Four Steps to Sales Success – part 1

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There are basically four stages to the Sales Process .

  • The Inception
  • The Knowledge Gathering Stage
  • The Presentation Stage
  • The Conclusion Stage

Let me begin by  asking ‘ What is the objective of the first step ?’ ..Any Guesses….Well , The objective of the first step is simply to get to the next step 😊 . Really ! Yes , its that simple …

Going by similar logic , the objective of the second step is to get to the third and so on …


Progress with the Sale

Sales persons are always looking for ways to progress further with the sale . That means the only way to know that the meeting was good or bad was whether or not you got to the next step . When I go on first meetings , I know ,my objective is to get to the next step : to come back for second meeting. The success of these sales meetings is determined by whether or not I am going to come back not my gut feel of how the meeting went .

I will discuss the first two steps in this blog and leave the other two for the next blog

The Inception

Don’t use contrived openings . Simply get to know the other person  . Be clear and germane . At Inception stage , the purpose is just to get to the next step. Well, of course, we all make mistakes during meetings with prospects . Sometimes we do a knowledge , dump on the prospect – telling them everything about our product/service , probably more than they even wanted to know . We may even put forth some ideas/ questions that aren’t relevant .

This should be totally avoided …


The Knowledge Gathering Stage

In this stage , its crucially important to ask  :What data-points do I have to know in order to make the right presentation ? If we agree that ‘The Conclusion comes from ‘The Presentation and ‘The Presentation comes from ‘The Knowledge Gathering Stage , then we have to ascertain the information that we need  .

I don’t believe in asking people what they need ? I feel that’s a very outdated approach in Sales ! People dont need us , and we shouldn’t conduct the interview as though they did .

Our information gathering  cannot be based on needs . The salient point to be successful in a sales effort is to be able to find  out what people do . If we understand what they do , how they do it , when they do it , where they do it , who they do it with and why they have chosen to do it that way and whether our product or service could help them do it better , we are going to be successful . Success comes from helping people do what they want to do , not what you want to do .

If a Salesperson can walk in and say ‘ I  can show you how what I do will help you do what you do better ‘, then he/she has to first ask questions that help him/her understand what this person does. One of such question is ‘ What am I trying to accomplish here ?’ When you have the answer to that question you will be ready for your presentation

From a time management perspective  : The Knowledge gathering stage should occupy about three quarters of selling process.


Yogita is The Director and Co – Founder of iXceed

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