Consultative selling is a commonly used and widely known sales technique that aims to get to the core of a client's problem and, once known, determine the best ways to mitigate the aforementioned issues. The beauty of consultative selling is that despite the inclusion of the word "selling," essentially it is not selling at all.
Instead, consultative selling is a technique that aims to effectively collaborate with the hiring or opposing party in order to determine and solve the true needs of the client, thus not making them feel as if they are sold.
If a client or interviewer feels that they are being sold, via our inherent human nature, they will immediately shy away from making that mutually beneficial decision and any possibility of partnership is thrown out the window. In the corporate world, people hate being wrong; consultative selling circumvents the decision maker's feeling that the situation is black or white (right or wrong), thus putting them at ease as they are guided towards a decision.
To better understand the consultative selling interviewing process, let's dig deeper into today's corporate world. What makes corporations and the people in the firm tick? First and foremost, for any employee, is very scary to make a hiring decision as they are consistently seeing lay-offs and, due to this, they don't want to be left with the smoking gun if things don't work out. Understanding the interviewer's position will truly help the job seeker.
Moreover, consultative selling, when interviewing, lays the groundwork for a collaborative negotiation upon receiving the offer. Below, you will find some ways that an interviewer, regardless of the type of position as well industry vertical, can effectively utilize consultative selling in any interviewing situation.
More times than not, properly implementing these consultative interviewing tactics can sweep the competition and result in an offer for the individual.
Determining the Interviewer's and Company's Needs, Then Satisfying Them
Just as stated above, consultative selling is getting to the root of the issue or problem that the buyer or, in this case, the interviewer currently has.
Becoming a consultant of sorts: When interviewing, it is imperative that you know the industry "inside out." If you don't, you might as well you're your time because somebody else will. Therefore, upon meeting with the prospective company, you can turn what would have been an information session (a.k.a. the person just talks to you) into a collaboration session.
The above described industry expertise will result in the formation of a cohesive connection between yourself and the interviewer. Just as important, it will make that person feel more at ease upon pulling the trigger and making you an offer. Cooperation and relationship building is the best form of interviewing. Subsequently, getting to this point takes a lot of work and research, but will result in job offers - your end goal or "sale."
Asking the right questions: Consultative selling is all about asking the right questions at the right times. To conduct an effective interview, you must formulate intelligent and relevant questions directed at the interviewer. Remember to keep it professional. Don't ask about the person's fishing photo. Corporate America does not have time for that.
Instead, ask about the financials of the company and where the individual sees growth within the organization. Throughout the interview, the person sitting across the table will provide you with thorough information and, as a "consultative sales interviewer," you must play off this information and leverage it to formulate impressive, pertinent questions that will impress the interviewer.