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What is the most important make or break step in the sales process?

My sales process fluctuates in how effective it is and it's hard to know which parts are going wrong. What is the most important step in the sales process to make sure I get right every time?

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Process is possibly the 'key' word here.
Make sure you have an actual process and follow it.
If you do that you will start to see where you are falling over within the process, which gives you something to change.
Never be afraid to ask why you didn't get a sale too. This will help you figure it out but it can also give you another chance with that customer.
Also remember, you can't win them all, even though we would love to. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to win a sale because you are being used to squeeze and existing supplier.
Chin Up though because attitude makes a big difference to a buyer!


Hi, Thomas - - I have a couple of ideas for you, but your first statement concerns me and prompts me to ask a question. You say, "My sales process fluctuates...it's hard to know which parts are going wrong." My question then is, "Do you have a consistent, measurable sales process that you use on every call?" If so, then you and/or your manager will have a coaching checklist or call analysis form that will help you to isolate which step or steps you may be missing.

As to your question re the most important step in the sales process...there are lots of opinions on that. I believe that using effective questioning skills is THE most important. Too often the salesperson does a "product dump" rather than asking questions that encourage the prospect to open up and express their needs. This is a skill you can use consistently, every time and you will get immediate feedback so you can assess how you are doing and adjust your sales presentations accordingly.

Hope this helps. Good Selling!


Know what your product can do for the customer.
Show them the money...By that, the $$$ savings there are many ways this is highlighted. Efficiency, reduction of time, ease of application, long lasting etc etc.

Show the customer that you are interested in them and their pain points.

Do your homework. on the company, or the typical consumer.
Be genuine.
Tell them as it is.

Remember people like to do business with people they like.

For me the FIRST STEP is the most important. also the preparation for that first step. Build a strong foundation and you can build upon it.
Build a weak foundation and it all goes to slush.

Great advice, George!


Based on my experience, when a good sales person's results fluctuate wildly (feast or famine) the culprit more often than not, is poor lead handling. If you are consistent in your disciplines, your results over time will even out. The first thing I have any trainee look at when they hit a dry spell is the number of attempts they are making per day. Are you calling/emailing/texting as many prospects now as you did before your last feast? Almost invariably the answer is , "no."

All of that being said, the MOST important part of the sale process to me is establishing a strong rapport. There's an old saying I firmly believe that goes, "Make a friend, make a sale". If you fail to establish rapport, the most you can hope is the customer will buy IN SPITE of you as apposed to buying because of you. If you establish a strong rapport, your new friend will spend more and forgive more because they want to do business with you.

Everyone buys on emotion. It does not matter if it's a house, car or candy bar; no emotion = no sale. Make them feel good about doing business with you and they will!


The most important step in my opinion is the message. You get that wrong and you are doomed to fail.


Hi Thomas,

Great question. You need to have a set sales process that you can follow each and every time. The details and needs will change with each client, but the process is always the same. When you have a set sales process, then you know you will not miss any important elements in your sale and your conversion numbers will go up. You are probably wondering, "How do I come up with a process?"

Here are 3 easy steps.

1. Review the most successful sale you have had to date. How did you build rapport? How did you present your product or service? Emulate that in your process.

2. What questions did you ask? Write them down and memorize them.

3. How did you close the sale? (What did you say? How did you say it?) Document it, practice it and implement it on each sale.

Watch my video on How to increase sales at Coach David Brownlee Channel on YouTube for more detailed information.

Also, feel free to reach to me at DavidBrownlee dot com and I am happy to answer any additional questions you may have.


The most common mistake is focusing on the word "sales". Educate them, know your product, passionately believe in it, and make sure you are communicating with your target market.

Anonymous User

Wow! There is a question!

Ultimately every customer is different so the make or break will be different for each of them.

Your style needs to adapt to the clients needs and the customer needs to be at the heart of everything that you do.

The whole sales process is important and if you make good processes habit and maintain high standards it will go right most of the time.

If you look after the processes results will look after themselves.

AIDA is a good start. Attention - get the customers attention. Interest - gain the customers interest. D - get them to make a decision and A - get them to take action.

However AIDA does not take into account the most important element which is in the middle. You need to get to understand the customers needs through open question techniques.

Good old Brian Tracy technique is never a bad thing!!


The answer to your last question is TRUST, which starts at first contact.

The fluctuation process comes from not having a measurable, repeatable sale process


In sales, the defining moment will ALWAYS be the ask. That's the make-or-break moment every time - and the direct answer to your question.

HOWEVER - Keep in mind that the ask by itself won't close a deal. If you have crappy service, slow response times, and poor understanding of what you're selling - the perfect pitch can't save you.

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