7 Steps for Sales Success

English: Basic shapes.

Funny thing about selling,  nobody likes to sell!   A business has to grow.  It is essential to generate new leads and new customers for products and services. Selling B2B or B2C requires 7 steps for success. Before you engage potential customers, remember it is not about you.  Selling involves putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, seeing the exchange from their point of view.

1. Do your Homework.

Before you meet with a customer, research all the public information you can find. Google the company and the owners and/or CEO, Check out all the social sites and read up on what’s current. You want to be up to speed on what is current with your customer. Prepare for the meeting by doing significant online research.

2. Learn more in the Meeting

The most important skill is your ability to ask solid, open-ended questions to deepen your understanding of the customer’s situation. What are the issues are they facing in the next 30 days? 60 days? What has changed in the competitive landscape? Your goal is to solicit information that helps you develop a clearer picture of your customer.  And building a relationship during the process is a positive.  People do business with people they like.

3. Understand the Customer End Game

Understanding the future gives you insight about the present.  Your goods or services should reflect solutions that contribute to the longer term vision.  Is your customer growing market share? Entering new markets? Learn what the future means by asking question to deepen your knowledge.

4. Figure out if You can Add Value

Once your have garnered additional knowledge, figure out if your product or service will add value.  If the pain can be solved by your product, you can be confident in serving up a solution. If you are saving time or money or both, then you have a reason to move on to step 5.  Be very confident, as in 100% confident.  If not, you are may not make the sale even if you have the solution.

5. Serve up the Solution

Present your idea using key phases and insight from your conversation. Stick to a clear, concise delivery. Present facts confidently. Don’t wander off target and add additional blather. Your solution must be crisp and easily understood to move forward.  It is not the time to tack on additional features or other new products that have just popped into your head. Problem and solution should be a linear conversation, not a wandering monologue.

6. Determine the Next Step

Outline what has to happen next.  Identify the action steps and who is taking the action. Write down the steps for follow up. Determine the who, what and when to move forward. If you are speaking to the decision maker, ask for the sale. The best time to close the sale is when the decision maker clearly understands the solution and wants to take the next step. Business owners are busy people.  Once the conversation is over, you have made your case or not.

7. Follow up as Agreed Upon

How many times did you leave a potential client and then fail to follow up?  Timely follow up is essential to making the sale. A sale is not a sale until you have the order.  Your goal is make the sale. And if you build a relationship and follow through on your commitments, you should have a satisfied, new customer.  Make certain the customer is delighted with the relationship and your company.  How will you know?    Call the customer after the sale and ask for feedback!

There you have it.  A process that takes the pain and angst out of selling.  Get out and sell!

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