The seven-step sellingprocess refers to the sequence of steps salespeople follow each time they make a sale. The process gives you the power to successfully sell almost anything.
The first step of the selling process, prospecting and qualifying, involves searching for potential customers and deciding whether they have the ability and desire to make a purchase. The people and organizations that meet these criteria are qualified prospects.
Before making a sales call, it is important to “do your homework” by researching your customer and planning what you are going to say; this is the preapproach.
The approach is your chance to make a first impression by introducing yourself, explaining the purpose of your call or visit, and establishing a rapport with your prospect.
Your research and preparation pays off during the presentation, when you propose your sales solution to your prospect.
Your prospect will naturally have objections, which you should look at as opportunities to better understand and respond to his or her needs.
Once you overcome objections, you close the sale by agreeing on the terms and finalizing the transaction.
The sales process doesn’t end with the close; follow-up (i.e., ensuring customer satisfaction and working out the logistics of delivery, installation, and timelines) is essential to retaining existing customers.
Prospecting is the most vital part of the selling process. Without prospects, you will not be able to make sales, and without constantly searching for new prospects, you won’t be able to replace the customers you lose and grow your business.
A lead is the only thing you can turn into a sale, so it’s important to follow up with your leads. Don’t write someone off without legitimately qualifying them.
The concept of the sales funnel illustrates the value of generating a large pool of leads because many of your prospects won’t qualify or will drop out during the selling process.
Methods for prospecting include:
Existingcustomers and referrals can be excellent sources of prospects because the customers are already familiar with your service and can speak on your behalf.
Networking provides the opportunity to leverage your existing relationships to develop new leads.
Businessdirectoriesand databases (in print and online), trade publications, business journals, are all excellent sources to identify leads.
Trade shows and events give you an opportunity to talk to prospects.
Advertising and direct marketing provide a way to reach out to many prospects who may have an interest in your product or service.
Coldcalling is an opportunity to approach the prospect and learn more about how you can meet her needs
Being a subject matter expert can set you apart and help generate leads because of your expertise.
Qualifying the lead includes identifying if the prospect is ready, willing, accessible, and able to make a purchasing decision about your product or service. MANA is the method used to qualify prospects.