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The most consultative salespeople feel different from other sales reps. Much of what they do looks like a magic trick to their prospects and clients. The difference between the consultative salesperson and others is that the consultative salesperson knows much about the client without having to ask the questions that the average salesperson asks. There are five magic tricks that impress their prospects and clients.

1. Mastering Consultative Sales Techniques: Understanding Client Problems Deeply

This is no illusion. The salesperson who has spent time helping their clients over a long time has seen and addressed the problem their prospective client is struggling with now. This consultative salesperson can recognize the root cause of the problem, explaining it so clients understand it in context.

Asking a lot of questions about the client’s problem can cause the client to worry that you are not an expert on what the client is experiencing. It sends the signal that you don’t solve enough similar problems to understand them any better than the client who is seeking help. If you don’t already know the primary problems and their sources, do research to position yourself as an expert, improving your chance of winning.

2. Expert Strategies for B2B Sales: Deep Knowledge of Client's Company and Industry

This trick looks like reading the client’s mind. The B2B consultative salesperson is not lazy. They never fail to research their client before engaging with them and reviewing their experience with similar companies. Prospective clients are impressed that the salesperson knows about both their company and their industry. You impress your clients by not having to ask questions, asking instead to confirm what you already know.

One of the worst practices of salespeople who are not yet One-Up, is that they ask questions they could have answered with nothing more than a Google query or a well-designed AI prompt. In the past, information was difficult to come by. In today’s environment, we have more information than ever before. Doing your homework is the first step in learning this magic trick.

3. Unlocking Success in Consultative Selling: Identifying Key Changes for Client Success

Your friendly neighborhood salesperson is in love with their solution, something the product manager taught them about during onboarding. The B2B consultative salesperson is also certain of their solution. But where the first salesperson sells their solution, the consultative sales rep goes further, providing their prospects with the changes they need to make to ensure they succeed.

The solution seller believes the solution is the only thing the client needs to solve their problem, and they don’t explore other things the client should do differently. Knowing how to help clients optimize their results looks like magic, especially when you address the changes they need to produce the best possible outcomes.

4. Navigating Challenges: How Top Salespeople Help Clients Avoid Common Pitfalls

Consultative salespeople help their clients to avoid anything that could cause them to fail. The consultative salesperson’s experience over time has allowed them to identify these factors and address them. Because the consultative salesperson has seen clients fail due to these pitfalls, they educate other clients on what they will need to avoid, including things like being enchanted by a lower price or a shiny new feature that will waste their time.

Most of the time, the average salesperson has little awareness of common pitfalls that can take a solution, leaving them unaddressed. Most sales organizations do little to enable their salespeople to help prevent these risks using a set of strategies that would improve their client’s results and their own sales results, which is reflected in their win rates.

5. The Power of Prediction in B2B Sales: Preparing Clients for Future Success

This fifth and final magic trick is the consultative salesperson’s ability to predict the future for their clients, warning them, and helping them to prepare for the inevitable change they will need to succeed. To gain this ability, the B2B consultative salesperson does the reading others shun. The consultative salesperson is a trusted advisor, not because they helped the client pick up the pieces after the client was harmed, but because they made certain the client changed before they failed.

The solution seller is looking for a problem, failing to recognize that they might be able to prevent a future problem. This isn’t taught or trained, mostly because the salespeople today have their growth stunted by sales leaders who demand more pipeline coverage and velocity. This leads their sales teams to use transactional strategies that lower a salesperson’s status, making it easy for consultative salespeople to win the client’s business instead.

The Consultative Salesperson's Commitment: Guiding Clients Toward Achieving Their Best Work

You and I have an obligation to help our clients succeed. Right now, your clients and mine both need much more help adjusting to our environment. Some of your clients and mine need more help than simply selling them a solution. They need more understanding of their problems and the root causes. They also need a salesperson who knows the company and their industry, helping them to be more consultative.

Too few salespeople are willing to provide the advice and recommendations that would cause the client to make the changes that enable them to do their best work. You and I must do this, preventing the client from the pitfalls that cause others to fail. If you are not worried about the accelerating future, it is difficult to keep pace.

It is critical that we fulfill our obligations and help our clients to do good work, as we do good work for them.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on February 16, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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