The Sales Process – Proven Steps to Success

WHAT IS THE SALES PROCESS?
The sales process describes a systematic and repeatable approach to selling a product or service.

While there are numerous reasons for having a well-thought-out sales process a few include:

  • seller and buyer risk management,
  • standardized customer experience during the sales interaction, and
  • scale-able revenue generation and
  • more consistent and repeatable success.

Approaching sales from a “process” point of view offers an opportunity to use design and improvement tools to further enhance the success of sales efforts. Tools like:

  • Scripts
  • Offers
  • Packages
  • Specials and promotions

The Sales Process is defined by five major steps, each with a specific goal that leads to a positive outcome.

THE STEPS:
C customer greeting  – Goal: make a great 1st impression and being to establish rapport

L listen to needs  – Goal: discover your customer’s needs and hot buttons (or the emotional reasons they want to resolve their primary need)

O offer benefits  – Goal: build value in the product by communicating personalized benefits.

S seize the sale  – Goal: Be assumtie and ask for the sale

E end with extras  – Goal: Maximize your opportunity and ensure your customer has everything they need by offering additional products and services.

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9 Amazing Words to Boost Your Sales

Amazing Words

Sometimes, it’s not what you say….it’s how you say it. Isn’t that true in sales? I’ve heard too many salespeople, with the best intentions, dig themselves into a hole with a poor choice of words. It’s so important to be thoughtful and purposeful in the way you communicate with your customers

On today’s show discover:

  • …why it’s so important to choose your words carefully;
  • … the hidden meaning behind some common phrases that can land you in hot water;
  • …and 9 Powerful words and phrases you can use to boost your sales.

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Landing in Hot Water

Sometimes words and phrases can land you in hot water with your customer…and it has nothing to do with your intentions. Some people simply take offense and some words can trigger negative thoughts or emotions.  So the best way to avoid the hot water is to eliminate these words and phrases when talking with customers.

Words to Avoid

1 ) “Dear, Sweety, Honey, Hun”

Even if your intention is to be kind any of these words can sound very condescending. They’re also not appropriate in a professional sales environment. I’ve actually heard customers say things like “ I am not your honey, I am a professional business woman.” (and sales generally don’t follow a customer exchange like that).

2) “Sir or Mam”

Again, you’re intention may be to show respect however for many people “sir and mam” are trigger words that put them on the defense. It also does nothing to help you establish rapport. It makes you sound like you’re on the other side of the sales counter.

A better approach in both of these cases is to introduce yourself and then ask for your customer’s name. If they respond “My name is Bob” call them Bob. If they say I’m Mr. Smith call them Mr. Smith.

3) “In case there’s a problem”

If a salesperson has ever said something to you like “Great, let me get your phone number in case there’s a problem with your order.”

You may have thought. “What? Do you guys have lot’s of problems with orders? Maybe I should look elsewhere.”

While a customer might not come right out and say it, many times the words and phrases we use, communicate messages other than those we’re trying to get across.

This is a great example of a time when “less is more”. Rather than including “in case there’s a problem” or “in case we get disconnected” just ask for the number.

Words to Substitute

4) Use “And” instead of “But”

Did you know that the word but comes from an old English saying? Back in the day (like WAY back in the day) you may have met an English gentleman on the street who would engage you in conversation and at some point utter the phrase “behold the underlying truth”.

That’s a mouthful (especially if you consider how many times a day you currently use the word “BUT”) so the phrase was shortened to its’ initials B.U.T and eventually people just said but…..(it’s like an early version of LOL right?)

Generally, BUT means that I’m going to contradict what I said before. If you listen closely, chances are you’ll hear a lot of BUTS on the sales floor.

“I see what you’re saying but when we first starting talking…”

“I understand what you’re saying “BUT” I really don’t….”

“I see what you’re saying but I’m about to tell you why you’re wrong”

So what’s the better approach?

Either leave it out altogether or substitute  the word “and”. Here is an example of leaving it out…. “I see what you’re saying…. when we first started talking….” Here’s another example substituting “AND” “I see what you’re saying and when we first started talking….”

5) You’re Welcome instead of No Problem

These days it’s pretty common to respond to an expression of thanks or gratitude with the phrase ‘no problem,’. The problem with “no problem” is that when your customer says “Thank you for spending extra time explaining the guarantee to me. “ and you respond  “No Problem” it has negative connotations. It suggests that, under other circumstances, you would have been reluctant to grant the favor.

A better approach is to say “you’re welcome”. The phrase dignifies the other person’s gratitude and is another way of letting your customer know they are “worth it”. “Thank you for spending extra time explaining the guarantee to me. “ “You’re Welcome”

6) Most Affordable instead of Cheapest

Another substitution you can make that will have a dramatic impact on your sales is to use “Most Affordable” in place of “Cheapest”. When you say “this is the cheapest option we have” many customers will visualize a rickety old lawn chair that’s in danger of collapsing in a slight breeze. It’s cheap, poorly made and not worth anything.

By changing to  “this is the most affordable option we have” it sounds more positive and doesn’t devalue the product you’re selling.

Words to Add

7) Because

As you know, helping your customer answer the question “What’s in it for me” is vital to build value and close sales. When you use “because” you’re helping answer that question for your customer. This is a proven technique that’s been shown to increase the likelihood that customers will buy. In fact, the word “BECAUSE” is considered one of the five most persuasive words in the English language. “….it will reduce your pain almost immediately because it comes in a highly absorbable, liquid form…”

8) Tell me more about….

When you’re stuck for your next probing question or you simple want the customer to elaborate use “Tell me more about….”. This is a fantastic technique for buying you a little more time to formulate your next question while also encouraging the customer to open up and share more information about their needs, wants and expectations.

9) Imagine

When you ask your customer to “imagine” what it will be like to enjoy the benefits of your product you keep them engaged, and help them see themselves using and owning it. It’s the same reason car salesmen want you to test drive the car…they know you’ll imagine driving to work in it, going on a date in it, you’ll imagine owning it! Asking someone to go through the motions mentally can make them more likely to follow through with the sale.

Today’s One Two Punch:

Choose Your Words Carefully to Impact Your Sales

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Who Should You Sell To?

Selling Through The Middle Man

It happens all the time you end up talking to someone other than the person who needs the product and it seems to end with “I’ll talk with them and get back to you.” If only there was a better way to handle that situation…well as you may have guessed, there is!

On today’s show discover:

  • …how to more effectively build value when you’re talking to the “middle man;
  • …how to uncover emotional hot buttons that have impact;
  • …and how to sell more when someone’s calling or shopping for someone else.
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I’m Calling for Someone Else

Have you ever heard this before?

“I’m calling for my husband” “I heard the ad and wanted to find out more about it for my sister”

In sales, this happens all the time. You find yourself talking to someone other than the person who will be using your product. It’s usually the wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son or friend…some nice person who is doing the leg work and gathering information.

Problem is, this doesn’t fit the sales process. How are you supposed to sell to someone who isn’t there?

If you’ve tried to sell through one person to another you know how hard it is!

The phone rings, you pick it up and greet a customer named Fred. Before long you find out he’s calling for his wife Wilma. So you work with Fred to find out what Wilma needs but it’s hard because you’re not talking with her directly. (and he doesn’t seem to have all the answers)

You paint the best picture you can, but it doesn’t really seem to resonate with him. You go for the close and Fred says “ well that sounds good….I’ll talk it over with Wilma and get back to you.”

BUMMER…lost another one.

You’ve seen top salespeople close these calls so you know it’s possible but what exactly do they do? If you asked them they would tell you  “sell to the person you’re talking to.” In other words they don’t try to sell to Wilma, they sell to Fred.

I know, you’re thinking “well sure if Fred wants to use the product too it’s easy but what if he doesn’t need the product?” No problem, you still sell to Fred….here’s how it works.
You greet Fred and build rapport, as always, and at some point he tells you he’s calling for Wilma. You start asking probing questions to understand Wilma’s needs. So far, the process is the same as always. However, when you start exploring hot buttons you shift your attention to Fred.

Why switch to Fred? Because in-order to make the sale you need to build value and to do it so it’s meaningful for Fred you need his hot buttons. So, you work to understand, on an emotional level, why he wants to help.

Imagine that Fred’s calling because your product might help reduce the pain Wilma has in her back. You might ask Fred how long it’s been a problem for her, what else has she tried, does it seem to be getting worse or better, so you have a better idea of what’s going on with Wilma.
But then as you transition to uncover hot buttons you ask Fred,

“How do you feel when see Wilma suffering with this pain, how would it make you feel if you could do something to take her pain away, how has this pain been affecting you Fred?”

Now you’re uncovering powerful emotional hot buttons and you’re bringing Fred into the sales process.When you build value it has meaning for him.

…“Just imagine seeing Wilma smile again, knowing she feels better, she isn’t in pain and you helped her. Best of all you can go out dancing again like you used to when you first met, she will be so thrilled. Helping her get her life back, is really what’s most important to you isn’t it Fred?”

In the end, you’re helping Fred make a good decision so Wilma can feel better and you made it happen by selling to the person you’re talking to.

Today’s One Two Punch:

Sell to the person you’re talking to, and make more sales

Ways to subscribe to The K.O. Sales Coach

If you liked this episode please head on over to iTunes and kindly leave us a rating, a review and subscribe!

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Feedback

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Using Third Party Testimonials to Boost Confidence

Using Testimonials

Sharing a positive experience one customer had with your product can help reassure another customer that may need more convincing. Third party testimonials are powerful and carry more weight with customers than your opinion. No offense, but you have something to gain by giving your product a glowing review.  A non-biased, opinion from someone with no “skin in the game” is far more believable.

Review the following Slide Share presentation to discover how to collect testimonials, when to use them and the various benefits you stand to gain from keeping some at the ready.

Slide Transcript

  1. KO Sales Coach KOSalesCoach.net What is a third party testimonial? A positive experience one customer had with your product / service or company shared with another customer.
  2. Why is it more convincing? Your testimonial isn’t as convincing because you have something to gain. Another customer has nothing to gain. They are more believable.
  3. It’s effective marketing! Even big companies like Amazon and Apple use third party testimonials to help boost buyer confidence. Have you ever checked out the Amazon reviews before purchasing a product?
  4. Where do you get testimonials? From customer conversations you have. From reviews left on your website.
  5. Prepare Read through testimonials often so you’re familiar with them and can relate them to your customers.
  6. Use testimonials whenever you have a customer that needs some additional reassurance.
  7. To Tell The Truth – Only use TRUE testimonials that you’ve learned about first hand.
  8. Benefits of Using Testimonials
    1. Increases customer confidence in the product  and in the company.
    2. Helps the customer feel connected “they are not alone”

Conclusion

Keeping a couple of testimonials ready is a good strategy for those times you have a customer on the fence. What’s your experience been? Have you used testimonials to help a customer make a buying decision? Has a testimonial ever helped you make a purchase? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.