My business associate Dan Rood provides a great deal of leadership within our sales team, and the headline sitting atop this month's column is one of his consistent challenges.

Dan's point is that the benefits selling professional should strive to be a consultant to his or her customers. A consultant brings intellectual capital to their clients, and builds a relationship based on adding value via concepts and guidance as well as simple access to products.

Why be an auctioneer?

  • It's easy to boil down decisions to price.
  • It's easy to recommend a "one size fits all" package (vs. a design tailored to the client).
  • To appeal to price-driven buyers and earn fast results.

Why be a consultant?

  • It builds a long-standing book of business based on customers, not buyers.
  • This approach might take longer to develop sales, but the long-term payoff is greater becoming a consultant. Escaping the price-driven sale sounds good, but does the transition ever happen in the real world?

One transition that took place in the past few years is at Best Buy. Ten years ago, shopping at Best Buy was almost purely price driven. They had bargains on computers, televisions, and all manner of electronics and related gear. But getting service on what they sold was a grim experience. It was not unusual to stand in line for long periods of time, then to talk to someone who had to ask questions of two or three others before they could even log in your problem.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.