Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Four Major Steps in Sales

By definition, a sale is the act of meeting prospective buyers and providing them with a product or service in return for money or other agreed upon compensation. A sale is an act of completion of a commercial activity. The “deal is closed”, means the customer has consented to the proposed product or service by making full or partial payment (as in the case of installments) to the seller.
Selling is therefore a process in which you need to follow certain steps, one at a time, to reach your final goal – the sale itself. Your sales process will also depend on your efforts invested in research and understanding your customer base, together with your energy and enthusiasm about your product.
Sometimes you can skip some steps if the customer is giving you signals to move further, faster. Otherwise, it solely depends on you and your readiness to be prepared before contacting the prospect.
If we simplify the whole sales process we can agree that there are four major steps in sales:
  1. opening/qualifying
  2. information gathering
  3. presentation of your proposal, and
  4. closing.
Opening phase is usually a result of a cold call to someone who has not yet heard of you or thought about working with you.

Information gathering
is a second step when sales person is asking customers what they do, how they do it, and why they do it that way. Then he/she ask how his company can help them do it better. Usually second step means getting the meeting or presentation opportunity.

is next step when sales person is giving the presentation based on the gathered information, and giving the recommendation or meaningful solution to solve their pains, issues, or needs.
When customer decides to buy that is a fourth step in sales process and the only step that actually counts –

Closing the deal.
This means they see the value in your solution and you assisted to buyer to make a decision based on information you provided.

When you don’t close the deal you did not completed your process. It is very similar to playing baseball when you get to the third base but never reach home and score; in sales this means you have gone through three steps but on the end you didn’t engaged buyer enough to see the value in your solution.

You didn’t address their needs that will trigger a buy to happen. You have wasted your time and your customer’s time, and there is hardly any chance of getting back to that customer to try to sell again.

Thanks to Alen Majer for this article