Factors to Consider in Consultative or Solution Selling


Solution Selling picture with trees

For anyone in solution selling aka consultative selling – the picture above speaks for itself. (click on it to see in higher resolution).

I find that it evidently highlights the difficulties of selling complex solutions, typically IT-related ones, and how each key actor in the sales and pre-sales process ‘interprets’ needs differently.  The comical part being the difference between “how the customer explained it” and “what the customer really needed“!!  This is the crux of consultative selling.

Consultative or solution selling is a major point of discussion for many corporations, especially in the IT-related sector.  Having worked in a few of them, the shift from classic or relationship-selling to consultative-selling is a ubiquitous problem, existant in all industries, including telecommunications and travel.

Managers invest heavily in training programs to coach their sales forces to shift their habits, but old habits die hard.  A possible shift can really only occur if a few variables are put into place, notably:

  • State-of-mind, because understanding there is a need to change is the first of many steps – some say its half the battle!
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Sales is a collage of human understanding, psychology, sociology, and possibly a sprinkle of street-smarts
  • …and a sincere desire to win;

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