Four Steps to Sales Success – part 1
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
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 I feel that’s a very outdated approach in Sales !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