Relationship selling or consultative selling as it is often called is about getting to know your customer and working with them to solve their needs. This is about building rapport with your client and developing a level of trust. This way they will feel that you are on their side and that you are looking for the best solution to meet their problem.
Relationship selling requires a certain skill set. Taking the time now to develop these skills will lead to higher conversion rates, more customer sales and higher customer retention.
Here is a list of the 7 consultative selling skills you need to develop:
Posture: - You have about 10 seconds to make a good impression. You want them to 'hear' your confidence and positive attitude. You have a presence that lets the customer know you are there to help and are very knowledgeable in your field.
Relationship Building - Relationship building is the core of relationship selling. It creates trust and helps to develop credibility. Building relationships takes time and requires effort but is well worth the effort and will result in a win-win for both of you.
Ask Open Ended Questions - Who, What, Where, When, Why and How questions draw your customer to explain in detail. This will enable you to dig deeper into your customer's mind to really understand what their needs are.
Problem Solving - in relationship selling you solve problems by presenting a solution. The key to effective problem solving is starting with a targeted audience and then determine needs by interviewing your customer. People usually buy what they want, not what they need. Effectively providing or discovering the proper solution to satisfy these emotions is paramount to a successful relationship with your customer.
Listening - Active listening, not just listening skills are crucial for everyday living. Listening actively without any interruptions enables you to tune into the signs for allowing your interactive dialog. Jot down keywords that relate back to your customer's pain or problem, then use your notes with these keywords to reconfirm what has been said by paraphrasing. These actions will go a long way in understanding your prospects needs and building a solid lasting relationship with your customer.
Objection Resolutions - A sales objection is not necessarily a negative thing. It shows that your customer is giving you the go ahead to move forward in the sales process. Objections are more often than not just a need from your customer for more information, communication, clarification and alternatives. You may not always have an immediate answer and that's fine. If you don't know the answer then be honest and let them know, but be sure to get back with them or your credibility will be shot and trust will be lost - Trust is the crucial element in relationship selling.
Your Unique Selling Proposition - USP or Unique Selling Proposition will separate you from the thousands of others out there selling what you are selling. It enables you to stand out from your competition by being or offering something unique or different that no one else is offering. It should relate the customer problem with the solution so you can customize a fit for your customer. It could be a special discount or bonus that no one else is offering.
In summary, Relationship Selling is all about building good solid relationships, credibility and trust. Patience is a virtue. It may take time to get comfortable with this way of selling and to master the skill set but once you have, it will become second nature and the proof will be in the bottom line - sales for you and a happy, satisfied customer.