Today’s post is by guest author and Kansas City Sandler Sales trainer, Dan Stalp. I know from first hand experience how easy it is to get caught in the trap of unpaid consulting. As Dan points out below, it’s a common trap when selling services.
Brad has been selling in his industry for 17 years. He is on top of his game. He has never known his business better or been more knowledgeable.
Mary is in her first 10 months of selling in a new industry. She desires to know more and doesn’t want to be found out. She has invested in every product training available – and now she can’t wait to talk about it.
What do both of these examples have in common? A high propensity for unpaid consulting – but for vastly different reasons.
The good news in Brad’s situation is he knows the answers to his prospect’s questions. The bad news is he knows the answers. Product knowledge given at the wrong time can be deadly. Most, if not all, of his prospects have not earned the right to his 17 years of experience in the first hour they meet him.
Mary, in an effort to appear knowledgeable, may over compensate for this. She wants to prove “she knows her stuff” so her prospects will hire her. Sadly, they may take her product knowledge and give it to the incumbent, a competitor, or do it themselves.
How can Brad or Mary avoid this? By understanding the intent, behind the content, of the prospect’s question. And by using the product knowledge they both possess to help the prospect discover what they need, rather than be told how to solve. In both of these scenarios, it more about the questions Brad and Mary ask, rather than the answers they give.
This is where technique in asking questions is crucial, along with the attitude they do not need to answer every question posed to them. That their prospects need to earn the right have some of their questions answered.
To learn more about avoiding unpaid consulting, please contact Dan Stalp with Sandler Training at 913-451-1760. Ask him to send you the booklet entitled “Why Salespeople Fail” or to invite you to an upcoming executive briefing on this topic.
Sandler Training – Brooks
10955 Lowell Avenue, Suite 650
Overland Park, KS 66210
Phone: 913-451-1760 Ext. 101