Consultative Selling – The Hardest and Easiest Way to Make Sales


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What do you get when you combine a salesperson with a consultant? The most powerful method of selling.

Don’t fight the title “Salesperson,” “Sales Representative” or Account Executive” –– abandon it. If you’re willing to put forth the effort it takes to be a consultative salesperson, you can move from ordinary to extraordinary.

As an experienced salesperson you have already developed a personal sales style, and have achieved some degree of selling success. Consultative selling combines your personality, sales skills, and inter–personal skills into a style that makes prospects most likely to buy.

Consultative selling has 5.5 primary components:

1. Finding and understanding the customer’s needs.

2. Partnering with the customer – making the transition from being a salesperson to becoming a resource.

3. Helping customers achieve their business objectives through the use of your product or service.

4. Belief that your business, product and service are the best.

5. Belief in yourself, and that you are the best.

5.5 A positive attitude about yourself, your product, and your customer that makes the first five components work to everyone’s benefit.

There are no steps to learn, this is not a technique. Consultative Selling is a style and strategy…as a successful salesperson, you must know the science of selling. This process assumes you have that knowledge. The Consultative Selling approach will strengthen and enhance your selling technique.

Here are the 16.5 basic elements of consultative selling…

1. Positive attitude – The first rule of life. An “I can do it” state of mind that is with you all the time. A happiness that makes others want to spend time with you.

2. The ability to set and meet goals – The true professional is a dedicated, well–disciplined and self directed professional.

3. Taking pride in what you do – Pride shows. It has an enthusiasm that attracts people to you and your business.

4. Being able to accept responsibility – Customers want someone who will take ownership in all transactions. An “I’ll handle it personally” person.

5. Being able to listen – Your customer wants to tell you what he needs and how to sell him. Just use the right questions and listen to understand.

6. Confidence in your abilities – Confidence in what you do and who you are breeds confidence to buy what you sell.

7. Knowledge of your business – A given for any professional in any field.

8. Knowledge of your customer’s business – A prerequisite for having an intelligent conversation with a prospect, and your best chance to build credibility.

9. Advance knowledge of your customer – Pre–plan all sales calls. The competitive edge in selling. The more you know about your customer in advance, the better equipped you are to serve –– and the more impressive you’ll be.

10. Personal success experiences – Your ability to feel success within yourself and relate success to your customer builds your character.

11. A strong desire to help others – The second rule of life and business success. The caveat is that you must help without expectation or keeping score.

12. Excellent communication skills – Speaking, listening, writing. Delivering and receiving a clear message is at the heart of the selling process.

13. Personal ethics – Hard work, truthfulness, being sincere, and living up to your commitments… every day.

14. The ability to ask intelligent questions – Ask the customer for information that only he or she knows – such as their goals and objectives, who their customers are, how they do business, budgets and how they intend to achieve their objectives. Ask questions that set you apart from others.

15. Being able to understand, relate to and fulfill customers needs – Success in sales depends on understanding and service to the customer. He needs to be understood, he wants to be befriended, and he expects to be served. Now.

16. The ability to establish and maintain long term relationships – The true consultative salesperson will make short–term sacrifice for long–term gain… every time.

16.5 Your desire to succeed – One element that binds all the others together… One element that measures success every morning in the mirror… your mirror.

These attributes and skills must be present in any successful consultative sales person. What you do with these skills and how you apply them, is what makes you a valued, trusted resource to your customers and prospects. A consultant.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeffrey Gitomer
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The New York Times best sellers The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections, and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude.


  1. Hi Jeffrey!

    I am speechless, but will still manage to write a few dozen words to you. Doing a random search here on Customer Think I came across your posts. Little nuggets of info and advice and great information. I have read many of your books and was inspired by Little Gold Book of Yes recently to get my own book written. Bob Burg, author of Go Giver has provided some amazing support since starting my book a few months ago. I’m about 17,000 words into the first draft.

    My question, any advice to helping build my list. Once written I would love to have a 15,000-20,000 people hearing my message regularly instead of just 1000-2000 which is where I am now.

    Any thoughts? Thanks for your advice ahead of time.



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