Sales Words and Consultant Words

Out in the business world I see many people calling themselves consultants and struggling to find the vital behaviors needed and necessary to be one. As I listen to some sales people calling themselves consultants their verbiage reminds me of someone from the 70’s and 80’s. Some sales professionals in 2013 still talk in a dysfunctional language with clients…words count and some words count more.

For example:

Sales people say, “contacts”
Consultants say, “key players”

Sales people say, “do for you”
Consultants say, ” do with you”

Sales people say, “here to win the business”
Consultants say, “here to help you achieve your goals”

Sales people respond to the RFP
Consultants influence the RFP

Sales people say, “we can help meet your needs”
Consultants say, “we can help achieve your goals, solve your problems, and meet your needs”

Sales people ask, “what other vendors are you looking at?”
Consultants ask, “what other options (internally/externally) are you considering?”

Sales people ask for their customers “buy-in”
Consultants ask for their clients “commitment ”

Sales people call their customers “accounts”
Consultants call their clients “relationships”

Sales people prescribe before they diagnose
Consultants diagnose before they prescribe

Sales people “use” other team players in meetings
Consultants “leverage” other team players in meetings

Consultants, as you can see, talk differently than a sales person. They know that if they want to be treated like a consultant they can’t be too busy to display consultant type behaviors. Consultants also know that people have been shaped by words and that people are shapers of words. What comes first is a change in language. Change in language precedes a change in behavior. Here is to being a consultant and behaving our way into success in 2013 and beyond.

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