The selling process

June 24, 2009

Many people have a dislike, or in some cases a fear, of selling. This is caused because many people do not understand the selling process and have some basic understanding of sales. Selling is generally a simple process: find out what someone wants/needs and present a solution that meets their want/need. However, there is a process that sales people must go through in order to reach the desired goal. The following are the main steps involved:

Personal Motivation – if you are not personally motivated to sell, or if you believe that you cannot sell, then you will not sell. Selling requires a positive mindset and a degree of personal belief that you are helping, serving or assisting the client.

Understanding People / Empathy Skills – You must be able to understand how people communicate and what thought process they are going through. Many of these skills come under verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Reading up on subjects such as body language and motivation is important if you are going to be able to communicate your message to a client.

Prospecting – this is finding the customers and can be made more effective by clearly working out your marketing strategy and only talking to people who you can be of benefit to.

Making Appointments – This is the part of getting the personal attention of a potential client. There are many ways of making an appointment. I have previously talked about the power of networking in accessing people and making an appointment.

Good Introduction – Talk about things that interest the client. You should try to tailor your introduction to the client, not just use the same patter in all cases. Use news items, personal history, common interests to focus your presentation and get the persons attention.

Presentation of Benefits – people do not buy the features of a product/service but rather they buy the benefits they get from the good/service. This is important because if you are not presenting the benefits to the client you are missing the point of the sales presentation.

Address Areas of Concern – people who are actively considering making a purchase decision will have questions. If you are not getting questions then it is likely that the person is not engaged with the conversation. So do not overreact to a question asked by a client. Questions and objections are good news as they indicate at minimum an engagement with you.

Customer Commitment – this is the only part of the process you actually get paid for. Always ask for the business. It is surprising how many salespeople actually get to the final hurdle and do not ask for the sale.

After-Care Service – this is crucial as if managed properly, after-care service can lead to repeat sales. Always follow up on a client who has purchased and accept responsibility to sort out any problems that may arise.

You may note that I didn’t use the term ‘closing the sale’ but rather asked for customer commitment. This is an important thought process. Closing a sale indicates the end of a process, rather than the establishment of a long-term business relationship with the new client. Be careful about your use of words, they can have negative effects on your mindset.

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