Consultative selling is about ENGAGEMENT – Matthew Hill & Ursula Brinkmann

What is your dream sales outcome?  – A Global corporation spontaneously calling you with a warm and friendly offer to buy your premium priced full-service solution for their executive elite?

Does what you’ve just read seem improbable? In fact, it is anything but.

The ladder of engagement ends with the most credible people in your target business sector actively encouraging their high-quality contact list to buy and use you and your services.

It is not a quick journey and it requires plenty of persistence, intelligence and inspiration on your part AND it is entirely possible.

ROS – Return on Sweat – what are you implementing at the moment to fill your business pipeline? Some live follow-up phone calls offering to help people if they have a problem? A Christmas card in December? Or launching a fresh website with moving parts?

Lovely as these things may be, they are not going to fill a sustained and secure business pipeline. They are not going to give you the feeling of being in control. They are not going to propel your reputation and BRAND to the next level.

In this post, we will spell out the pathway to outstanding customer engagement. Please feel free to read on, take notes and, more importantly, take immediate action once you have finished reading.

There are 10s or possibly 100s of high-value customers who will be ready to call you in 2017. Alas, today, they do not know you exist. How will you take steps to help them find you?

The Ladder of Engagement – Step by step

Don’t Know You – in the past, people became famous by advertising, putting brochures in the post or cold calling decision-makers. Today the returns on these crude activities is negligible and anyone attempting an old school marketing campaign will quickly become poorer and disillusioned.

Know You – today it is about getting noticed by being good / great / exceptional, showing / sharing your expertise and connecting with the emotions and issues of your well-funded and needy audience.

The single most effective way I know and use is to secure public speaking opportunities where I have an live platform to point out what the audience does not have, point out the cost of not having it and to talk about where they may acquire it. This rich and warm touch-point is invaluable in building a database of contacts that are warm and responsive.

Another powerful medium for throwing bait to the fish is to post intelligent, ethical and useful thought pieces on the LinkedIn post site, or via a WordPress blog site that has being well prepared for Search Engine Optimisation so that your new audience can find you.

Keywords are the key to ending your obscurity.

Like you – if you are blessed with natural beauty, above-average height or piercing blue eyes much of the job has been done for you already. For the rest of us we can dress like the audience, speak their language and use intelligence, humour and passion to convert an emotionally neutral crowd into people that care what you say next. This applies to a live audience, a webinar broadcast or a piece of marketing collateral. Despite your hesitation, believe me when I tell you, you can demonstrate your personality and wonderful character to powerful effect and deliver your core message well and in an effective way.


Your homework with friends and family is to get a reaction out of them. Sit around the table and attempt to provoke either agreement or intellectual disagreement as you make your case. Do so with sophistication, eloquence and charm.

Trust you – The three pillars of trust are Ability, Benevolence and Integrity. Your success depends upon you knowing your skills, articulating your skills and demonstrating your skills. It requires that you prove goodwill and your desire for mutually beautiful outcomes. The second and last pillars are connected. Are you truly aligned with a healthy purpose and are you consistent with your message? Repetition of your key proposition and the benefits in multiple media, across different channels over a period of time will help people to come to trust you.

Buy from you – at some point we must convert the marketing momentum into the signing of a contract. To make this easier we have split the commercial part into two. We begin with the first sale or transaction. The first coaching hour, the first half day’s training or the first DVD. The skills you need here are to use a process. This requires that you remember a simple closing sequence. If you outline the benefits of what you are providing, pre-empt possible objections with honest and demonstrable outcomes, point out the implications of those outcomes for improving the customer’s life and business and articulate ways to reduce emotional and financial risk, you will be well on the way to winning your next piece of business. Selling is a process not a black art.

Buy more from you – some people say that your first sale can only be called successful when the customer comes back for more. This seems sensible because it means you've delivered what you promised. The investment by you to make this happen is in the quality of the customer experience of your product or service.

Advocate and refer – the Holy Grail of customer engagement happens when you over-deliver so frequently that client’s trust in you becomes unshakeable. They migrate from being distant corporate executives to becoming your raving fans and unflinching advocates of your proposition. Sometimes as active marketers and referrers they will send high-quality business directly to your desk. This is the gold standard of engagement and is what anybody can expect to achieve with excellence, intelligence and openness to critical feedback. You will also require an obsession for improving the quality and customer experience for whatever you deliver.

Do not underestimate the work involved in getting to the top floor. There will be setbacks, disappointments and even betrayals. Other people may sometimes let you down. The one constant MUST be you, your determination, your grinding persistence, your scheduled activity and your openness to constructive criticism. Finally, your willingness to constantly expand and improve upon what you provide in return for the customer’s money will determine you long-term success in business.

To accelerate your journey to the top of the engagement ladder we are running our next  2-Day Consultative Selling Course in Amsterdam 11th & 12th September. Book your ticket at;

About matthew

Matthew Hill is a leadership author, coach and trainer with a passion for helping newly promoted managers become inner and outer leaders.
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