Consultative selling is a sales approach in which a salesperson acts as a trusted advisor, helping the prospects identify and solve their needs.
The term was coined by Mack Hanan in 1970.
The consultative sales approach is focused on building relationships with the prospects rather than making a sale. In this case, the main goal of a salesperson is to discover the prospect’s problems through open dialogue and position their offer as a solution to them.
As a result, it is also sometimes referred to as solution-based selling.
A trusted advisor is a salesperson who is considered a strategic partner helping the customers reach their goals (rather than another vendor looking to sell their product to them).