"Understanding the Sales Process in 5 Minutes" - Learning a simplified step-by-step flow of sales activities from clients prospecting to deals closing, and watch how your results can be elevated!Thoughout my years of experience dealing with clients and sales, and my past encounters with remarkable sales professionals who are the very best in the industry, I had come to the observation that most sales follow a general pattern and process. Most sales, if not all, follow these similar series of stages in the process, named the Sales Process in this article, irregardless of the price and type of products. There are only slight variations to the process due the wide variety of products and services in the market, and the varying characteristics and preferences of individual salespersons. It is recommended that salespersons use this Sales Process as a guide, fine-tuning it slightly to suit each individual's products and objectives, and adopted the system to see how it can improve your sales results significantly.
(1) Qualifying Prospects
Not everybody is going to buy your product or service. There is bound to be a group of people who are more likely to have a need for your product and will purchase it as compared to the general public. Who are the customers that had already bought your product? Do they share a common traits? or do they fit into a specific demographic profile, such as living in a certain area, their age group or gender? By qualifying your prospects who have a higher probability of doing business with you, you are able to better make use of your time and effort while meeting with them.
(2) Building Relationship and Trust with your Prospects
Building good relationship and trust with your prospects is a very important step in the Sales Process. If you failed to gain your prospect's trust, you will never get him to close the deal no matter how attractive your proposal seems to be. This is because he is likely to suffer a huge loss should anything happen. Trust takes many years to build, but takes a moment to be destroyed. As such, it is advisable to always to be truthful to your clients, and not do anything that might hurt your reputation. As once the trust is broken, you might never be able to re-build it again.
(3) Understanding your Prospect's Needs
This is the most important stage in the Sales Process, but also the most overlooked one. How many a time had we seen or heard salespersons trying to push a product or service to prospects without first trying to truly understand the actual needs of the prospects. A prospect will not buy a product which he do not need, no matter how cheap the product is.
(4) Meeting your Prospect's Needs
After understanding your prospect's need, how is your product or service able to fulfill that need? Paint a picture in your prospect's mind how he is able to enjoy the benefits of your product after he had purchased it. If a client can see how your product is able to solve his problem or meet his needs, it will be easy for him to make the decision to commit to the purchase.
(5) Establish your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
If you are selling a product and service that are similar to what others are already offering in the market, why must your prospects buy it from you? What makes you different and stand out from the crowd? Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a marketing strategy that successful campaigns used to differentiate their products and services from their competitors'. By establishing your USP that your competitors are unable to provide, you will be able to gain a group of loyal fans who will come back for your products again and again.
(6) Always Ask for Action
Most often than not when a prospect is not ready with the purchase, a natural response would be to procrastinate and delay signing on the dotted line. It is advisable for a salesperson in this situation to always ask for action, either to ask for close or for an appointment to the next meet-up. This can help in moving the prospect a step closer to making the final decision.
(7) Follow-Up with Prospect
Contacts with a prospects should not stop after the deal is closed, and it is adviceable for a salesperson to follow-up with the prospect after the close. He can always follow-up with the customer by giving him a call or paying him a visit a few days after the close, to check with him if he is satisfied with the product or service or had him encountered any problems or difficulties. Resolve the issues immediately if any. A salesperson can also follow-up with his customers periodically or during festive seasons. This can help to build relationship and increase the number of repeated sales or referrals from his existing customers.
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