Sales Consulting VS Unpaid Consulting | The Impact to Your Bottom Line
Sales Consulting VS Unpaid Consulting: Unpaid Consulting starts when sales people cross the line between diagnosing the problem and detailing the solution. In other words they provide a solution without first uncovering the negative effects the prospect suffered in the past, and future negative effects the prospect will incur if the problem isn't fixed. This eagerness to provide solutions can be attributed to the traditional sales training provided by most companies to new sales recruits:
Feature-Benefit based training. Therefore, companies put their sales people in a position where they automatically try to fix a problem the prospect has not yet concluded requires a fee based solution.
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When sales people begin to present detailed solutions without first allowing the prospect to acknowledge a problem exists, and that this problem merits a solution they immediately begin acting as unpaid consultants rather than real Sales Consultants. It is this common sales method that wastes your company’s time and money and reduces your opportunity for growth.
The Trusted Advisor: The most successful salespeople are not salespeople at all. In fact they are seen as trusted advisors or sales consultants.
Are your sales people seen by your prospects as trusted advisors or as an interruption to their busy day? And if so what is the cost to your company?
For example, when you visit a physician after you conclude that you have an illness or have experienced pain, would you want to think about implementing their prescribed course of action? Would you refuse their calls? In the physician hypothetical, the patient makes a decision because he has come to the conclusion that the illness, and associated pain or discomfort may continue, and potentially get worse in the absence of action. The technique inadvertently used by the physician to solicit action is priceless in the sales arena. It is of particular value to any business that is considered a commodity by its customer base; where it is essential that sales people do not prematurely present or demonstrate solutions as it inevitably leads to objections and longer selling cycles.
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Trusted Advisors spend the majority of their time focusing on why the prospect has taken time to meet with them. The problems, fears, pains or simply the level of dissatisfaction a prospect may be experiencing are only the tip of the iceberg. These are simply the reasons why the prospect has decided to meet with you; however they do not always translate into why they will buy from you.
The Physician!: Remember in the previous example how you met with the physician because of the surface discomfort, concerns and pain. However the decision to move forward with the treatment or in some cases the operation only comes after a detailed discussion regarding the problem, its symptoms and potential for progression and the associated negative effects. You usually don't price shop the physician although there are a multitude of physicians willing and able to provide the same solution. In fact, because of the standardized practice of medicine, physicians are one of the biggest commodities in the marketplace, yet they don't suffer from the price shopping and objections that the corporate world suffers from. Could this be because the physician never received feature-benefit training and therefore focuses on the pain, symptoms and adverse impact not implementing a solution would entail?