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Consultative Selling – Challenger Sale

Consultative Selling









Consultative Selling Challenger Sale

The Challenger Sale, Complex Sales, SPIN selling is all very much part of the Consultative Selling process. We’ve covered lots of these areas already The Challenger Sale, SPIN Selling, The Consultative Salesperson

However in this blog piece we’re going to talk about one aspect of Consultative Selling Challenger Sale, Teaching for Differentiation, How to Build the Insight Led Conversation. I love this aspect of The Challenger Sale because it brings together two component parts of consultative selling, differentiation and teaching, to find out more look here The Challenger Sale

Now as we all should know, understanding your point of difference or unique selling proposition or point, USP is absolutely vital, unless you want to sell on price alone. The Challenger Sale is all about challenging a potential customer understanding about the problems they have, by presenting him with problems he didn’t know about, by virtue of your industry insight. The vehicle used to communicate your insight is teaching; let’s face it consultative selling should be about teaching. So how does this Teaching for Differentiation work;

The challenger sales the warmer







Step 1 The Warmer

Build rapport to start off with and then rather than asking what problems they have, challenge their thinking by sharing problems that similar companies are experiencing. Check if they’re observing the same issues and see if they would like to add to the list. The purpose here is to build credibility and goodwill.

Step 2 The Reframe

Rather than jumping straight to the solution, this step 2 is absolutely paramount. At this point you introduce a new perspective that connects the challenges in step one with a bigger problem (e.g. cost saving) or bigger opportunity (e.g. a new source of revenue). This needs to be news to them it can’t be something they’re already aware of. If so they could well be on the way to working on the solution.

The challenger sale the reframe







Step 3   Rational Drowning

You lay out the business case i.e. the ROI, the detailed numbers derived from other clients and your work in this area. This is the rational argument about why it’s a good decision; charts a table and spreadsheets are appropriate here.

Step 4 Emotional Impact

In this step they need to see themselves as having the problem, there’s no point in putting in all the hard work in steps 1, 2 and 3, if all you hear the customer say is “that doesn’t apply to us”. You need to make an emotional connection between the problem you’ve outlined and your potential customer’s real world they live in. You need to be skilled in ensuring that they identify with the scenario you’ve just outlined.

Tell them something new and then show them why it matters

Step 5 A New Way

Now you introduce the solution but not the supplier, you need them to buy into the solution not the supplier. Get them to think about how acting differently will make a real difference.

The Challenger Sale Your Solution








Step 6 Your Solution

This is the point at which you need them to buy into your solution by taking them on a journey to what’s unique and different about your product or service and no one else’s. Time taken to understand your differentiator or USP is vital because you now lead them to your unique solution.

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David Doyle

David has spent 30 years in sales successfully building business from zero to acquisition. Having studied Electronics and Computer Science at DIT and Enterprise Ireland's Export Sales Development Programme, he has spent most of his time in selling technology. He is founder and Managing Director of B2B Sell and leads a small team of experienced business and technology trained sales professionals.

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