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How to Master the Art and Science of Consultative Selling!

By:Doug Dvorak


Sales training speakers, as well as other individuals in the sales world, are often confused as to what is a consultative salesperson. They may know when they find one, yet it is difficult for many to describe what it truly means. Sales training articles that properly describe the term pinpoint consultative selling on the dialogue that takes place between the customer and the seller. In order to achieve this, one must prepare himself or herself for this important interaction that takes place.

Become an Expert with Your (and Other) Services or Products

Sales skills training will teach you to know your product. When you think about it, how can you expect to sell something if you do not know what it is, or how it will affect some aspect of your customer’s needs? The products or services you sell must be able to fit into your customer’s needs, which means that it is vital that you are aware of how it will do this.

In all industries, and especially in certain ones, motivational sales training should incorporate a thorough knowledge of the competitor’s products and services. Potential customers will be comparing your services or products to others in the market. Sales training which incorporates an important tenet of consultative selling, in understanding the customer’s needs, assumes an understanding of the competitor’s offerings, in addition to your own to be successful.

Show Enthusiasm

Motivational sales training is based in showing enthusiasm for one’s products or services. Chicago sales training consultants and those around the world understand that enthusiasm will help sell a product or service. This confidence in your offered products or services will seek to transfer to the customer. You will also be able to build trust as well.

Build a Relationship with the Customer

Sales training stresses the salesperson to customer relationship, for good reason. Potential clients that are seeking what you have to offer will be looking for a level of assistance and knowledge. Thus, they must be able to respect what you have to say.

Consultative selling is about selling to his or her needs, as covered in the next section. If you are to prove this to the customer, a positive relationship must be built. Communication skills will help you build this relationship, such as enthusiasm, honesty, and trustworthiness. Sales team training will stress all of these important dynamics, which form a huge portion in the “supplementary” features of consultative selling. That is, those qualities which separates successful and other consultative salespeople.

Understand the Customer’s Needs

According to sales training articles, if you are to define the difference that consultative selling brings to the sales world in a phrase or sentence: it would include selling to the customer’s needs.  This is the fundamental difference, whereas other conventional salespeople will present what they have to offer in a similar fashion.


Sales skills training methods understand the important value of preparation when it comes to consultative selling, something that occurs before the actual selling process.  Before you approach a customer, gather data from the prospect.  With this info you will be able to customize your products and services to offer something that will fit his or her needs.

Chicago sales training consultants will utilize market researchers, accountants, underwriters, and analysts to make an informed reach to their consumers, in larger businesses.  This is exactly what needs to occur, regardless of the scope or sales team training available to you.  Whether it is the individual salesperson or a large and diversified team, preparation is key for any type of consultative selling.

Ask Questions

Consultative sales training people will demonstrate the value of asking questions in this type of sales method.  In fact, along with customized solutions, which is covered in the next section, and an interactive conversation, these three essences are often what makes consultative selling what it is, according to consultative sales training articles.

You must be able to understand the customer’s needs and their interactions with you to sell your products and services.  A well-versed Chicago sales training consultant will ask as many questions as possible in order to make these offers and to identify what the customer is looking for.  Use questions to your advantage in order to gain insight; you may also find it helping you to build a meaningful business relationship with your clients as well.

Offer Appropriate Solutions

Consultative sales training consultants end the mastering of the art and science to offering an appropriate solution to your customer.  This is the true end to the consultative sales process.  Of course, you may need to revise your offer if it is not what the customer needs or desires, which will take you back to other parts of the process, yet this remains the proper end of the process.  And if it is done properly, you should have success in your consultative sales endeavors.

Offer what you can to help the customer with his or her needs.  Recognized sales coaching institutes acknowledge the offering of appropriate products or services to the customer’s needs, only if they fit with the customer.  If you cannot do this, it is important to keep the positive relationship intact.  Offer what you can for the customer and help them find what they need.  In the long run this will be better for you and the customer.  You will demonstrate your helpfulness, which will be much more likely to give you return customers in some way, such as word of mouth, or a customer returning for a new and different need that you can satisfy.

Talking with (Not to) the Customer

Consultative sales training will teach you that the process is not about guiding the customer, but rather the customer guiding you to offer them something that they need. This means that you must solve their problem, not blindly offer something that they may or may not need or want.

Tom Daly of BestFit Solutions states this in terms of numbers: “The RIGHT answers, if you want to leave the pack behind are: you should be spending at least 80% of your time talking about how to solve their real problem . . . and less than 20% of the time talking about you or your product/service.” Perhaps Chicago sales training consultants and sales and marketing training people around the globe should adhere to this general guideline to find success in consultative selling.

About the Author:

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit https://salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969 FREE

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Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

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Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)