very simple.

Dress like a winner,

like an expert,

like someone clients can trust for advice

because you look perfect every day.

“The difference between a successful person and others

is not a lack of strength,

not a lack of knowledge,

but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

***********

Qualities of a sales consultant

In the previous chapter,

we talked about customer perceptions

of the best salespeople in every field.

They describe the salesperson in terms like:

“He works for me,”

and “I consider her a consultant or a consultant,”

and “He really understands my situation. .”

Following your overall image,

especially on the first meeting

(the meeting is crucial

to whether you can get a second meeting with the client),

behavior or behavior

Your conduct creates the perception of you

as a trusted advisor or advisor.

Zig Ziglar once said,

If you want people to accept your advice,

dress like the people they used to listen to.”

To be seen as a consultant,

to be trusted,

you need to act like a consultant in everything you do.

Tell potential customers that you are a consultant,

not a salesperson.

Be well prepared before coming to meet with customers.

Ask good questions,

listen attentively,

and take careful notes.

And here’s the rule:

You can be cheerful,

smiling,

and approachable

when talking about common topics

of interest to your customers.

But as soon as you turn

to talk about your client’s problems,

needs,

and goals,

you need to immediately show seriousness,

caution, and attention.

You have to act as if you were a “sales doctor”

and the prospect (patient) has now started telling you

about the pain he is going through

and why he is here in your office.

“Ambition is the path to success.

Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley

***********

Three types of customers

Sales consulting requires you

to think of yourself differently

and position yourself differently in the description.

Especially in B2B sales,

you have to focus on the financial results

of your product/service

instead of focusing on price

or performance relationships.

Focusing on financial results is the difference

between consulting and selling.

It’s the difference

between a client seeing you

as a business advisor and seeing you

as a salesperson

who is solely focused on selling a product/service.

Customers are usually interested in one

of the following three factors:

At the lowest level,

customers care about the performance

of your product/service.

Will it work? Will it be effective?

Will it help me work better?

At the second level,

the customer is concerned with the price

and the execution of the best deal for the company.

This is no different than a sales manager interested

in how to get the best training

for his team at the lowest possible price.

Or whether you,

as a salesperson,

are interested

in whether sales training will effectively

help you increase your sales and income.

At the highest level of business,

decision makers will only be concerned

with the financial effects of a purchase

on their entire business.

My friend, Tony Parenello,

called this person “VITO”

(very important top officer).

When you talk to this type of person,

you describe everything about your product

from the eyes of a financial manager

and how your product/service will affect

and impact the bottom line of the company

and organization.

It seems that each of the three decision makers

above speaks a different language

in evaluating a product/service.

No matter which of those three people you talk to,

speak the same language

as the other person is speaking.

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face

in order to become successful.” – Zig Ziglar

**************

Do your homework

Solution flexibility in sales consulting

is your knowledge of the customer’s business process.

A doctor cannot give advice

or suggestions about prescriptions

or treatments without skipping the step

comprehensive examination,

detailed,

accurately determine the disease

that the patient is suffering.

Same in business.

You have to do your homework.

You must learn all you can about your client’s business

before suggesting a solution or course of action.

Remember the saying:

“Giving prescriptions

without accurate diagnoses is a crime.”

In selling to businesses,

you have to learn how deals are born.

What is the main product

that the client’s company is dealing in?

How much do they sell for?

What is the total sales?

What kind of business results do they prefer?

Then you should know the operating expenses of the company.

For every organization,

the relative cost of distribution will be different.

In some service businesses,

basic operating costs include salaries,

bonuses,

benefits, and income.

In other businesses,

it may be the cost of raw materials to produce a product.

In particular,

you need to know how the profits are collected.

What does the business need to do to make a profit,

and how can you provide your product/service

to increase profits for your customers?

Identify a customer problem

or opportunity based on the cash element.

Once you understand the source of sales,

costs and profits,

you will be able to provide specific help

or advice to improve the situation

in one or more of these areas.

If customers use or don’t use your solution,

how much will they make or lose?

Never forget that the greatest motivator

to drive the purchase of your product/service

is always improvement,

especially financial improvement.

“Cashflow is not bragging rights.

It’s financial freedom.” – Grant Cardone

***************

Be a financial improvement expert

Business people want to achieve one of two things.

They want to save or earn time and money.

They want to achieve this goal

as cost-effectively as possible,

which essentially means

that the cost of the solution should be less than the direct,

measurable benefits customers receive

and look for that solution.

The essence of B2B sales is decision making

that focuses on cost benefits.

Your initial goal is to discover a specific problem

that your customer is having

and that your product or solution can solve.

The starting point of this discovery process could be

as simple as asking the client,

“What are your current business goals,

and what keeps you from achieving them?”

Or you ask:

“What are the biggest problem you are facing

in the current market?”

“A little imagination combined with massive action goes a long way.” – Grant Cardone

***************

Take it slow, step by step.

Never assume that the first problem

or difficulty a customer describes is the real problem

or the most important one.

Let’s continue to ask other questions.

Please continue to explore,

search to be able to understand customers on a deeper level.

Once you have a clear understanding

of the problem your potential customer is facing

and what your product/service can solve,

your next goal is to uncover the cost of that problem.

You ask:

How much did that situation cost you?

When that problem arose,

how much did it cost your company?

Also, how much more money will you

and your company have

to lose if the problem persists?

At this stage, you are both a consultant

and a “problem detective”.

Are you looking for a problem

that can cost your customer so much that

the cost of your solution is

only a tiny fraction of the financial benefit the customer

can expect from using it?

your service.

Your job is to show the customer that,

for the money the customer has to spend

(the price of your product/service),

they will earn or save a certain amount of money

– in other words,

you indicate the financial benefit

of what you are offering.

In the simplest terms,

as a sales consultant,

you are a “financial improvement expert”.

You are looking for opportunities

where your solution can provide a tangible

and measurable improvement in financial terms

and the financial benefits the customer receives far outweigh the money,

that they have to spend to buy the solution.

Your products/services are just tools to achieve your goal

– the goal of improving your financial situation.

Most customers have very little interest in the details

of the solution you are presenting.

What they want to hear is the results,

benefits and impacts they can get

from implementing your solution.

Practice the 90/10 rule as a consultant or advisor.

Spend 90% of the time talking about the benefits

and results of the product/service you want to sell

and only 10% talking about your system or process.

This ratio also corresponds to the rate of interest

and interest in the customer’s mind in nearly all situations.

“Anyone who minimizes the importance of success

to your future has given up on his or her own chances of accomplishment

and is spending his or her life trying

to convince you to do the same.” – Grant Cardone

*************

Indicate expected rate of return

When the new computer came out,

when servers were a huge and expensive secret

to most businesses and organizations,

IBM devised a simple sales model to get billions of dollars

in revenue in the computer market.

Around the world.

That solution is called IRR

– Internal Rate of Return Solution.

IBM sales representatives/sales consultants

can develop a high-quality relationship

with customers,

based on the continuous development of a clear,

thorough understanding of the business processes,

and then ask the question:

“How much profit do you need to get

to borrow money to buy a new product/service?”

“Commit to the income,

not the problem.” – Grant Cardone

*************

That’s a great question!

If the company can borrow money at 5% a year on its line of credit,

or by issuing shares,

it needs to convince the company that if it uses the money

to buy products/services, you provide,

it will get a much higher profit,

15% for example.

So the IBM sales rep would say,

“If you can get a 15% profit margin

using one of the computers we offer,

you’d be willing to borrow money to buy it, right?

Based on our analysis of your business

and its growth and performance improvement,

as a result,

we can predict that this computer will achieve

a 25% internal rate of return.

This means that within just four years of use,

you will get back the money you spent buying it.

With an expected life of 10 years,

after four years,

he will have made 25% of his net profit,

after all expenses have been repaid,

on the investment in this computer.

How do you feel?”

When you can prove to customers

that the money they invest

to buy your product/service will quickly be repaid,

and then a net profit within a certain period of time

after the payback,

and the cost to borrow money to buy your product

is much less than the expected annual profit,

you hardly have to do anything other

than get ready to sell/ its services.

Each customer has four questions,

often unspoken,

that you need to answer in your sales pitch conversation.

************

Those four questions are:

1. What is its price?

Exactly how much will I have to pay to get your product/service?

2. How much will I get back?

Exactly how much money will

I get back from using your product/service?

3. For how long?

When will I get the financial results you promised?

4. Are you sure?

What do you have to prove that

I will definitely get the financial results you promise?

Those are the questions all customers ask.

What is its price?

How much will I get back?

In how long?

Are you sure?

Prepare an answer to each of the above questions in a way

that is really convincing to make the sale.

“To maintain your enthusiasm,

you have to make your goals substantial enough that

they keep your attention.” – Grant Cardone

*****************

Take responsibility for the results

One of the keys to making a B2B transaction is taking full responsibility

for implementing the solution

and getting the results you promised the client.

This approach will quickly replace the old model,

where consultants come in,

do their analysis,

give their report

and recommendations,

put the report down,

pick up their check,

they come up,

then leave,

usually never to see each other again.

Today, the largest management consulting firms in the world,

companies like Bain and McKinsey,

not only conduct thorough analysis

and provide solutions,

but they also take responsibility

for working

with the company

to implement that solution

in order to achieve the results they promised.

They always make it very clear

that what they offer

is “free, plus a profit.”

In consulting sales,

position yourself as a partner of the client.

Show that it’s a win-win relationship,

not a confrontation.

Focus on cooperation instead of competition.

Focus on collaboration

instead of confrontation.

Continue to use words like:

we, ours in your discussion.

For example, you could say,

“Based on what we’ve discussed,

I think what we’re facing is this.

And what we need to do is that.

Our biggest concern is this.”

“One of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful people is that

the former look for problems to resolve,

whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.” – Grant Cardone

***************

Position yourself

There are a number of keywords your prospects

and customers use to describe you

when they see you as a consultant,

not just a salesperson.

In all customer interactions,

you should find ways to demonstrate

and reinforce the following specific perceptions:

***************

1. Expert.

Clients love to work with people

who are truly experts in their specific problems,

needs and circumstances.

The more time you invest in learning

and understanding your client’s field

and giving them valuable ideas,

the more likely they will see you as an expert.

***************

2. One knowledgeable person.

By reading trade magazines,

using Google to search for keywords

and staying up

to date on the industry

in which you sell your products/services,

you can engage in conversations in smart about this field with customers.

***************

3. Advisor.

Instead of trying to sell or convince customers

to buy your product/service,

offer advice in the form of suggestions and recommendations

(“I think we should do this now…”).

***************

4. Friends.

The key to positioning yourself as a friend is

to genuinely love and care for your customers.

You have to be friendly and cheerful,

and you have to be able

to ask good questions and listen to the answers.

***************

5. Supporter.

As a facilitator,

you are constantly looking for ways

to help customers improve their situation,

often to reduce costs, increase profits,

and/or be more productive.

***************

6. Problem solver.

In the final analysis,

this is a complete description of your role in the customer’s mind.

Just like a doctor looks for symptoms and diseases,

as a “sales doctor”,

you look for problems

for which your product/service is an ideal solution.

**************

7. The person who specializes in asking questions.

The best consultants ask

at least twice as many questions as they make.

Sometimes all they do is ask questions.

Peter Drucker once said,

“I’m not just a consultant,

I’m an inducer.

I’m not giving advice,

I’m merely asking tough questions,

questions that force my clients

to think more clearly and in more detail.”

**************

8. The listener.

This is one of the best perceptions you can create in the minds

of your customers

and potential customers.

Through a lot of research,

we have found that the most successful salespeople are rated

as “excellent listeners”.

No great salesperson has ever been described as a “genius speaker”.

“Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.” – Grant Cardone

************

Do right

Positioning yourself

as a sales consultant is critical to your success.

You have to do it right in advance

by being well prepared.

Get to know your prospect’s company

before meeting them for the first time.

The first meeting is an extremely good opportunity for you

to prove that you are the type of person

that the client can completely trust and work with.

Be prepared with information

and ideas to work with customers to get more information.

For example, you could share an observation like:

“According to the research we’ve done,

the industry you’re in has undergone three major transformations:

This time,

that time,

and the other.

Other times.

Specifically,

how is your company positioned in each of these transitions?”

Build a win-win relationship with your customers.

Show your clients that you truly care about helping them

improve their Key Results Areas,

the areas that matter most to them,

and their specific location.

Always look for ways

to help customers achieve their goals

with your product/service.

And the way you do this,

always,

is to ask well-prepared questions

and then focus on listening to the customer’s answers.

Sales Consultants moves you

to a whole new position on the list of sales professionals.

It separates you from the competition

and constant controversies over cost,

price and performance.

When you focus your attention on showing your customers

how they can profit financially

from using your product/service,

you will achieve greater sales results

than any other, whatever results you’ve had before.

Position yourself as a person of authority

by educating your potential customers.

There may be a better way to build trust,

credibility,

and value transfer at the same time,

but no one has discovered that yet.

Find an opportunity

to educate your client on issues related to their job,

industry, or a new and relevant technology.

Your outstanding knowledge,

and the ability to share them,

will instantly make you valuable to your customers,

and a well-communicated lesson

can make your product/service more valuable,

you become indispensable.

I used to sell technology products

in a very competitive environment

where the only difference was the time

I spent communicating best practices

to clients about their current situation areas

in which they are active and strategic.

When you help your customers realize

the benefits your product/service can bring,

they will buy your total solution:

your product,

your company,

and yourself.

Here are some basic guidelines

that can help you change the conversation

for the sake of selling

your item:

1. Tell them a story about your company.

The word that makes the most sense here is “story.”

Keep it simple,

starting with the general introduction.

Describe key players in the company,

their backgrounds,

and personal characteristics.

Use their own names.

Answer “why” questions:

Why was the company founded?

What problems are you trying to solve?

How has your company grown?

What are the major historical milestones in the development of your solution?

Describe one or more of your current customers

and the value you bring to them.

Get in touch with the future

and how your product can help potential customers achieve

even more goals at a reasonable cost.

Describe your most interesting project

and the benefits your customers are enjoying

from using the product/service you sell.

*************

2. Tell them about the people who created your product/service.

If you don’t know the original person

who invented the product/service you offer,

find out.

Key stories are a test of the ability to convey information,

lessons,

and endorsements.

Everyone likes to hear stories more than sales pitches.

*****************

3. Describe why your company,

the people who work for it,

and your product

or service itself are a good fit

for potential customers.

Once customers understand your company’s situation

and the people there,

it will be difficult for your competitors

to seem more attractive than you,

even if they can offer what you don’t want,

do not have.

Make sure you tell the client that you really wan

t to work with them.

The fact that you clearly want them

to use your product/service

and the benefits that product/service brings

can be extremely convincing

when they make a final decision.

“Complaining won’t get you a seat.” – Grant Cardone

****************

ACTION EXERCISES

Here are a few questions you can ask

and answer to apply these ideas to your sales:

What are three things you can do to position yourself

as a consultant in your client’s

or potential client’s mind?

How do customers often describe the top 10% of the best salespeople?

What do you need to focus on

and talk about in order to be seen

as a consultant in the minds of your clients and potential customers?

What are three ways that your product/service

can improve a customer’s financial situation?

What are three things you can do

to become a more knowledgeable person

than the customer in the industry

in which the client operates?

How can you quantify the important outcomes of using your product/service?

What are the steps you can take

to position yourself as a partner with your clients?

And finally, if there was one thing you would do differently in your sales

after learning from this chapter,

what would you do?

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