When we think about selling, it’s not about just promoting a specific item and waiting for someone to buy it, or giving this item to everyone who passes by until they are convinced to buy it for themselves. If you want to do it right, you need to go deeper, you need a sales process.
Selling is an art that requires a process that must be planned and thought out strategically. A sales process has several phases to follow. How it works depends on the product or service you want to offer and the audience you are addressing.
A sales process is defined as a sequence executed by the salesperson to interact with a prospect, the ultimate goal of which is to provoke a reaction to make a sale.
To develop a good strategy, we will discuss the different steps to follow in order to close sales for your business.
The sales process step by step…
When we talk about the sales process, there are two main moments:
- The upstream analysis process,
- The sales process itself.
The first part of the sales process
1. Define the objectives of your sales process
The first thing you need to do is set your goals. To do this, you need to understand the overall strategies of your business and turn them into goals. Take a good look at your market, its size, and the role you want to play in it.
2. Know your company and its product
A good salesperson must know the characteristics of his or her product, its advantages, the solution it provides, its functionalities, the emotions and experiences that his or her product will trigger in the customer.
As for the business, the seller will need to understand its strategies, its product orientations, the services it offers, its marketing, by identifying its value proposition and its competitive advantages.
3. Know your customers
Sellers must study market segmentation and have a clear definition of their target. They will have an idea of the prospects to target. There are two main types of customers: people and businesses, each requiring different processes and strategies.
4. Know the needs of your customers
It is important that salespeople take their customer knowledge far enough. At the first level, we will talk about age, sex, place of residence, etc. But you have to dig deeper into the personal part, your interests, aspirations, needs, and problems.
Once salespeople have established their typical customer, they must ask themselves the question: does the product meet one of their needs? Does it serve their interest? They can then offer it to them more effectively.
The second part of the sales process
At this point, the prospects are identified. This part will depend on the success of sales. It is important to always take your customers into account. This can help identify new ones. This helps detect prospects who really want the product or service from the business.
6. The preliminary approach
Before approaching a prospect, the salesperson must learn about this company, its needs, its problems, its characteristics, and its buying styles. Choose the best approach, whether it’s a face-to-face meeting, a phone call, a cover letter, chat, social media, or by e-mail.
Personal presentation plays an important role. The greeting phase also starts a relationship in a more positive way. You can then ask key questions to educate yourself about the customer, grab their attention, or encourage their curiosity as a buyer. Listening to the customer and understanding their needs is essential.
7. Consultative selling
A consultative sale is all about telling a story, showing the features and benefits of the product, and demonstrating how it will solve the prospect’s problems.
Customers look for salespeople who listen to them, understand their concerns and needs, and respond to them with concrete solutions.
Be empathetic and put yourself in their shoes.
8. Handling of objections
In many cases, customers tend to have objections during the sales cycle and process. To treat them, the seller must see them as opportunities. How? ‘Or’ What? By asking the buyer to clarify them so that they can offer more information, complete the sales pitch, and actually make the purchase.
9. The sale conclusion
To successfully close a deal, the seller must find the right time to close the sale, identifying the signals given by the buyer. It could be questions, comments, or even gestures.
A seller should use closing techniques such as: signing the purchase order, discussing the points of the agreement, setting delivery dates, pointing out the benefits the buyer would lose if the order is not placed at this time, among others.
It can also offer discounts, special promotions with added value in order to close the deal.
This is the last step after the sale is closed, a good salesperson is always looking to ensure customer satisfaction. This is where customer loyalty comes in.
It’s worth it because the customer may not buy just once and order again, or even become an ambassador to friends, family, and acquaintances. Ideally, he or she will feel like part of your brand and eventually identify with it.
Other important aspects of the sales process
Going through all of these points will go a long way in helping you define your sales process. It is recommended to study the competition. You have to make the sales process better than theirs, by optimizing the experience offered.
Remember, don’t copy your competition. Improve your sales process by implementing new techniques.
As a salesperson, you need to be optimistic, doing your job with pleasure and motivation. A good attitude will always make the difference! Show patience, will, flexibility. Have confidence in yourself, communicate positively with your customers and stimulate the desire to buy from them.
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