Welcome back Fellow Movers and Shakers! The date is January 16th.
Today’s Blog: “The Sales Process”
No matter who you are, what you sell, or who your prospective customer may be. . . The Sales Process is a series of steps which answer a specific question that is critical to your customer. What’s In It For Me? A process gives us the ability to identify what are the most effective steps, and a way to replicate them in future situations! A process is a checklist which allows you to “check off the box” as you build the foundation that will help maximize your success. In time, the process becomes second nature, a habit, and that is when we’re prepared to handle the variety of potential opportunities that arise every day.
The Sales Process
Know your Client – Cold calling/prospecting is one thing, but before you meet with a potential customer, you should have an idea of how you want the meeting to progress. PLAN for what you want to accomplish, but PREPARE to take the meeting further if the opportunity arises. Nothing worse than having a buyer ready to buy, and a salesperson who’s not ready to sell. Strong preparation and preplanning will ensure that your time is as productive and successful as possible. You will gain more, and your customer will appreciate it. This step will “set the stage” for making the most of every sales call.
Call Opening – You set the stage for your call in the first 5 minutes; but what stage do you want to set? Building trust and a relationship with the customer is important, and can be time consuming. YOU must manage the call opening so you don’t spend all your time talking about a recent ski trip, and then there’s no time for business. . . . which is after all, the reason you’re sitting there in the first place! You have to be prepared to move from small talk or an unrelated issue to what you want to discuss.
Establishing Needs – If you’ve done your diligence in identifying and pre-qualifying true potential clients, then you’ve already determined they need your products and services. But do they know? Getting your customers to realize that as clearly and as passionately as you do is the art of establishing needs. Ask questions you already know the answer to. Make them say the words, and if they won’t. . .say it for them as you clarify portions of the conversation. As Dale Carnegie would say, “get them saying yes!”
Presenting Solutions – Once you get your client to realize they have a need, then now is the time to show them what ideas you have that will answer their need aka. . .solve their problem! You can tell and show them what the issues are, but they’ll be much more interested in what they can do to alleviate them. They may very well object, but that’s ok too, it’s their right. YOU have to be prepared to handle their objections. If you are not successful in “closing the deal” then you must consider what went wrong. Were they wrong prospect, did you not identify the problem, did you not convince them that you were the solution? Every sales call can be beneficial in that it teaches you what to do better in the future. Sales is not always intuitive, it takes practice.
Gaining Commitment – You go thru your sequence; your client is nodding in agreement, it doesn’t get better than this. You’re at the conclusion of the meeting and there’s a dreadful moment of silence. You just look at each other waiting for the other to make the move. Now is not the time to be bashful. . . .ASK FOR THE BUSINESS! ! ! Many sales are lost simply because the salesperson did not ask for the order. Asking for the business creates a YES – NO situation. If the buyer is ready to say YES, then they should be willing to move forward. If they are not, then now is your opportunity to find out why, and re-address their concerns. As a mentor of mine told me. “if you don’t ask, then you don’t get”.
Servicing the Customer – Now that you have the order, your job is done. Right? Wrong. In fact it’s just really begun. Those that succeed long term in the profession of selling (and in building their brand) know that their follow-through, follow-up and consistent service is what will keep the sales machine running well. If you drop the ball on any part of what you committed to your customer you are less likely to do business with them again. Your customers have choices; don’t give them a reason to choose a competitor, especially after you did all the legwork!
My name is Bill Miranda. I can help you develop World Class Customer Service organizations, Marketing Strategies, and Dynamic Sales Strategies and Tactics.
E-mail me for more information, and a free telephone consultation.
Next Month: “Building Your Business; Review, Delegate, Review”