Successful sales consulting requires a mixture of talent and skill. While talent receives the most billing, having the right skills is equally important. When consultants lack proper training, an absence of skill can mimic an absence of talent, and lead to confidence issues. Although different situations require different consulting skills, every consultant needs the following skills that can be taught by a sales training facilitator.
Ability to Listen at Length
Listening at length sounds easy, but processing everything you hear requires skill. Salespeople can be poor listeners because their objective is to “sell,” not get bogged down with minutiae. The key is to remember that prospects wish to express their perceptions-often at length-to ensure mutual understanding. You might know a prospect’s spiel by heart, but listen as if you have never heard it before.
Excellent Telephone Communication
Every salesperson wants to be face-to-face with a potential customer, though getting to that point starts with a telephone conversation – often more than one phone call. The key to communicating by telephone is to make your communications centered on cogent productivity. When leaving voicemails, you want to leave a concise message. Although many voicemails will not be returned, enticing prospects with sharply referenced benefits will cause some of them to call back.
Ability to Mine the Right Value Proposition
Knowing how to “value” what a prospect wants in a product or service is critical for presenting said value in the right fashion. Mining that value to show how your product or service would critically benefit a company is what closes the deal. Remember, other companies are available that can make the same value proposition. You need to show why the advantages of your business are superior to that of your competitor. Attending consulting skills training for closing sales is a good way to acquire this skill.
Technical Knowledge as Required
Some salespeople expect a prospect to fill in blanks concerning the technical impact of a product or service. Although a prospect will be more familiar with its technical platform than you, not having knowledge of that platform can omit a valuable talking point and make your approach seem uneducated. The rule here is to be familiar with the infrastructure that supports a prospect’s business.
Ability to Expound on the Needs of a Prospect
What prospects do not know or fail to grasp can hurt their ability to make a sound decision. If you know a prospect only sees the tip of the iceberg regarding his or her need for your product or service, do not be afraid to reveal the big picture. Tread carefully though, as you want to explain details simply, and not come across condescendingly. Even if a company would fail tomorrow if it did not accept your offer, its representatives still need to feel in control to become confident about making a purchase.
Knowing When to Drop Prospects
Nothing clogs a sales pipeline like prospects that hang around and never make a decision. If you have given your all to a prospect and received a lukewarm reception, do not assume you need to try harder. Moving to fresh prospects is always better than stagnating with ones who remain undecided. Knowing when to drop a prospect is a skill best acquired through consulting skills training.