“Trusted advisor.” These two words are the key to modern selling. As buyers get savvier, sales reps can no longer get away with strongarming prospects into making purchases.

Of course, this is a good thing. But with a new era of sales comes a new set of rules.

Sales is no longer about rattling off a list of features and sitting on your hands until a prospect calls back and says, “I want to buy.” Instead, reps must practice consultative selling -- that is, working collaboratively with prospcts to determine a mutually beneficial solution.

So what does the playbook for consultative selling look like?

For one, salespeople need to know their products inside and out. A general sense that a product could maybe solve a problem that kind of looks like what your prospect is facing simply doesn’t cut it. You should be able to quckly and thoroughly assess a buyer’s situation and understand how your offering fits in, if at all.

In addition, today’s salespeople should never assume that because X and Y symptoms are the same as a problem they’ve encountered with another prospect in the past, fix Z will work just as well. Instead, take time to understand each prospect’s nuances to make sure you’re coming up with a customized -- and truly effective -- resolution.

Tom Abbott of The Sales Optimisation Company outlines these and six more golden rules of consultative selling in the SlideShare below. Underpinning these eight rules is the new buyer-seller relationship, which Abbott sums up in the following way: “Instead of viewing prospects as transactional customers you sell to once, view them as partners in a long-term selling relationship.”

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Originally published Oct 8, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017

Topics:

Inbound Sales