When I first started in a sales position, I had a lot of trouble with actually making sales. Some of it was due to not believing that I could sell people things, but part of it was also the method that I was using to sell. The belief in my abilities came through experience and more and more time went by and I got more and more sales. The second problem was solved when I took a class on selling. It gave me a strategy to use when selling that I still use today and have found to improve my sales significantly. Today I will share that process with you.
The process that I was introduced to had much more to do with the client then it did with what I was actually selling and it could be condensed into 5 simple steps:
Step #1: Introduction – This is where I meet the customer and start to establish a rapport with them. It sets the tone for the rest of the conversation,
Step #2: Interview -This is the step that I always missed and it hampered my ability to sell for quite some time. In this step, I am asking questions of the customer in order to establish what they are looking for, what problems they are looking to solve or challenges that they are having. This is vital for the rest of the selling process.
Step #3: Demonstrate – This is where I show the customer how the product that I am selling to them will solve their problems or simplify their challenges. It does not have to be a physical demonstration.
Step #4: Question and Answer – This is a time to ask if there are any questions or blocks that the customer is having that are preventing them from purchasing the product at that time. Once I find out those questions, I go through and work on answering them to the customer’s satisfaction.
Step #5: Asking for the Close – Here is the final step and is again one that I always had trouble with until this training. This step is simply asking the customer to purchase. If you have done the last step correctly, this should be a simple “yes” or “no” answer. I was like most people in that I let things hang after the Q&A section and never actually ask them to purchase the product. As such I didn’t sell much. This simple step increased my sales almost two-fold and it is so easy to do. Always remember to ask for the close.
Through these steps I learned and became comfortable with selling to people. As I practiced this process over and over again, I became comfortable with it and it started working even better. I have become one of the top salespeople in my office simply from following these few steps. It has also made me more comfortable with the selling process.
When I first got into sales, I had the idea that it was essentially manipulating people into getting something that they didn’t need. I always had the image of the slimy used car salesman in my head. The training on these steps opened my way of thinking greatly. This training taught me that it is more effective to find out what the customer actually needs and then help to find a solution to those problems with the product I was selling. This changed my entire outlook on the process and has resulted in my actually enjoying the selling process as a whole.
I have taken this lesson and use it in my current endeavors as well and I find that they work out in any venue I choose to use them in and I know that you can too! So tell me how these steps will help you in your selling process.