Changing the Sales Conversation Through Consultative Selling with Linda Richardson – Episode 40


Sales itself has been around almost forever. But the way the sales process is carried out and the way sales are actually made has to change repeatedly. Why? Because the culture changes – which means the people you are selling to change as well – in their thinking, their needs, their fears, and their areas of risk aversion. Linda Richardson is one of the pioneers in what is being called “insight selling” and “consultative selling” and on this episode of In The Arena she’s talking with Anthony about her new book, “Changing the Sales Conversation” which outlines the changes that are happening in society that impact the way we do sales. If you’re not familiar with these concepts this episode is a great primer. Even if you are familiar with the concepts, you’ll still get tons of value from the conversation.

What is consultative selling? You get to hear it from an expert, Linda Richardson, on this episodeClick To Tweet

Why is insight so important in sales and how does a salesperson develop it?

“Insight” in any realm is essentially having sight into a person or situation: it’s understanding and wisdom about what you are dealing with. Salespeople have to be able to develop a type of insight that reveals unspoken nuances and dynamics that are going on in the sales conversation. Linda Richardson says that it’s a skill that can’t be taught, only learned by experience. Anthony gets Linda to unpack the idea of how this sort of insight is learned through coaching and mentoring on this episode, so be sure you listen.

The sales manager has to teach his/her salespeople what it means to have insight.

And it’s not done in a classroom, through a sales presentation or slide deck, or by telling them lots of concepts. It comes through demonstration in real life scenarios. That means sales managers have to be out in the field alongside salespeople, selling together, talking about situations, pointing out observations in the appointment they just left that the Jr. salesperson likely missed. That’s how sales managers do their best at equipping new salespeople to do their jobs well. It’s called coaching, and it’s the sales manager’s job. Find out more about effective sales coaching on this episode of In The Arena.

You can’t install insight into an individual. How can #salespeople develop it? On this episodeClick To Tweet

Consultative selling is what works today.

Imagine yourself with a physical condition that has you worried. What would you do? 9 times out of 10, you’ll make an appointment to see your physician. The doc is seen as an expert, someone who has specialized in the area of physical health. THAT is the idea behind consultative selling. The salesperson is serving the potential customer as a consultant, and expert in the area of need they have. It’s not high pressure and it’s not scary. It’s a sales professional sincerely caring for the needs of another person and offering solutions to help them address their need. You can hear Linda Richardson, author of “Changing the Sales Conversation” define and discuss consultative selling on this episode.

Why resolving risk is a greater concern than ever for salespeople.

We live in very interesting times. On one hand we are more prosperous than ever. But we’re also coming off some very turbulent times in the business world. Customers have become leery both because the corporate climate has changed and because the recent past has convinced them that there is a great deal of risk involved in many of the choices available today. How is a salesperson to address the risk aversion that many of their prospects have today? Linda Richardson and Anthony Iannarino, both sales pros in their own right, discuss the issue together on this episode.

Customers are more comfortable with their fears than they are with the value you provide ~ Anthony IannarinoClick To Tweet

Outline of this great episode

  • How Anthony became familiar with Linda Richardson.
  • What is insight for sales people?
  • How can salespeople develop insight that helps in their sales career?
  • How sales managers can serve new salespeople with providing experiences.
  • Why do we need consultative selling now?
  • The difficulty of applying concepts and skills to particular companies.
  • The new skills that salespeople need.
  • How resolving risk is a greater challenge than it’s ever been.
  • Why Anthony loves Linda’s book and why you should grab it (below).

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode


The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud

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Insight is a big, big part of the new #selling ~ Linda RichardsonClick To Tweet
Research shows the reason alone does not change a person’s mind. We need relationship ~ Linda RichardsonClick To Tweet
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