To Sell or to Consult?

“Don’t worry about what you want. What you need is the Whizbang 2000, with the heated seats, cup holder, GPS, 8-track, and a dual turbo, super fuel injected 500 cubic inch engine… Now, let’s figure out how to get the payments down to a ‘reasonable’ level for you.”

If this causes terrible flashbacks, it should… But we apologize all the same. Nobody likes to be sold. Nothing sours a relationship like being sold.


No, that doesn’t mean walk away from the customer. That means change your approach. Here are a few quick tips to help change the way your potential customers look at you.

  • Shhhhhh. Zip your lip. Listen. Listen to your customer’s needs. Write them down (in your CRM!)
  • Ask questions. Then let your customer answer.
  • Summarize your customer’s needs to them. Make sure you understand what it is they really need.
  • Educate your customer. Help them learn some of what you know best.
  • Tie your customer’s needs to your solution. Find common ground.
  • Close the deal.

When you change from selling (otherwise known as ‘shoving things down your customer’s throat’) to consulting, you will see some huge differences in your results.

Consulting with your customers lets them know you care. If they know you care, they will trust you more, allowing you to have more rewarding relationships with your customers. You’ll see your referrals increase and you’ll find that you will run into some repeat business.

If you are looking for some reading that will help you increase your sales skills, we recommend taking a look at Geoffrey James. His insights are direct, insightful, and sharp witted.

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