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?
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!
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.
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.
NEVER SELL THEM.
Do your homework. on the company, or the typical consumer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm a market researcher and strategist, not a sales/marketing person. The most effective method I know is to ASK what customers really want and WHY. The three most effective questions to ask:
1. What are your biggest pain points and how much are they costing you?
2. How much money does your solution save or earn your customers?
3. How do your competitors' solutions compare financially?
Unless you get answers to these questions, you'll be flying blind. A hint: Customers will often provide a comparison list for #3 since they usually evaluate solutions.
The entire process is of importance you have to pay mind to every detail and every step because if you leave one thing out you will be lacking in that department. The key is to take the selling out of selling and be consistent if you want to know what I mean feel free to contact me.
I agree with Jesus that all elements of the process are important. To single one thing out does a disservice to the process. With that said, there are some very critical elements that can easily derail the process, but again, all elements are integral and important.
Some key things to consider include (not an all inclusive list):
• Are you pursuing something your customer has a commitment to spend time and resources to address? We all have chased a deal only to learn it was a low business priority and unlikely to be funded or perhaps the wrong person was the project champion (internal politics at the client and a new topic entirely).
• Are you truly able to solve the client’s issue(s) or are you trying to fit your product features (square peg) into an unfriendly set of client requirements (round hole)? Solving the problem or delivering on the ultimate client expectations and outcomes is more important than meeting their specifications. I would be happy to go deeper on this if you want to reach out to me.
• Are you dealing with people that can actually say YES or have the influence to favorably position you with the ultimate decision maker(s)?
• Are you spending more time, energy and focus on your selling process OR is your priority of effort aligned to the client’s buying process?
Perhaps the biggest disconnect I see is when the seller is committed to their selling process or the 7 Steps necessary to close the deal. Yet the client has their own 7 Steps or even a 9 or maybe just a 5 Step Buying process they follow. The client does NOT care that you are at step 5 of your process.
I would sum up my comments by saying it is more important to understand HOW and for WHAT REASONS or CRITERIA the client will make decisions, commit resources, and/or allocate funds than following your selling process. Align with, and often you need to help the client move through, their buying process. Remember, clients buy for their reasons not yours.
The ask: ie commit them, close them, agreeably persuade them...etc. The only real tightrope in sales.
Although I'm kind of a sales person as well, I hate the word "sale", hence, the typical sales people.
You can not be good for everyone, but if you really try to solve the customer's problem, not just doing sales for the sales, he/she will feel it. Thus, there will stay only those customers who really matter and who stay loyal to you and your product for many years ahead. And this is actually much more important than hunting for new and new leads every day while loosing the previous ones.
My advice may only seem that simle, but solving the customer's problem means understanding it fully and doing everything you can to do this. It's not that easy. When you really start doing this, you'll see the difference.
As for the other sales techniques, rules etc. there is plenty info and books in the Internet, you just need to google it. Good luck!
Hi S. Thomas,
Great question. Without knowing what process you are using it would be pretty hard to determine where you are strong and where you need to improve.
Where do you feel consistently strong and at what point(s) do you sense you are weakest?
The most important part of the sales process is at the very beginning when you sit down and find out what their needs and desires are.
Unless you do this properly your close will be weak and ineffective. You can't just assume you know what is important to your prospect you have to dig a little and really find out how your product or service will help them.
Once you know that you will be able to use that information to close the sale.
You may be surprised at the reason they want your product or service but knowing gives you the building blocks to help them!
Great question! The most overlooked step is nurturing the leads you've touched but, that didn't buy. Michael Halper wrote a great book on the subject - http://salesgrowthhub.com/how-to-build-email-drip-campaigns-that-convert-sales/
Yes the entire process is important, however I think that getting you foot in the door, figuratively is the most important. You need to get them to listen to you. With out that they won't even listen to what you have to say.
In my opinion, it starts from the UPS (Unique Selling Proposition), if you blow that, then there is a 90% chance of the deal being blown. What is your UPS?