Should You Be Taking A Collaborative Approach To Sales?

by Growth Through Learning, Quick Reads

Should You Be Taking A Collaborative Approach To Sales?

While there are arguably hundreds or even thousands of individual sales tactics and strategies, there are only two high-level approaches to sales: a fixed approach and a collaborative approach.

I would like to make the point here that, when possible, a collaborative approach to selling should be used.

Let me begin by first explaining the difference between these two approaches.

A Fixed Approach To Selling

In fixed selling, the salesperson has a predetermined solution they are trying to convince their prospect to buy. The offer is what it is and isn’t up for discussion.

Since the solution is fixed, the salesperson is forced to view objections as obstacles to overcome. Anytime the prospect takes issue with the offer, the salesperson is tasked with explaining why the prospect is wrong.

In this approach, the salesperson must convince the prospect that the predetermined, fixed solution is in fact the right choice or they won’t be able to make the sale.

A Collaborative Approach To Selling

In collaborative selling, the salesperson works with the prospect to discover the best solution to satisfy the client’s needs. The salesperson may come to the table with an initial solution, but they aren’t bound to stick with it. If it’s discovered that the initial solution isn’t the best choice to satisfy the prospect’s requirements, the salesperson is able to modify the offer.

Since the solution is not fixed in this approach, any objections to the initial offer are received as helpful feedback to guide the conversation toward an appropriate solution. The salesperson doesn’t have to prove the prospect wrong and can instead leverage the initial objections in support of the new solution.

Here, the salesperson and prospect co-create a higher-value solution that increases the likelihood of the sale.

The Case For Collaborative Selling

Choosing a collaborative approach will be helpful not only when asking for the sale, but during the entire sales process. For example, sellers taking a fixed approach can quickly get thrown off when a prospect breaks the flow of their presentation by raising objections or expressing concerns.

Instead of becoming frustrated in the face of these objections, a collaborative approach will allow you to improve your product or service while simultaneously enhancing your client’s experience and result. Here, the entire sales presentation functions as a learning opportunity and a chance to add increasingly more value.

While fixed approach sellers are busy fighting their client’s comments, you’ll be asking how you can modify the offer to better meet your prospect’s requirements.

Keep in mind that this approach doesn’t mean that you need to completely switch up your offer to provide a significantly different product or service. The client may lack a key understanding that makes them think the offer should be modified when in reality it should remain as originally proposed, or they may simply be demanding more of a change that your organization is willing to accommodate.

Not only is the client more likely to buy when you take a collaborative approach to selling, but you’ll also be viewed as someone that cares enough to listen and respond to your clients’ comments and concerns.

That in itself can go a long way toward strengthening your business relationships and increasing your value in your clients’ eyes – something that a fixed approach is very unlikely to accomplish.

Are You An Architecture, Engineering, or Construction Professional?

Claim your free course:

“Career Advancement For AEC Professionals”

This value-packed 7-day course covers:

Popular Career Paths For AEC Professionals · Common Mistakes That Stall AEC Careers · The Importance Of A Growth Mindset · The Most Effective Way To Build Your Personal Brand · How To Get More Done And Achieve Your Goals Faster · The Economics Behind Higher-Paying Positions · The Number One Skill For Accelerating Your Career

Sign up below and we’ll send the lessons directly to your inbox.

    Looking to accelerate your career advancement?