TT#014 - 3 questions to ask if your consultative sales calls suck

Jun 07, 2022
3 questions to ask if your consultative sales calls suck

Are you consistently losing prospects you talk to, even though know you can help them?

This can be incredibly frustrating.

It’s frustrating, in part, because you feel like you’re letting these people down since they’ll probably keep keep struggling with the challenges that brought them to you in the first place.

And, let’s face it, it’s also frustrating because it’s costing you sales.

After leading dozens of sales audits for client-based companies, including several of the world’s best business coaching programs, I’ve picked up on some incredibly common sales process mistakes

When these sales process mistakes are corrected, they help 1-person consulting businesses as much as they do $100 million coaching programs.

Here are 3 questions to help determine if you or your team is making any these mistakes.

1: Are you selling broccoli, or chocolate?

Clients usually know what they want.

But when you’ve consulted or coached for awhile, you learn that what clients want and what they need are often very different things.

Many consultants and coaches respond to this by trying to convince prospective clients to buy what they need, which essentially means trying to convince someone to buy something they don’t want.

That doesn’t work all that well.

A better approach is finding a way to market and sell to the symptoms our clients are experiencing, not necessarily the root cause of what’s causing them.

One of my recent clients, and a brilliant business coach, Dan Martell calls this offering chocolate broccoli.

To me, this is all about positioning your solution in such a way that prospects are able to buy what they want in order for us to deliver what they need.

I learned this the hard way with my 360º Sales Audit.

For more than a year I refused to call it a “sales audit” because we audit sales, as well as the key processes that influence sales, like the value proposition and marketing.

When I quit marketing a “growth system audit” and started marketing what people really wanted, it was a game changer.

So, the question to ask yourself is, are you selling chocolate or are you selling broccoli?

2: Are you talking about problems + solutions, or pains + emotions?

Most discovery calls are loaded with fact-based questions in order to qualify prospects.

  • What’s the size of company?
  • What are the problems they’re facing?
  • What’s their budget to solve those problems?
  • Where are they in the buying process
  • Who are the decision makers?
  • What are their expectations?
  • And so on...

Now, don’t get me wrong, this part of discovery is important. If they don’t have a problem you can solve, no one wins.

But people don’t decide to buy on logic alone. They decide to buy on emotion, and justify it with logic.

Which is why we need to invest as much time into unpacking their problems as we do the pains those problems are causing, and how that is making them feel.

There’s a big difference between knowing someone wants to grow their business by 50%, and knowing they need to grow their business by 50% so they can retire their spouse, homeschool their children, and fulfill their lifelong dream of being location-independent.

It changes the conversation when you understand what they are trying to accomplish, and why that matters to them as a person.

Are you just scratching the surface when it comes to discovery?

3: Are your prospects talking to a stranger?

The success rate of your consultative sales process is highly dependent on the effectiveness of the marketing that led them to talk to you in the first place.

Here’s why:

Consultative sales requires having the authority & credibility to offer a prescription that prospects will accept. And not many people are going to accept a prescription for anything of significance if they don’t know who you are.

In order to maximize your close rates, the process that leads them to book a call in the first place - AND - the process after they book the call should invite them to learn more about you.

Does your sales and marketing process try to get people to book a call immediately, or allow them to learn more about you and how you work first?

When they do book a call, are you sharing hard hitting content to engage with and testimonials before you talk to boost. your credibility?

Or are prospects getting on a call with a virtual stranger?

When this process is optimized, I’ve seen it double close rates, cut sales cycles in half, and give you a much better opportunity to close deals on the call.

More importantly, it frees you or your team up from having conversations with unqualified prospects or people that aren’t ready to be sold.


There you have it: 3 questions to help you diagnose your own sales (and marketing) process and improve the process for everyone.

I’m on a mission to help 10,000 Solopreneurs & Executive Freelancers discover and enjoy a new lifestyle by creating income they deserve from wherever they choose doing work they love.

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