Consultative Selling is an Attitude

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Consultative Selling is an Attitude

posted this on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at about 6am.
Sales Consultant

When I was 11 years old, I started throwing papers for a living. For an 11-year-old, $150 per month was quite a living. I found that if I was willing to work hard, I could make more money and therefore have more money to spend on the frivolity of youth.

And, yes, I was frivolous.

Shortly after I turned 12, I was invited to sell papers door-to-door in the evening. These were for neighborhoods in which the newspaper didn't have a strong presence such as new sub-divisions.

I would get a bonus for each subscription I could sign up… I think it was like $2 per sale. In addition, I could earn bonuses for hitting certain milestones.

The first summer I sold newspapers, I could sell as many as 10 in a night. $20 for 3 hours of work for a 12-year-old was pretty darn good. In fact, I sold so much that I had enough additional promotional points available that I received two new bikes. I was the only kid in the 'hood that had a mountain bike and a racing 10-speed.

Over the years, I've had plenty of opportunities to sell. I spent a few years selling print & design work and office equipment. I was a sales manager for a couple of years and in the last 5 ½ years I've not only run my company but it's been critical that I sell to make sure my team stays busy.

In fact, for my company, I can track the slow times in our business and relate them directly to when I personally didn't sell.

After all these years in sales, I've never considered myself a salesman. In fact, I always thought that I hated sales. I always figured that I had to do it because it was the best opportunity for me to increase my wealth.

It wasn't until recently that I realized it wasn't sales that I hated. It was the sales pitch that I hated. I've never liked to self-promote. I've never liked to try to push a product. I've never liked to try to convince someone to buy something that wasn't right for him or her.

I finally realized that I didn't have the attitude of a pitchy sales person. I have the attitude of a consultant. I love to consult. I love to help people solve their problems.

After hiring and managing all types of sales people, I realize that selling as a consultant is more of an attitude than a skill. You have to want to help people more than you want to pad your own pocket book. You have to be willing to tell your prospective client, "No," because the product you offer is not right for them. You have to be self-aware. You have to understand your abilities and those of the company that backs you.

Of course, you still have to do the basic things that good sales people do. You still have to talk to people to generate new leads. You still have to follow up and be persistent. You still have to ask for the business. But, when you have the attitude of a consultant, you'll find that your sales opportunities increase.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Design & Marketing Agency.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

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