To Pitch or Not to Pitch, Consultative Sales is Out of The Question

Posted by George Athan on February 8th, 2019

This topic is discussed very often in the sales world. Just like inbound marketing, there's a time and place for consultative selling, but the initial stage of an outbound marketing campaign is not it. Your goal is to create processes that will allow you to be proactive in your approach to building your business rapidly. To do that using outbound, we must bring our 'foot-in-the-door' product (or service) directly to the people who need it most, who have the budget, and the authority to say YES. The consultative sales approach is very effective when you're going through your discovery process or doing a needs analysis, because it demonstrates that your goal is only to find the best solution for the client, not to force one specific solution down their throat. Consultative selling works well in in-bound marketing because the prospect is coming to you and, like a doctor, you must understand everything that's going on before you can make a diagnosis. But when you're the one approaching and asking for a busy executive's time, you must immediately offer something of value in exchange for that time. The best way to do this is to go in with knowledge of the challenges your prospect is facing and offer to provide a solution to those problems. Your research will give you the knowledge you need, and list seg-mentation ensures that you are speaking directly to the needs of each prospect.

When using your pitch to generate a meeting, you're promising to deliver the solution in the sales meeting. If you said, "I will give you 3 strategies that you can use in your practice over the next 4 weeks to increase cash flow by 38%" it means that your prospect is going into that meeting expecting those strategies. But if all they get are questions because you are using a consultative approach, they'll be pissed.

The secondary lesson is that people often try to make things work and take on clients that aren't a perfect fit just because they don't want to turn the opportunity down. I see companies make this mistake all the time and I will tell you that taking on clients that aren't a good fit often leads to dissatisfied customers. This often precedes damage to your reputation, customer attrition, and less profit. George Athan said, every time someone in your company is required to communicate with a customer over a completed transaction, it makes that transaction less profitable. More resources are being put into a transaction that wasn't the right fi t in the first place and often that transaction ultimately gets reversed. Imagine throwing more resources towards a transaction that you refunded and never get paid on. Not only is this transaction unprofitable, but it becomes an expense eating your other profits.

Even the most positive of circumstances would lead to this transaction slowing you down. Let's say you took on a project that was outside your wheelhouse and you made it a success. The cost here was time because any new territory that you're in reduces your speed and speed is a major component to growth. You're better off finding either a new prospect or finding if this prospect's need can be met with another product or service that is in your wheelhouse. Resist the urge to 'make it work'.

George Athan , CEO of MindStorm, is a business growth expert, keynote speaker and international best-selling author. Athan teaches business owners and executives how to rapidly grow and scale their business.

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George Athan

About the Author

George Athan
Joined: September 13th, 2018
Articles Posted: 10

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