Managing Customer Concerns - A Part of Selling Process

Consultative selling process is not easy to handle and can be quite lengthy too. However a good salesman never loses his patience with each of his leads and pursues until each case to its logical conclusion. With every sales lead, one gets to learn and better one’s skill. Over a period of time, handling and pursuing several leads irrespective of the outcome will contribute to training yourself to become adept at consultative selling.

If you are seriously pursuing a sales career, it pays to learn from and reflect upon each and every customer interaction. Meeting customers at their business environment, getting into customer’s shoes and understanding of customer’s business perspectives, pain points, needs as well as expectations go a long way in sharpening your selling skills. When you equip yourself with empathy and patience while dealing with your customers, you stand to gain in terms of becoming a better salesman. Those who are serious about upgrading their skills in this area, consider the interactions with each prospect seriously and spend time doing their homework. It pays to make detailed notes and review of each of your customer meetings. This helps you to note down every worthwhile point and observation that can come in handy in the future. Secondly it helps you identify the current stage in the sales process and prepare to handle the next phase better.

In the first instance you will need to spend considerable time in learning the intricacies of customer’s business and understanding their needs and pain points. You will need to employ probing techniques and open ended questions to be able to draw response from your customers. Engaging with the customer with empathy, leading the discussions, listening as well as responding and asking right questions will help you gain acceptance and a certain level of trust from the customer. However this does not mean that the customer is ready to make his purchases from you. You go on to build and offer a solution to the customer, make the presentation, explain the advantages and benefits that accrue to his business by going in for your solution. At the end of this session, it is quite likely that you will come to a stale mate stage. Despite accepting your solution, your customer may not be moved to or ready to commit himself in terms of his decision to buy from you. This situation is likely to come up in every sales process. This is where your skills as the consultative salesman come into play. You will need to position yourself as a consultant, facilitator and well wisher of your customer and find a narrow leeway to take in the said and unsaid objections and deal with them. Dealing with objections and criticisms in a positive way is one of the most important skills that the consultative salesman has got to have.

First and foremost it is important for you as the consultative salesman to accept and consider every objection or criticism as legitimate. In fact it is advisable that you think of every objection as a concern and not really as a objection. Sometimes the buyer may accept your solution in principle but for various reasons may not be able to go ahead with the decision to buy. In ordinary cases, a salesman who is used to selling his product is likely to either question or push the customer for a Yes or No and thus likely end up with a Negative result. In most of the cases, the customers may not state the obvious and deal directly with their inability to make a decision. It is quite likely that they will give excuses or avoid skirting the issues. From the selling point of view, it doesn’t help to challenge the customer openly. A consultative salesman on the other hand has got to anticipate this phase and plan to bring out the customer’s concerns to the table and handle them rightly, keeping in mind the long term objective.


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