7 Steps in Sales

What so few of us are willing to accept is this fundamental truth: Great salespeople, like great athletes, simply do the basics very well. Some of us would like to believe that there’s a shortcut around the basics; that, if we could only find it, there’s a secret formula out there somewhere for just sitting back and letting the money roll in. The sooner you get rid of that illusion, the sooner you can get on with reaching the heights you want to reach through effective use of the basics.

1. Prospecting.

Prospecting, done right, not only creates a pipeline of potential customers, it helps to position you as a trusted advisor. It also helps you focus on the right accounts. That’s why it’s important to understand how prospecting fits in the overall sales cycle, and how to:

  • Create a strategy for targeting the right accounts.

  • Develop messaging for specific prospect contacts.

  • Find the right time to reach out to contacts.

  • Use voicemail and email effectively.

  • Make prospecting a habit.

Knowing who to target and taking a well-defined approach to reach them increases your chances of getting their attention and interest, helping you, in turn, better understand their needs. This is what can help move them along in the sales cycle, giving you a measurably better return for the time and energy you invest.

2. Making original contact the professional way. 

We all meet new people all the time—in social situations, at events for our children, at church, in non-sales business settings. The key to success in selling is to refine your skills during these initial contacts to become memorable to the other folks and to remember as much about them as possible so you can impress them even more on your second meeting—which, hopefully, will be a selling situation.

3. Qualification.

Many salespeople spend most of their time talking to the wrong people. If you do that, it doesn’t matter how eloquently you present your service or product. Your earnings are going to be low. Ask the right questions from the beginning. 

4. Presentation. 

After you qualify and know that this person has a need for your product or service, it’s now time to move on to the fourth basic which is the presentation. You must present your product in such a way that they see that it will benefit and save money. 

5. Handling objections.

 Customer feedback can help you gauge the level of customer interest, identify where your customer finds value in your solution, or highlight issues and concerns they may have. As a sales professional, you must get in the habit of asking for feedback early and often during the sales process, especially when presenting your solution.

6. Closing the sale. 

Closing contains elements of both art and science, and those elements can be learned. To increase your closing percentage you must step beyond your comfort zone and find ways to be close more assertively while remaining polite, needs focused, and value driven all while not appearing to be that "pushy salesperson" prospects want to avoid.

7. Referrals. 

After you’ve satisfied the needs of your client and closed the sale, you have earned the right to your next prospect. By that I mean getting referral business from each and every client. That is the seventh and final basic. If they’re happy, they’ll want someone else to be happy, too.