Consultative Selling – What’s in it for them?

Consultative Selling – What’s in it for them?

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


Here is the second half of the 32.5 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.

14. Know your desired objective (of the meeting or phone call) before you begin… Write one sentence goal as to the objective for that meeting or phone call on a piece of paper before you begin. Don’t leave the meeting or hang up the phone until the goal (objective) is achieved. Do you know what you want to achieve each time you make a communication?

15. Personal success experiences… Your ability to feel success within yourself and relate success to your customer builds your character. If your belt is notched with success, it means you have done it for others (giving the prospect more confidence in you), and you have more confidence in yourself. WOW! How successful have you been?

16. A strong desire to help others… The second rule of life and business success. The caveat is that you must help without expectation or keeping score. Give and you will always get. How much do you give?

17. Excellent communication and presentation skills… Speaking, listening, writing. Delivering and receiving a clear message is at the heart of the selling process. How much time do you spend studying and improving your skills?

18. The sense of knowing when to sell and when to backoff… There’s a fine line between being persistent and being a pest. There’s a finer line between knowing when to ask a question and listen, and establishing (selling) your position by talking. A consultant walks the fine line without falling off. How’s your sense of selling?

19. The ability to ask powerful, intelligent questions… Ask the customer for information that only he or she knows such as their goals and objectives, who their customers are, how they do business, budgets and how they intend to achieve their objectives. Ask questions that set you apart from others. How powerful are your questions?

20. Being able to understand, relate to, and fulfill customers needs… Success in sales depends on understanding and service to the customer. He needs to be understood, he wants to be befriended, and he expects to be served. Now. How good are you at understanding and fulfilling?

21. Provide information and support beyond the scope of the sale… Add value to everything you do. It’s not just “outside the envelope,” it’s “beyond the scope.” Bringing new information about their business to them is as valuable as any service you could perform. How much new information are you providing your prospect?

22. Get business for others… New business is more powerful than information. When your client realizes that you’re trying to bring value to his company in the form of new business, there is no thank you card big enough to express their gratitude. How much business are you getting for your customers?

23. The customer must win first… They must perceive help before they are willing to pay you. Bring them value, bring them victory. Make them want to pay you. How often are your customers winning?

24. Make friends first…establish rapport, find the link… The object is to incorporate personal information you have in common with the prospect, into the sales presentation and the sales process. The result of which is a sale and a relationship. How often are you able to find common ground with your customers?

25. Be creative at all times (distinguish and differentiate yourself with creativity)… Your creativity is your trademark. Something that distinguishes you from the rest. Something that makes you outstanding. How creative are you?

26. Have a great sense of humor… Humor is tacit approval. If you can make a prospect laugh, you can make them buy. Humor also reveals truth that talk may not. How’s your sense of humor?

27. Be physically fit… There is a delicate balance between physical and mental fitness. There is also a relationship between the personal self-discipline of health, exercise and diet and the self-discipline of sales. How fit are you?

28. The ability to establish and build long term relationships… The true consultative salesperson will make short term sacrifice for long term gain…every time. How long term are your relationships?

29. Think and act like a partner (to your customer and your company)… Having a partnership philosophy means working on everyone’s behalf. Who’s behalf are you working on?

30. Exceed expectations… When you consistently exceed the client’s expectations, you create an atmosphere of need and loyalty. Perfect for the long term. How’s your “expectation exceeding” report card?

31. Relax in meetings and conversations… The best way to sell is never sell. Just talk in a relaxed manner with a powerful demeanor. How relaxed are you?

32. Your desire to succeed… How strong is it? What are your reasons why? How have you dedicated and utilized your capabilities? To the best of your ability? All the time? Desire is one element that binds all the others together… One element that measures success every morning in the mirror…your mirror. How strong is your desire to succeed?

32.5 Do it with passion. Love what you do… Do you put the same intensity into your selling as you do into your game of golf, your skiing, your vacations, your hobbies? Find that passion at selling and you can succeed at it beyond your dreams. Do you love what you do?

Here’s how to rate yourself: There are 33 individual elements for a total of 165 total points.

150 – 165: Congratulations, Mr. Consultant. You’re a resource.

132 – 149: You can taste it. Keep at it every day for the next year and you’ll break new ground (and new sales records).

99 – 131: You’re in the big club of salespeople who think of themselves as consultants, but aren’t. Make a personal game plan to improve, and execute it day by day.

77 – 98: Whatever type of selling you do, it’s just a sale, not a commitment to helping others. Make a conversion plan.

33 – 76: Welcome to your new sales job at McDonald’s. Do you want fries with that?


FREE GitBit… Which are you Consultant or sales rep? Take the “Drop-in Test” a self-evaluation that will tell you whether you’re a consultant yet. Just go to click Access GitBit, register and enter the word Consultant in the search box.