Even if you go into a sale with the primary goal of aiding the prospect using your product or service, that may not always be apparent to them. Salespeople tend to have a negative reputation for being money-centered, so you need to clearly communicate your honorable intentions using need-based selling. Ben Taylor, writing for HubSpot, recommends a few ways to highlight selling based on need by taking a consultative approach.
Utilize Insight in Your Questions
No amount of research can grant you full insight into all the needs of a prospect. So, you need to talk with your prospect during your pitch. Ask leading questions to draw out the needs you uncovered during discovery. If the conversation seems to shift to a topic you didn’t expect, go with it. Your prospect is bringing the new topic up for a reason, likely a pain point you hadn’t previously thought of and may still be able to address with your product, service or your sales experience.
Converse, Don’t Monologue
Let’s focus on why conversing during sales pitches is so important, aside from the previously mentioned pain point identification. Talking at someone establishes a barrier between the two of you while a conversation establishes that you are approachable and a willing listener. People who listen are people who care, and a salesperson who cares about a prospect and practices need-based selling will make more sales than someone who is money-focused.
You’re Still the Guide
Just because you’re having a conversation with a prospect doesn’t mean you have to relinquish all of your power to them. Remember, you’re still the expert problem-solver here. “The customer needs to understand they’re partnering with someone who can guide them through the complexities of business challenges,” writes Taylor. “Taking ownership demonstrates capability.” When you can, guide the conversation to help positively shape the prospect’s perceptions and don’t be afraid to use silence to drive home a crucial point.