Linda Richardson joins me on this episode of the Salesman Podcast to discuss how the sales conversation is changing and what the future of sales is going to look like.
Is consultative selling obsolete?
“The how to [sell] is the easy part. The hard part is the commitment. The commitment to learning, to getting better tomorrow than you are today”
We start the show with Linda giving us an overview of the old model of consultative selling for anyone who isn’t familiar (and who better to hear it from!) before we look at how this is evolving over time into something that has greatly more value to the end customer.
Prospecting is dead, long live prospecting
Next we dive into how prospecting for sales people has changed with the internet becoming ubiquitous across the developed world. There is way more information about the products you’re selling online and prospects are more informed than ever before they even get to speak with you.
“I think the area of prospecting has dramatically, DRAMATICALLY changed”
I ask Linda if marketing taking some of the responsibility for the beginning of the sales funnel away from the individual sales person is a good thing or bad. Then we look at if sales people should be getting more involved with marketing on a personal level by working on their personal branding.
Are sales roles becoming obsolete?
Finally we discus if sales roles will become more or less important over time and if they will have to become experts in their field and evolve in new ways to be able to offer the customer more value in their business.
Linda Richardson is a consultant, writer, sales leader, and founder and builder of Richardson. Early her career Linda drove the movement to Consultative Selling to help salespeople adapt to changes in client needs and engage in need based dialogues. Consultative Selling became mainstream and served sales forces well for several decades.
Linda’s book, Changing the Sales Conversation, McGraw-Hill -December 2013, focuses on the five conversation changers that have been identified to be needed to succeed with highly informed clients in the new sales landscape. She has circled back to salespeople as teachers, not touting the superiority of their product capabilities, but bringing insights, ideas, and delivering results to their clients.
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