The Sales Process: The Seven Steps You Need To Know

By Bob Sears.

Selling is all about determining how best you can serve your client. In order to serve them, you have to establish the highest and best need for your service with the client. To do that, you must go through a seven-step sales process.

First, you must establish rapport. We all know that people only buy from those they like and trust. This is understood by most salespeople. However, the greatest salespeople never break rapport once it is established, and if they do, they go right back to square one and start all over again. You must understand that this is not the only reason people buy from you, but it is about 40 percent of why they do buy. You need to realize that if rapport is broken for any reason you are not going to get a deal done, and you will not be able to continue to step two unless and until you have established rapport.

You must find the need. Do you really have something that will serve this client? Is it really best for you to move forward, or should the client be served by someone else? If you are truly going to serve the client’s needs, wants, and desires, you need to be true to them and yourself, and if you cannot help them, you need to help them in any way you can to find the best solution. That includes not doing business with you if your product or service does not help them or fix their problem. That would be contrary to what most people think, but what would you do for someone who actually just helped you in a way that was pure and not just about a sale. Do you think they would keep you in mind next time, and do you think they might send you referrals? You always need to think about their need up front, and you must listen intently on how to help them get it.

Once need has been established, you must now build value. Here is a key point. It is up to you to build value in your product or service, and you cannot assume the client will make the connection after you found their need. This should also show them directly how this will benefit them based on what was discovered after finding their need. If this is done correctly, you can now move forward in the sales process to step four.

You must now create desire. Again, this step is sometimes missed because a salesperson realizes the client now knows that they need the product or service, and they have already built the value of their specific product or service. Why do I need to create the desire? People know they should do things all the time, but do they do them all the time? The answer is no, right? So, you need to create the desire to move forward now because that is the best way to serve them. You need to help them make a decision that is right for them, and if you do not help them by creating that desire, they may not ever get the help they need.

At this point you may receive some objections, which are a necessary part of the sales cycle that most salespeople fear. You need to overcome objections during the sales process. This is a perfect opportunity to clarify need, build more value and create even more desire. But if this is done incorrectly, it is the perfect place to break rapport. In fact, this is where most salespeople crumble for many reasons. The main reason rapport is lost is for some simple reasons. The salesperson fails to recognize and acknowledge the objection, they fail to use the person’s name and they fail to address the objection. This breaks rapport because the client believes you are not listening, and you do not care about what they are saying. The average salesperson defends or debates the objection without following this formula. Objections should always be handled by first acknowledging the objection, using the client’s name and addressing it. This should be standard operating procedure. Here is an example:

“Absolutely, I understand that the price may seem high, John, so we should talk about that. Why do you believe the price is too high, and if we can agree on price, do you have any other concerns?”

This will not only make the client feel like you have heard him, but it will let you confirm and isolate the real objection. If it is the real objection, you need to address it. It might take asking more questions, and you might even have to start the process all over again. If price is an objection, you did not build enough value. That would put you back up at the top of the sales process. That means at the top, and you need to confirm that you have not lost rapport. You would need to confirm and ask better questions to make sure you have the right need. You must build value, create desire and find out if you have any other objections. If not, you can now close.

The close should be a natural progression of the sales cycle, and if everything was done right during the sale, the client will come to only one natural conclusion. They should recognize that it makes complete sense to do business with you. The main reason the close is difficult for many salespeople is that they have not completely delivered on each step of the sales process. If they have, the close is not only easy, but it must be done. If objections come up again at the close, you must acknowledge it, you must use their name, and you must address it by going back to the top of the cycle. The reason most salespeople lose during the close is because they go back to defending and breaking rapport. Once the close is achieved, you must now continue to the final (and what can be the most important) step once a sale is closed.

Once a sale is made, salespeople make the most egregious error possible: They do not follow up. How would you feel if you had a perfect date with someone, and they never called you again? That would not be a great feeling, so why do we do the same thing once we make a sale? We did not end a relationship by getting the sale; we started one. This is when the real work in the process begins, and you should now put in every effort to build an everlasting relationship with that client. You should want them to become your best friend in the future, and you should treat them that way. Do you think a friend would leave you for someone who offers them a lower price? Do you think you would get referrals from a friend? And do you think a friend might tell you when a competitor talks to them? You can solidify and create a very rewarding relationship with the client that will literally pay dividends for both of you in the future.

This process is a formula for success for any product or service that you are trying to sell. Although it might seem basic, the practice of utilizing this formula will create better results than you can imagine. I even recommend scripting this out for your specific industry, and I would suggest scripting out answers for possible objections that come up on a regular basis. The best way to deal with an objection is to bring it up during the sales process to deal with it up front. If you follow these recommendations, you will find yourself not only closing more, but you will have more fun doing it.

Bob Sears believes in people. In fact, he strongly believes that when people are happy, self confident and passionate about themselves and what they do, they not only make a differ- ence in themselves, they make a difference to the world. They get up each and every day with a conviction to make positive things happen, which means they have better relationships with people, and they grasp and are aware of greater opportunities. So his desire and purpose is to help people bridge the gap from that awareness of where they are now to really where they want to be. He does that by using his 23 years of experience acquired working for people like Tony Robbins, Chet Holmes and Gerry Robert. Those years have helped him become a sales leader and top producer, a sales manager and executive, an owner and entre- preneur. He created over $137,433,000 in business growth opportunities for his students and clients through his expertise, management, coaching and guidance as a trainer, coach, and presenter to help people and businesses truly achieve the results they desire.

Reprinted with permission from the author, Small Business Today News

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