Consultative selling is perhaps one of the most exciting and least explored topics in the sale.
Nowadays, selling is more and more complex.
So far, nothing new, I’m sure you’re thinking.
What used to be 2 or 3 phone calls and a meeting, today it takes months and months to reach a final decision.
It is reasonable to say, “the process is stopped,” “there is no way to decide,” and so on.
One of the main mistakes we find when working with the teams in the Training and Commercial Coaching processes, where we have the opportunity to analyze their process thoroughly, and commercial method is related to the lack of strategy.
It is common for us to keep looking at a complicated sale in the same way as a simple sale.
A complex sale needs a medium and long term strategy.
It is necessary to understand the reality of the process and as in a war to be prepared to win several battles.
Such a process can be portrayed as a pyramid with several levels that we have to reach.
Getting to the base is usually simple. This is where we typically find some great people who love to meet for nothing and everything, but who also don’t bring us much-added value to move forward in the decision-making process.
However, they can be valuable aids in understanding the reality of the company and starting to prepare a “value proposition” that allows us to access and sell our product or service at higher levels.
As they usually have time, we can invest a lot, creating relationships and lifting the main “pains” and pain chains.
Pains? Pain Chains?
Don’t be scared.
Pains are the main problems that your customer faces and that your product or service can solve.
Pain Chains have to do with the vertical or horizontal extension with which this pain affects your customer’s company.
For example, a problem in production can also impact the financial department or the commercial area.
The more “pain chains” our product or service solves, the higher the chances that we will be able to sell.
The first level of the pyramid is about creating a relationship and defining how we will approach it at the level above.
When we are sure that our “value proposition” is well defended and that we can explain how we can solve the company’s pain, it is time to ask our interlocutor to take us to the level above.
And you ask well, who is at the level above?
Usually, the department that can actually profit from our product or service, and that is suffering from the problems that the lower level has indicated to us.
But since they are very busy people when we get there, we should already be well prepared not to waste their time.
At this level, the aim is to validate whether our “value proposition” really fits and fine-tuned some details that we have not been able to verify at the lower level of the pyramid.
Once this level is worked out, we can start walking to the top of the pyramid, where the decision-maker is usually.
At this point, if we have done our work correctly, we already have the involvement of the lower levels of the pyramid, and we know-how through our “value proposition” our client can solve the “pains” or pain chains in your company.
If possible, we may have already assembled an idea of the “Return on Investment” that our product or service can achieve.
And so in three “simple” steps, we reach the close of the deal.
What we describe herein a simplified way as three simple steps, is in fact a process that can take several months depending on the type of product or solution.
This is where having a defined strategy for each stage helps us.
The more organized we are in all these phases, the better it will be for the re-use of all the experience that is gained in these processes.
This week take a break.
Think about one or two complex sales processes you’ve had in the past.
Detail them on paper by phases and analyze what worked or didn’t work.
The idea is to start structuring this whole process so that our ability to respond will be more productive, and the chances of winning the business much better in the future.
Give it a try! You’ll see that future processes will be much more effective.
Also published on Medium.