Consultative Selling — The hardest and easiest way to sell.

Consultative Selling — The hardest and easiest way to sell.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



Consultative Selling The hardest and easiest way to sell.

What do you get when you combine a salesperson with a consultant? The most powerful method of selling Consultative Selling.

Don’t fight the title “Salesperson,” “Sales Representative” or “Account Executive” abandon it. If you’re willing to put forth the effort it takes to be a consultative salesperson, you can move from ordinary to extraordinary.

As an experienced salesperson you have already developed a personal sales style, and have achieved some degree of selling success. Consultative selling combines your personality, sales skills, and interpersonal skills into a style that makes prospects most likely to buy.

Consultative selling has 5.5 primary components:

1. Finding and understanding the customer’s needs.

2. Partnering with the customer making the transition from being a salesperson to becoming a resource.

3. Helping customers achieve their business objectives (sometimes through the use of your product or service).

4. Belief that your business, product and service are the best.

5. Belief in yourself, and that you are the best.

5.5 A positive attitude about yourself, your product, and your customer that makes the first five components work to everyone’s benefit.

There are no steps to learn, this is not a “system”. Consultative Selling is a style and strategy…as a successful salesperson, you must know the science of selling. This process assumes you have that knowledge. The Consultative Selling approach will strengthen and enhance your selling style into a relationship oriented helper.

Here are the 26.5 basic elements of consultative selling…but I challenge you to read them a new way. The old way is: Read and say, “I know that.” The new way is to ask yourself, “How good am I at that?” If you read these elements and evaluate yourself from one to five on each one, you will emerge with an individualized gameplan to evolve to consultant status. Here are the rating categories 1=poor 2=average 3=good 4=very good 5=the greatest.

If you are serious about achieving consultative sales success, I recommend you post each element on this list someplace where you can see it every day. Create an action plan for each rule that you rate a 4 or below. Work on two of your strengths and one of your deficiencies each day. Act on these principles until they become a way of life. You don’t get great at selling or consulting in a day you get great day by day.

1. Establish and maintain a positive attitude… The first rule of life. An “I can do it” state of mind that is with you all the time. A happiness that makes others want to spend time with you. Your commitment to a positive attitude will put you on a path to success that will be unstoppable. If you doubt it, you don’t have a positive attitude. A positive attitude is not just a thought process, it’s a daily commitment. Get one. How’s your attitude?

2. The ability to set and exceed goals… The true professional is a dedicated, welldisciplined and self directed professional. How’s your ability to exceed goals?

3. Taking pride in what you do… Pride shows. It has an enthusiasm that attracts people to you and your business. How’s your pride?

4. Being able to accept responsibility… Customers want someone who will take ownership in all transactions. An “I’ll handle it personally” person. How responsible are you?

5. Being able to listen… Your customer wants to tell you what he needs and how to sell him. Just use the right questions and listen to understand. How’s your listen?

6. Confidence in your abilities… Confidence in what you do and who you are breeds confidence to buy what you sell. How’s your selfconfidence?

7. Personal ethics… Hard work, truthfulness, being sincere, and living up to your commitments…every day. How’s your ethics?

8. Knowledge of the science of selling… Even though most sales are driven by the quality of your relationship with your customer, by mastering each element and fundamental rule of sales, you are most able to close them. Learn one new element or rule a day. That’s 220 elements a year. More than 1,000 elements in five years. It’s a lifelong process. How’s your sales knowledge?

9. Be prepared to sell… Consultative selling assumes that the salesperson is prepared with ideas, information, tools, proposals, product knowledge, customer knowledge, industry knowledge, and specific preparation to customer’s needs and requests. It’s amazing how fundamental these things are. It’s equally amazing how few professional salespeople are prepared to make a sale. How prepared are you?

10. Knowledge of your product, business, and industry… A given for any professional in any field. How’s your product knowledge? Industry knowledge?

11. Knowledge of your customers business and industry… A prerequisite for having an intelligent conversation with a prospect, and your best chance to build credibility. It’s not how much you know about you that counts it’s how much you know about them. That knowledge leads to understanding the best way to determine true needs. How’s your knowledge of the prospect’s business and his industry?

12. Advance knowledge of your prospect… Preplan all sales calls. The competitive edge in selling. The more you know about your customer in advance, the better equipped you are to serve and the more impressive you’ll be. How’s your advance knowledge of the prospect?

13. Know the prospects buying process If you don’t know how your prospect makes a decision to buy, why start the sale? The two key elements to decision are process and players. You must know both to achieve success. How’s your knowledge of the prospect’s buying process?

Ooops ran out of column but there’s still lots more stay tuned for the rest of the story next week.

Free by Fax. Which are you Consultant or sales rep? Take the “Dropin Test” a selfevaluation that will tell you whether you’re a consultant yet. Just go to click FREE STUFF then GitBit register and enter the secret word, “Consultant”.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

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permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112