Consultative Sales Approach to Customer Objections

Being a good Salesman does not come easily to everyone. Out of thousands who take up a career in sales, there are a few hundreds who turn out to be mediocre salesmen pushing the product and chasing sales target and many more leave the field altogether. There are few, who carve out a brilliant trajectory for themselves and make it big in the sales and marketing field.

A successful sales career gives you very high financial rewards as well as a creative high. The most successful sales and marketing professionals get to be passionate about their job as well as about their customers. Success in sales career comes out of the hard work that you put in as well as the smart skills that you learn while on the job.

As opposed to traditional sales process, consultative selling is far superior. Your role as a salesman is not the same in both these processes. The sales process too is different. As against the traditional sales role where you are looked upon as a pure sales man, you become a facilitator, solution provider and a consultant in a consultative sales approach.

The sales process is different in both the cases. In case of consultative approach, you spend a lot of time in getting to know your customer’s business, understanding and helping him define his needs, expectations and problem areas in his business. Using the information that you have gathered, you build a solution using your product or service that you are selling and not push through your product alone. This consultative process is highly creative.

While working as a consultative salesman, you will often switch roles from being a representative of your company to that of being on customer’s side too. This helps you to work towards creating and delivering real value solution to your customer.

Objections from the customers after your initial sales or solution presentation is a normal part of any sales process. The way you handle the objections vary from the traditional sales process to consultative sales process.

In traditional sales process, the sales person is very eager to quash every objection and tends to be over enthusiastic or aggressive in responding to the objections raised. The objective in such a situation is to get the customer to be quiet and not give him time to think more, rather push for the final decision to buy.

In a consultative mode however, you will view every objection from the customer as a legitimate concern. You will give a patient hearing to every concern expressed by the customer, analyze who and why he has expressed a concern and move positively to reinforce your solution and alley any fears.

Not all concerns raised by the customers would be related to genuine fears of buying the solution proposed by you. As standard response you will hear of customers saying that they are busy, need more time to think or the buyer making it difficult and hard for you to make further progress. In each of the cases the approach from a consultative salesman to traditional salesman would be different.

As a consultative salesman, you will have got an in depth understanding of the customer’s organizational hierarchy as well as readiness for making the purchasing decision by spending time at the customer’s premise during the early probing stages. Therefore when an objection is raised, you know why and how to address the same. You are able to alienate those objections that are subjective coming from the buyer who is not confident of making the decision or convincing his superiors or for some reasons has taken an unfriendly attitude out of some personal attitude.

As a part of the consultative sales process, you will first allow the customer’s team to express all their concerns, group the concerns received as legitimate and subjective and deal with them accordingly.

Legitimate concerns can be discussed openly and you can either park the concerns for further action or discussion with your organization or look at tradeoffs and alternatives possible for the solution. These are essentially the unresolved issues that you agree to take away and revert back to the customer after working out further options and solutions. Apart from these valid concerns, you will deal with and squash every subjective fears or diversions that are expressed by the customer.

By your approach to managing the concerns of the customer, you as a consultative salesman are making sure that you are in control of the sales process and that you have managed to retain the confidence of the customer by being open to listening to his concerns and problems while continuing to work towards enhancing the value to the customer through your solution.

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