AFFLINK, a leading sales and marketing organization for the professional cleaning industry and developer of the eLev8 process, has identified four "core benefits" of consultative selling that are often missed or overlooked when distributors use traditional sales processes.
Consultative selling is a sales strategy that places emphasis on the salesperson becoming a consultant to his clients.
The process is intended to assist customers, such as facility managers and building service contractors (BSCs), to better understand and address their customer's needs and cleaning challenges.
According to Leah Runge, marketing manager for the AFFLINK eLev8 process, all jansan distributors and DSRs should be aware of these core benefits so they can better assist their own clients.
The four core benefits of consultative selling are:
- It allows the distributor to serve the customer, not just sell them
- The customer has a better understanding of their own cleaning and maintenance needs
- Distributors build their businesses by satisfying customer needs
- It establishes a "tone of helpfulness" that fosters trust.
According to Runge, while all four benefits are significant, the second one-helping end-customers and facility managers better understand their own cleaning and maintenance needs-is possibly the most important.
"What we have found is that many end-customers are not always exactly sure what their needs are," says Runge.
"Positioning the salesperson as a consultant allows distributors to take the time, to listen, and then access new analytical tools to address the customers' specific cleaning needs. This makes the entire [sales] process so much more valuable for the customer."