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Consultative selling has many advantages and can be a very effective sales technique. But this type of selling can have a negative impact on some salespeople. Some sales reps visit a customer two or three times, ask them every question they can think of except the most important question of all – asking the customer to buy their service.

If on the second call you don’t ask for the shipper’s business, it then becomes a social visit and not a sales call. You can and should qualify the customer and re-visit their needs on a regular basis. If they’re qualified to buy and you don’t offer your help, then you’re doing them a disservice. On the other hand, if you keep calling on a customer who’s not qualified, you’re stealing time and money from yourself. Be sure after you’ve made a consultative sales call that you follow up by asking for their business.

Treat all your sales work as a consulting assignment. Consultative selling turns salespeople into experts and clients into partners. When you first meet the prospect take your “sell” sign down for the majority, if not all, of your first call.

The best salespeople are professional problem solvers.