Increasing The Personalization of Consultative Selling - Part II

This is Part II in the series.  This section is called . . .

Increasing the Personalization of Consultative Selling

Central Role of the Seller
The key and central component to the selling process is the seller of consulting services.  This goes for any service (IT, accounting, consulting, management, etc).  The seller is the irreplaceable operating element in the process.  Please note the term "selling process." Selling process is about the client experience which ultimately defines the level of confidence the client has about the firm itself.

The consultative seller exerts control over the selling process, bringing the right people into the sales process at the right moment.  He or she facilitates, guides and leads the process. The consultative seller becomes the focal point for all client interaction.  The more complex the sale is or the more value in terms of the sale, the consultative seller's role becomes that much more important to the relationships with the people in the client organization.  The role takes on a personalization element between the client and the firm - managed and led by the consultative salesperson. 

In other words, the seller becomes the leader of the sales process because of the control he or she must bring in order to move the process along to closure and implementation.

Pressures to Perform
The seller of these services has an extraordinary amount of pressure to meet both the client's expectations and the need of the firm that he or she represents.  For the most part, the pressure usually stems from the firm, not the client, surprisingly, and these pressures determine the success of the sale.  The pressures can be numerous, as cited below;
  1. Right Support Staff - does the seller's firm have the right support staff to match the client's needs (technologies, operations, etc) and match the client's personalities and culture?
  2. Leadership control - is the seller continuously second guessed or is the organization supportive in making the transaction happen?  Is the support team (from management to contracts to technology to delivery) truly a support team and cooperative or combative?
  3. Communication vehicles - are there easy methods to communicate the client's situation, updates, needs etc or are they cumbersome, internally focused creating a burden on the seller?
  4. Competing Priorities - is the staff facing competing priorities?  And of course they are, but how is this managed and by whom is this managed? By the seller?
  5. Quarterly revenue and profit objectives and related pressures.
  6. Contract Language Acceptance and Reviews
  7. Project/Product Pressures for time, cost, staffing, and scheduling
Of course the client is unaware of all these internal pressures, and yet still the seller needs to be the outward, calm, Rock of Gibraltar - the leader in the sales process.

Personally Involved in the Sales Process to the Client
The client only cares about getting the project complete and meeting the objectives in a timely and cost efficient manner. And the client only sees the seller as the leader is the seller meets the following four conditions:
  1. The seller must become personally involved in the client's current operations and future desired state and help determine how the solution will help the client bridge the gap.
  2. The seller must become involved personally in preparing and presenting the client solution, defining solution objectives and if possible, measurable business results. The client must sense the seller's confidence in the solution being proposed.
  3. The seller must act like he or she "owns" the process. This means the client expects the seller to actively manage the selling phases and has the responsibility for getting the tasks complete.
  4. The seller must "express measured confidence" in the solution - which is different from the extreme of; "exuding enthusiasm" and on the opposite side of the spectrum "cautious yet guarded hopefulness."
The personalization of the seller's role plays an important part in selling complex high value consultative sales.

Next - Part III

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