Selling is a skill where ability, cleverness and expertise are needed to win the customers attention and decision. There is a sequence to be followed in selling. In every sale, no matter what you are selling, all the 7 steps in the sequence must be performed properly in succession in order to win.
1st step: Make a list of your prospects.
The easiest way to find prospects is to ask for referrals. Possible channels to look for referrals are:
from current customers who have bought your product/service and are satisfied with it
from your networking contacts who know your business and would highly recommend it to people they think would need your product/service
from your business contacts who would gladly trade leads with you for something in return
2nd step: Analyze your leads
Go through each prospect and get to know them on paper before you go meet them or talk to them. Get to know their position in the company, group or family. The idea is for you to determine whether they are in the position to decide whether to buy your product/service or not. No matter how good your sales talk, if they are not the decision maker, you cannot lead them to choose to buy.
3rd step: Start to make contact
Make the call or send an email to set an appointment to meet with them. Make the purpose of your appointment clear to them from the start, which is that you’re to meet with them to make your presentation. When they agree to an appointment with you that will help you feel certain that they will be open to your talk and will encourage you to make a persuasive presentation.
4th step: The sales pitch
This is the all-important step of the sequence. To give a convincing pitch, you will need to make use of 2 key players — information and persuasiveness. Give out clear and pertinent information where all their possible questions about your product/service are answered that they won’t even need to ask. Professionalism will always impress and your sales pitch is the only part where you can do that. So, take a good amount of time and effort in preparing your sales presentation.
5th step: Move to close the sale
Once you’ve made your sales pitch, ask at once for the sale. You need to move in directly, with confidence and poise. Your self-assuredness will catch on to them, if you give your prospects a bit more time to think, some may hesitate and you might end up losing their sale.
6th step: Deal with any negative response
Not always will the 1st pitch be successful. When you encounter a negative response, then counteract positively. Whether you face a refusal or a hesitation from your prospects, don’t leave it just like that, deal with it and work against it by negotiating. Find out the reason for the refusal or hesitation and then compromise with a solution. If for instance the prospect says that the price is too high, give a discounted rate if you can, if you’re not allowed to lower the price, then offer a freebie instead that will be really hard to reject.
7th step: Ask for new referrals from your new customers
You will need to find a new set of referrals anyway to start the cycle all over again, so the best people to ask are your new customers because the sale is still fresh on their minds and their enthusiasm about your product or service is still high. Remember to ask for complete names and contact numbers. Any free information they give out to you about their referrals should be voluntary, you shouldn’t solicit any other info from them except for the basic name, title and contact numbers.
From here, the sales sequence ends and will begin again.