Buyers expect salespeople to vomit details all over them, making this expectation a huge opportunity. Practitioners of buyer-centric selling engage prospects and clients in highly collaborative conversations. This is one of the few aspects of selling we can actually control.
To achieve this:
Eliminate leading (multiple-choice) questions as they confine the buyer to your choices instead of hearing their needs and details.
Limit the use of locking (yes or no) questions to confirming details and closing the buyer since these gag the buy, shutting down their sharing of important details.
Avoid open-ended questions as these are usually long-winded, forcing buyers to focus more on the questions instead their own answers.
Generously use launching questions. These provocative inquiries are ten words or less, allowing those answering to give more details since they slow down the brain and evoke more information.
Employ integrative questions that frame their answers into additional questions. This fully engages the buyer in a fulfilling, collaborative dialogue that is memorable to them and more helpful to you in meeting and exceeding their expectations.
Scott WintripEngaging the Buyer – Scott’s Sales Yoga Thought for the Day
Consultative selling, as a conceptual practice, has been around for more than a decade. However, is this what buyers really want? Do they merely want someone to consult with them, behave like a consultant, or even take a consultative approach with them? Last time I checked, consultants are still often accused of telling people what to do; most buyers aren’t interested in being told what to do.
This is why consultative selling is on the way out and Collaborative Selling in on its way in. Buyers like collaboration, not just because it’s all about them, but instead because everyone wins. They receive value while the salesperson and their company are equitably compensated, creating a more sustainable relationship. They aren’t being told what to do, instead participating in a buying experience where they are on equal footing with the collaborative salesperson. The new ABC’s of selling—Always Be Collaborating—creates a buying experience where the needs of all parties are met.
How do you create this buying experience that is integral to Collaborative Selling? I have two recommendations:
Think about positive buying experiences you personally have experienced. What made them different? Better? How will you change how you and your company sell to create this kind of experience for your buyers?
Order Sales Yoga (yes, this is a shameless plug for my book). You too should shamelessly ask people for opportunities to provide them with value. To be able to engage in collaboration, people must first know it’s worth having a conversation with you. We all must shamelessly “toot our own horns.”
SALES YOGA: A TRANSFORMATIONAL PRACTICE FOR OPENING DOORS AND CLOSING DEALS