A consultant’s classic that works for sales

Feb 11, 2020 | Sales

It’s as old as the hills in coaching and consulting circles.

However, did you know the venerable ‘GROW’ model can work in the setting of a commercial call? 

The GROW model has been around for donkeys years. In fact, a quick bit of Google reveals that it was invented in the 1980s by the impressively titled, Sir John Whitmore, co-founder of Performance Consultants. 

 It’s not a big jump to see why. There’s a lot of noise about sales people needing to be ‘consultative’ to be successful. Sometimes, I think it’s just a titled slapped on anything vaguely sales related just to sound a bit more respectable (in the same way AI is everywhere right now even if real examples of machine learning are few and far between). However, when talking about how to structure a sales discovery call this is one key moment in the sales process where taking that consultative stance can pay dividends. 

 A quick reminder of the theory of GROW. The idea is to sign post the conversation (in the original context of business coaching), leading the opposite number through articulating each of their: Goals, Reality, Options and Will. 

 As a sales person, knowing each of these is an essential pre-requisit to understanding the customer. 

 Knowing the goal may sound obvious, but many a pitch has failed because it didn’t solve the prospect core challenges.

 Similarly, if we know the reality of where the prospect is right now, we can play that back to them during our pitch, highlighting just how yawning the chasim is between where they are right now and where they want to be. 

Asking about options has the twin benefit of revealing what the prospect is already doing or considering and also gives the sales person the platform to begin to add themselves to the options list. 

And finally the will, just how important is this? If the prospect doesn’t see this as neither urgent nor important then the salesperson knows they have their work cut out to prove otherwise. 

Add in some key open and closed questions to the mix and quickly the salesperson has a tool kit to take into any discovery call and not get made to look off the pace. 

GROW model for sales is something I use regularly, especially when it’s an early contact and still a fair bit for both sides to learn about each other before moving to the next subject how to be part of the way forward.