Success Mentor Systems
The Sales cycle also helps you gauge your progress, and enables you to pinpoint problem areas. Your sales and marketing system should be simple and easy to duplicate throughout the organization. I recommend that people and companies use a Customer Relationship Management program (CRM) to track activities and serve customers. These eight steps are a brief explanation of the sales process.
Eight Sales Steps for Success:
- Do Your Homework. Do a little research on your prospect beforehand. LinkedIn is a great place to start. Read up on a client’s business, industry, news, trends, victories and challenges.
- Pre-Appointment: If necessary, give your prospect homework in order to determine their level interest. You may ask them to watch a video or review a website and schedule a call.
- Schedule Appointment: Set appointments, confirmation, send out a reminder. Don’t depend on just email, get a verbal commitment. Be punctual!
- Appointment Conversation: Ask questions and listen. Spend 85% of the time in discovery mode. Listen to prospects. What do they want?
- Appointment Presentation: After you understand what your customer wants, present to them. Breathe! Leave time for interaction and questions not just a barrage of info.
- Appointment Follow-Up: 98% of the time, the sales cycle requires several impressions. (Key point here is always schedule a meeting from a meeting)
- Never CLOSE a customer: Sure write –up an order but recognize that the initial sale is only the beginning not the end of the sales cycle! Think in terms of ongoing customer relationships with the objective of recurring sales and referrals.
- Ask for Referrals: Always ask for feedback and provide incentives for referrals.
The sales cycle is a courtship process; you can expect to make an average of 7 to 10 impressions or even more. Impressions are the building blocks one upon another. Most sales people want to go for the juggler and close, but the sales presentation and closing techniques are the tip of the iceberg. Do your homework, become knowledgeable about your product or service. Ask a lot of questions, and focus on how to create value and serve your customer.
Impressions are brief, including a text messages, email, follow-up calls, and a note through snail mail. Direct them to testimonies and recommendations from satisfied clients. A well paced, methodical drip campaign, with small helpful bits of information, delivered at the right time works extremely well. Be thoughtful, and careful not to overdo it; your drip campaign could result in Chinese water torture!
About the Author Mark Petticord
I am a sales and marketing consultant, trainer, writer and new media professional. With twenty-five years in the sales and marketing industry, I’ve had the privilege of training and supporting hundreds of micro entrepreneurs and business executives.
Originally published at successmentor.com.