There are many buzzwords flying around the business world, and most of them can be dismissed as over-simplifications, ineffective or just plain silly. One such phrase that sometimes gets thrown around too carelessly is “Consultative Sales” — and it’s a pity because the concept is so important for China-based sales teams.
The China market needs a consultative sales approach because traditional Chinese salespeople are not natural problem solvers, but many potential buyers are in serious need of expert advice. If you manage a sales or marketing team in China, then you should consider training your people to sell less and consult more. It may make a big difference to your bottom line.
Consultative Sales is about taking business problem-solving to a new level. The value-adding salesperson already knows that he has to present his product offering as a solution to a business problem – and not just negotiate based on price.
Let’s take a quick look at the Consultative Selling process, and describe how it applies to the typical Chinese sales team.
- Analyze the Decision Making Unit to determine how THEY understand their business challenges.
- Understand the company’s business model.
- Identify the company and industry ‘business drivers’.
- Present a creative, effective solution.
- Follow up to see what worked – and what didn’t.
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