Are you a salesperson or a consultant?

It really doesn’t matter what your title is or even what industry you serve. At one level, everybody’s in the position of selling something to somebody.

But here’s the dilemma: If you ask, most people will readily admit they don’t like being sold. Many businesses have “No Soliciting” signs on their doors. Many will slam the phone down the moment they realize you’re trying to sell them. Even if you’re selling in person, the moment the topic turns to sales, the excuses of why they can’t buy what you’re selling begin to fly.

So how do you get around this dilemma?

Stop thinking about just selling and instead think about what kind of value you can provide. Think of yourself as a consultant. A salesperson sells products and services. A good consultant first figures out what their prospects really need to make their lives better and then creates a solution to make that pain go away.

To offer real and unique value, you must first gather and collect data about your prospect. Yes, this takes work, but it is precisely this kind of work that results in bringing real value and building a long-term, mutually profitable business relationship.

Transforming yourself from a salesperson to a consultant begins with a change in your mindset. All of the prospects and customers you could ever want are right under your nose waiting for your solutions. But remember: they don’t want to be sold. They want you to show them your expertise first. They want you to prove you have their best interest at heart. Most importantly, they want to know that your solution will make their pain go away.

That’s what a good consultant does.

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