Consultative Selling – ask how you can help


I’ve worked in sales for nearly 20 years now and, whilst there’s still a lot to learn I do feel I’ve developed enormously in that time as a salesperson but probably the greatest change and improvement in my sales skills came when I began to realise that my role isn’t to talk people into things they don’t yet feel they need (as most sales books tend to teach you) but, instead it is to help potential clients solve a problem.

Not everyone will have a problem that needs solving but if you’re selling something that can reduce their costs, improve their time management, give them a cleaner office or any one of a number of things it’s important you come from a perspective of wanting to help. The sales side of things will then take care of itself.

For me, bad salesmanship can be summed up in the guise of the pushy sales assistant. The second you walk in the door, they’re circling like vultures, waiting to pounce and bamboozle their customers into purchasing the latest model or taking advantage of a barely useful special offer.

Personally I can’t believe that anyone would want to work with or buy from any of them, or from any pushy, overbearing salesperson. If I walk into a shop and there’s a pushy sales assistant that harrasses me as soon as I show an inkling of interest, I’m out of there. My brain is telling me that this person is not here to help, or at least that their main aim, despite what he/she might say isn’t to help – it’s to sell me something.

It’s often not their fault, they’ve had their sales training, they know their brief but the one thing that sales training often doesn’t cover is that it’s not just about the product, the features, the price, it’s all about helping the customer out by first finding what they want, then allowing them to make the decision to purchase it.

That slight mental shift on behalf of the sales assistant will show in every gesture, every sentence, every interaction. Questions will instinctively come from a perspective that helps to uncover information. Back that up with good product knowledge and it’s not so much a sales process, more a natural conversation. Both parties working towards a shared goal

So, before you launch into your pitch, your open ended questions, your objection handles, ask yourself the question “how can I help?”



Dan Smith 
Inspired Business Development
Unit K9 Cradley Enterprise Centre
Maypole Fields
B63 2QB
T:01384 566 078


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