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What’s the Best-Selling Skill? Empathy
Consultative Selling works, and empathy is its foundation.
In a Meetings Professional International interview, a discussion on the future of sales in a post-pandemic world highlighted that while some new aspects of the sales process are here to stay, like the need to build a relationship through a screen, other aspects remain the same, like the importance of listening.
While possible, building relationships and listening well through a screen comes with unique challenges. With this in mind, those in sales leadership positions would do well to train their reps in techniques that emphasize empathy and listening.
Below you’ll learn about what consultative selling is, why it works, and the role empathy plays.
Consultative Selling Works
Consultative selling is a sales approach that intentionally focuses on building a relationship with the customer to best provide them with solutions to their problems. With a consultative sales approach, questions are asked to help prospects identify their needs, rather than sales reps talking them into needing something. And guess what? It works.
Sales Hacker notes that the benefits of consultative selling are:
- Increased revenue through both new and existing customers
- Shorter sales cycles
- Competitive advantage over your competitors
To fully master the complexity of the consultative sales relationship, sales representatives must go beyond likability and learn to add value through every step of the sales process. A deep understanding of customer needs, wants, goals, and objectives is required for strategically influencing a sales conversation.
Active Listening and Empathy Are Required
Moreover, in order to have a deep understanding of a customer, sales reps must actively listen and have empathy.
The Forbes Business Development Council wrote, “Empathy is the foundation of consultative selling." The article also stated how “empathy helps individuals become better consultative sales professionals who are working to solve customers’ problems in creative ways — ones that add more value than the competition” and that “active listening is foundational to bringing empathy into your practice.”
Sales reps must be able to understand and share their prospects’ feelings if they want to successfully hold conversations that solve problems and produce sales. If they can’t actively listen to their customers in the first place, they’ll never be able to empathize with them.
True Colors Consultative Selling Teaches Both
The overarching goal of True Colors Consultative Selling is to create a shift in a sales rep’s personal philosophy and self-awareness that helps them hone the skills and behaviors required to improve their influencing efforts. We set each individual up to deliver high performance — consistently — by teaching them to apply True Colors communications strategies that incorporate active listening and empathy.
Key Benefits of the Consultative Selling Workshop Include:
- Understand the Customer Engagement Model
- Develop and apply the Key Success Factors of a Consultative Mindset necessary to:
- Qualify customers effectively using prefacing and deep-dive questions
- Understand customer’s needs, wants, and objectives and design customized solutions
- Sell more effectively to customers of all personality types
- Close the sale by navigating resistance and overcoming objections
Set Your Sales Reps Up for Success
Consultative selling works, and empathy is its foundation. Active listening and empathy are skills that can be taught and improved upon. So set your sales reps up for success by teaching them more about the consultative selling mindset and True Colors communications strategies.