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Land Large Deals Through Consultative Selling

A lesson I learned about fly fishing relates to the sales process of landing a big deal. I was taught my chances of catching a big fish were increased not by the amount of times I presented a fly, but in the quality and timeliness of my presentation. This reminds me of how true consultative selling is designed to work.

The other day during a direct sales coaching session the salesperson shared he was having a hard time marketing his service but then went on for five minutes to try and convince me (or him) about all the benefits of the service. I had to stop him and let him know that if he was doing the same with prospects, he was scaring them away.

The advice I received about fishing could be applied in his marketing situations. The fishing pro advised me to cast less often so I would not scare the fish away or have them become disinterested in my presentation. When sales people talk, talk, and talk about all the features and benefits of their products and services, they are over casting and losing their prospect interest.

To land the big fish, I was instructed to take my time and study their eating patterns. Kick back and watch as they gently rose up and swallowed their next morsel. If I did not take the time to learn, I would have walked right by the big fish not noticing they were there. Big fish are more subtle and wise. They don’t jump out of the water to catch a small fly, they wait until what they really want and need shows up.

The point is this. If you want to land a bigger deal, take your time. Don’t rush in and expect people to love what you have. Forget about what you have, and learn about what they need and want, practice consultative selling.  Learn about how they like to buy and how often they buy. When you have gathered enough knowledge, check and see if you have the right fly in your service box, take aim, and present your best cast in a way that draws them in.

Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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