As we’ve stated, in order be a top Sales Headhunting company, not only do their Sales Headhunters specifically need to understand our client’s salesperson prototype needs, but they must also be very knowledgeable of this particular sales doctrine themselves, (in order to successfully recruit the right Sales Talent for our clients quickly and proficiently). Here now is another one of the many specific sales doctrines our Sales Headhunters are well versed in: CONSULTATIVE SELLING
- Research the prospective customer organization to confirm suitable prospect profile (subject to the supplier’s prospect qualification criteria), and competitor threats, opportunities, contract review dates, past dealings, etc.
- Establish rapport and seller’s professional credentials with the client (typically by referencing case-histories and case-studies for successful solutions provided in similar markets and applications that are similar to those of the prospective client).
- Ask ‘strategic’ open questions to identify, explore and develop areas of potential problems, difficulties, aims, challenges and unresolved issues within the prospect organization. Normally identify and agree on a single primary issue (which represents both a major concern for the buyer, and a relevant area of product and/or service opportunity for the seller.) This could be a ‘distress’ or emergency pressure, priority, or threat, for example an issue which the prospect is involved in ‘fire-fighting’ to resolve currently, such as legislative compliance; or a strategic development opportunity for market or business development, to which significant potential profit, cost-savings and/or competitive advantage are attached.
- Interpret, clarify, extend and quantify in financial and strategic terms the knock-on effects of the primary area of opportunity or threat. That is to say, what are all the negative effects and costs of failing to resolve the threat or pressure?, or what are all the positive effects and revenues/profits that will be derived from achieving the identified strategic opportunity? The salesperson is effectively doing three things here:
- a) Increasing the size and cost/value of the issue heightens the issue’s priority and importance, and thus increases the buyer’s feeling that action must be taken – it gets the issue higher up the buyer’s agenda and closer to the front of his/her project schedule.
- b) Increasing the size and complexity of the issue increases the need and opportunity for consultative advice – the buyer increases his/her perception that outside expertise (from the seller) is required.
- b) Increasing the costs or values associated with the issue naturally increases the buyer’s tolerance and expectations for the cost of the supplier’s proposed product/service solution – the higher the cost or value of the challenge, then the higher the cost of the solution.
- Sell the principle of the seller’s solution (necessarily in outline for large prospects – small, simple situations often require specific solutions proposals at this stage), matching the benefits of the solution to the various aspects of the prospect need or strategic opportunity. For larger prospects it is commonly necessary to agree to proceed with a survey or assessment prior to producing a fully detailed proposal. A large complex proposal would typically need to be presented by the sales-person, or a team from the seller’s organization, to a board or decision-making team within the prospect organization.