I read an article that came out at the end of last year that talked about the 10 biggest things you can do to get hired in 2013. One of them was sales…
As someone that built a business and a career on a lot of sales and being a trusted voice in the sales process, I am here to tell you that sales doesn’t have to be so tough and that if you have learned how to program, rock climb, or any other difficult task….sales is much easier and you can learn how to sell, just like any other skill.
Here are the 7 stages of selling…
1. Prospecting: Not for gold silly, for qualified potential buyers. Too often we try to sell to everyone. That doesn’t work. Know your customers.
2. Develop a Relationship: You need to build trust. You have got to get people to know that you aren’t just BS-ing them to make a sale. You know the bad image you have of a used car salesman…don’t be that guy.
3. Diagnose the Need: You have to ask questions of your clients or potential clients. Remember, it is all about them. So ask carefully thought out questions that will allow your prospective client to tell you what is wrong or what issue your service or product can fill. (Tip: If you can’t provide that, maybe you know someone that can. This will help you with step 2.)
4. Present Solutions: If you have done a good job of understanding your clients’ needs, you should be in a position to offer up some solutions. Like I pointed out in the tip to step 3, you can offer up an alternative service or product if what you have doesn’t work for this need…trust me, you will win major points if you do.
5. Answer Questions: You are going to encounter what most sales coaches and trainers call “objections.” I prefer to call them questions and they are a natural extension of the sales process. You are attempting to come to a conceptual understanding of the need of the client and how you can provide a product or service that fills that need. This isn’t some one size fits all deal…you are going to have a little going back and forth. Its a good thing…ok!
6. Come to an Agreement: This might be called closing the sale. I like to consider it coming to a conceptual agreement. Either way, this is the point where you shake hands and have the ability to get to work. This is the point where you know you are going to get some money for your efforts! This is obviously most people’s favorite point in the process.
7. Who Else Can I Help?: You are asking for referrals, right? If you have done the first 6 steps in a professional manner, delivered on the promise of your product and service, you would be doing professional malpractice if you didn’t ask for a referral to help other people. So make it a part of your sales process…always ask for referrals.
Let me know what you think of these tips…