The eight steps below represent, from our experience, the most critical stages of successful selling. This report assesses how well an individual understands each of these stages of the sales process:
- Preparing covers how you prepare for the sale and prepare yourself. You can be well prepared with information and sales tools but if you are not in the appropriate frame of mind, or if you do not appear professional to the buyer, you might not get the sale.
- In Targeting, we explore the markets or groups you may target as prospects. Then we focus on the individuals with whom you will make contact. This includes the sales strategies and tactics you select for each target. Poor targeting with great selling would result in limited success because you would be selling to the wrong people.
- Connecting is the initial contact step in selling where you must appeal to people intellectually so that they see you as a credible resource and emotionally so that they trust you as a person. Without either, you are inhibited from learning enough about them to solve their problems and make a sale.
- Assessing needs and wants uncovers what to sell and how to sell it primarily through probing and listening.
- Solving the buyer’s problem, or filling their need, is where most of the sales attention has been placed in the past. This is the part where you present your solutions, tell your stories, show your product or describe the outcomes that buying will produce. At its lowest level, this is a sales pitch. At its highest level, this is a dialogue where you prove there is great value to them in buying from you.
- the Confirming phase. Once you have shown that you can solve their problem, it is time to gain their commitment to buy. Your goal is to confirm the commitment to purchase. Historically, this has been known as “closing” the sale, but the truth is that it is not an end but the initiation of your sales relationship, the beginning to serve the customer as they begin to pay you for the value they receive.
- A confirmed sale needs Assuring that the value promised will be received. This is where relationships are built and customer loyalty is to be given (by you) more than expected (from them.)
- Managing is the final phase of the sales cycle where you manage sales and accounts and self-management of yourself. Ultimately, we are all our own ‘sales manager’. This is the phase of selling where you must get yourself to do what needs to be done even when you do not feel like doing it.