Monday, January 23, 2012

You Can’t Consult if You Can’t Converse

I said this in a comment on my friend Kate Hunt’s
blog, Looks Cloudy. It is a post about a sales person learning enough about their industry to ask their prospects. “How can I help you”?

It is not possible for you to do consultative sales if you do not know the industry or products. If you can’t carry on a conversation about their industry, how can you talk to them to sell them?

I am not a believer that sales people need to know everything about the product and the industry, but they do need to know enough to speak with the client.

They first have to be able to have a conversation with the client if they ever want to sell to them.


  1. One of the first things I do when I meet a lead or potential client is to ask them to explain their business model and I sit and listen. God gave us 2 ears and one mouth.

    Clients, especially men, like to talk about their business.

  2. Steve,

    Couldn't agree more, but there are those fortunate few that are able to converse and learn the product/industry as the conversation progresses. For instance, Customer/Prospects states X and then it carries on to well tell me more about that in specific.

    I think it is merely impossible to know everything in the IT industry because lets face it, so many companies are changing their products around aka re-branding and you get confused with what product they are referencing.


    The Gift of Gab is a helpful tool (as you are familiar with), but so is listening. Listening to what they say and gearing your answers to that can still give you the ability to consult (or at least get you over until your able to learn more about industry or product)

    That's kind of my crazy spin on that.

    Great Post!