The changes in the marketplace over the past year have created far-reaching implications for anyone in the sales field. If you want to succeed in this environment, you have to be more knowledgeable, faster with your response, and easier to do business with than ever before.
In his book, Thriving on Chaos, Tom Peters suggests that professional salespeople are at the heart of business, and that for a business to survive and succeed, extensive development for salespeople is essential. All business is sales driven.
No one wants to be “sold”; everyone wants to “buy”. In order to understand the buying/selling process you must answer a very important question: Why do your customers buy from you? Do you know? Have you asked them? What your prospects tell you they want is very important. Why they want what they want is even more important.
Consistent success in sales requires a repeatable process. The purpose of a clearly defined strategy is simple; it is designed to help you stay focused on the prospect and to aid them in the buying process. The six stages are:
1. The Introduction
2. Gain Favorable Attention
3. Uncover Wants and Needs
4. Present Benefits and Solutions
5. Get Commitment
First impressions are lasting impressions; the Introduction is a critically important step in the process. Starting with the phone or email contact, how you plan and create the initial meeting will set the stage for the entire buying/selling process.
To Gain Favorable Attention, you must establish a positive atmosphere and develop rapport. This is where you ask questions, listen and demonstrate your knowledge of their business. You are seeking to learn about their needs, but a good detective never asks a question he doesn’t know the answer to. Preparation is key, do your homework and you will be able to ask qualified, targeted questions and thereby gain their respect and trust. Good questions will demonstrate your understanding of their situation or business and enhance your credibility.
Uncover Wants and Needs, perception is reality. The prospect has an idea of what they want and can express it with specific actions. Their needs may require more investigation on your part. By preparing and then asking specific questions as well as good follow up from what you hear, you will be able to help your prospect identify their needs.
Once you are armed with all this knowledge about your client you are then able to Present Benefits and Solutions of your product or service. It is important that your presentation be well planned and that you know, prior to the actual presentation, how you are going to present your product or service so that the prospect clearly realizes the value to him or her.
If you have listened and done your homework your solution should create a desire with your prospect to proceed with the process. When you effectively identify and satisfy the prospects needs and provide a solution, the next stage will flow to a logical conclusion of Getting Commitment.
It is my lifetime experience the sale does not end with the order, it begins. If you are to be successful for your client and yourself, you must Follow-Up. This process will insure long term, repeat business.
Your attitude towards yourself and others will affect your productivity. Your sales will be driven by your productivity, understanding your attitude will greatly enhance your results.
Developing Potential, Producing Results
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