Home > Personal Selling > Sales 101: What are the steps of selling?

Sales 101: What are the steps of selling?

I was told that the basic sales steps where, "Qualify, Present and Close." However, after reading a few posts I'm getting the impression that this isn't the case. So what are the steps? :confused: - by Newbie
Here's the steps I stick to:
  • Attitude
  • Approach
  • Qualify
  • Present
  • Close
  • Follow-up
- by WobblyBox
Here's the steps I follow:
  • Prospect
  • Interview
  • Present
  • Negotiate
  • Close
  • Follow-Up
- by Jolly Roger
Here's the steps I follow:
  • Prospect
  • Interview
  • Present
  • Negotiate
  • Close
  • Follow-Up
Could you elaborate on why you include negotiate as a step in your specific area of sales? What, for instance, is being negotiated? - by Gary Boye
Could you elaborate on why you include negotiate as a step in your specific area of sales? What, for instance, is being negotiated?
IMO, to "negotiate" is to "try and reach an agreement through discussion."

Based on this premise, I find that most sales transactions involve some degree of negotiating. Examples of what negotiations might center around include:
  • resistance/objections
  • product/service options
  • delivery schedules, terms, etc.
- by Jolly Roger
IMO, to "negotiate" is to "try and reach an agreement through discussion."

Based on this premise, I find that most sales transactions involve some degree of negotiating. Examples of what negotiations might center around include:
  • resistance/objections
  • product/service options
  • delivery schedules, terms, etc.
Yes--I see it that way too. The reason I suggested clarification is that there are good people on this forum who might be inexperienced and think that negotiation specifically refers to negotiating for a lower price. Those instances take place, of course, but I knew that wasn't really what you were referring to. - by Gary Boye
The reason I suggested clarification is that there are good people on this forum who might be inexperienced and think that negotiation specifically refers to negotiating for a lower price.
Good point. I was having a conversation with someone yesterday on this very same issue. Thanks for bringing that up. :cool: - by Jolly Roger
Thanks everyone. :) - by Newbie
Prospecting (99% automated)
First meeting with buyer (Value Discussion, drawing up Success Roadmap for buyer. It takes about 1 hour and then I take the first cheque (before writing a Collaboration Agreement).
Reviewing Collaboration Agreement and fees (I practise value-based fees, so I need to know the expected impact of my support, so I can peg my fees against it.)
Jointly (with buyer and the implementing team) developing project action plan
Then throughout the project I figure out how I can increase the value of my help, while drastically reducing my time and effort of providing that help. - by Bald Dog
I was told that the basic sales steps where, "Qualify, Present and Close." However, after reading a few posts I'm getting the impression that this isn't the case. So what are the steps? :confused:
Everyone has different names for the steps of the process. My are:
Find (Prospecting)
Approach
probe (Qualify)
Prove (Present)
Close

Whatever the name, the process remains very much the same...
Find someone who needs of want whatever it is your selling (Prospecting)
Get an appointment and get their attention (Approach)
Find out what they want and why they want it (Probe-Qualify)
Show them how whatever you're selling meets their needs or satisifies their wants (Prove - Present)
Finally, ask for their business (Close).

Along the way you will have to deal with objections and concern on the part of the prospect.

Go through this process with a spirit of cooperation and professionalism and you'll close more business than you'll lose. - by Saleswizard
I’m not classically trained in sales and learned the hard way, just doing it, and I’m still learning, and so this is my own opinion from experience. I first thought the sales steps were only “Open, Presentation, and Close.” I still think so, but now I know that there are more steps in each of these steps. Over time I discovered that in the “Open” of a sale you should introduce yourself, your company and product, have some small talk, and find out if you are talking with the right person, and if it is a good time to hear your pitch, among other elements. The “Presentation” is the body of the sale where you present the brand values of the company, the benefits and price of the product offered, answer questions and overcome objections, among other elements. The “Close” is the most important part (good sales reps are always closing throughout a sales pitch), where you know the prospect wants to buy, you ask for commitment, overcome last minute pull-outs, present end of sale disclosures, and make the prospect feel good about buying form you (follow up), among other elements.
Open
§ Introduction
· You
· Company
· Product, etc
§ Probe
· Right contact
· Right time
· Qualified, etc
Presentation
§ Branding
§ Product
· Benefits
· Price, etc
§ Objections
· Recognizing the real objective
· Addressing the real objective
· Overcoming objective
· Redirect back to pitch
Close
§ Commitment
§ Disclosures
§ Follow up - by John-F
Years ago I too believed in the importance of the persentation. Then I came across Jeff Thull (Mastering the Complex Sales, Primie Solution and Exceptional Selling) and jill Konrath (Selling to Big Companies), and I learnt that the presentation is good for only turning my service into a commodity and myself into a fungible vendor.

So, now my sales process is free of presentatinos and heavy on diagnosis. There are no objections and no armtwisting, called closing the sale. Prospects sell themselves based on my diagnosis. - by Bald Dog
So, now my sales process is free of presentations and heavy on diagnosis.
Can you see that working in something like auto sales, real estate, food services, etc.? - by AZBroker
So, now my sales process is free of presentatinos and heavy on diagnosis. There are no objections and no armtwisting, called closing the sale. Prospects sell themselves based on my diagnosis.
Don't people want to know what they are buying before they buy it? I would. - by Thomas
Every person is unique, and while you should know the information about your product, and understand that a "progression" will ensue within the course of EVERY interaction that you will have with your customers....it is best I believe to "custom taylor" your approach to every person that you encounter.
You see...the one thing that I have come to understand about people, is that even though "certain types" of people can have similar qualities in "our minds", they will ALWAYS appreciate a "fresh and original" approach.
Yes...this is a harder way of tackling the issue at hand...but in the long run you will find that customers will react to originality that is based on WHO THEY ARE...and not how you have "pre-determined" the situation to go.
:thup
Just be good listener, and more than finding the steps to practice....find out more about the right things to listen to. I can guaruntee you that you will seperate yourself from the "cookie-cutter" stigma of the salesperson in the eyes of your consumer.;wi

Sincerely,
David - by truesaxman
Don't people want to know what they are buying before they buy it? I would.
Thomas

They want to know it after they know the cause of their symptoms. But they are not qualified to diagnose themselves. That must be a joint process led by a professional who does it on a daily basis. And that pro is the salesperson.

First point: What in the reaosn why the prospect want to change? (buy something to solve a problem).

Why does the person want to buy a car? The willingness to change as the result of dissatisfaction.

Now, what is the cost of the dissatisfaction? I'm a $200 per hour lawyer and it takes 4 hours a day to commute to work and back home. By driving it would be only one hour. 3 hours of savings and an extra $600 to make. Every day. There are 220 working days a year, giving you $132,000 improved productivity per year.

How long do you plan to keep the car? For 5 years. That's $660,000.

So, what is a fair budget to achieve this extra income?

Now you have a value for the car.

Thoughts? - by Bald Dog
Thoughts?
Sure you have to diagnose the problem but you still have to present the solution. The value is what a ready willing and able buyer is willing to pay today for the solution. Similar cars with similar features shouldn't vary too much in price so figuring out how much to pay is pretty easy. - by Thomas
Sure you have to diagnose the problem but you still have to present the solution. The value is what a ready willing and able buyer is willing to pay today for the solution. Similar cars with similar features shouldn't vary too much in price so figuring out how much to pay is pretty easy.
Why would I present a ready-made, off-the-shelf shrink-wrapped solution when I have an opportunity to custom-design one in close collaboration with the client? That increases perceived value. I don’t want to work FOR the client. I don’t want to work WITH the client, so the client knows that she's the co-creator of the solution.

The value is what a ready willing and able buyer is willing to pay today for the solution. Similar cars with similar features shouldn't vary too much in price so figuring out how much to pay is pretty easy.
When I’m walking in your car lot, I put certain value on your car. When I’m being chased by an elephant, I put a drastically different certain value on the same car. The price may be the same, but value to the clients varies.

Thoughts? - by Bald Dog
Why would I present a ready-made, off-the-shelf shrink-wrapped solution when I have an opportunity to custom-design one in close collaboration with the client?
I didn't think you should but I think you still have to present your offer.

When I’m walking in your car lot, I put certain value on your car. When I’m being chased by an elephant, I put a drastically different certain value on the same car. The price may be the same, but value to the clients varies.
Sure but I'm not going to overpay when I can get the same car somewhere else without overpaying. - by Thomas
I didn't think you should but I think you still have to present your offer.
At a very very high level. And instead of presenting a process, we agree on objectives we want to achieve.

Sure but I'm not going to overpay when I can get the same car somewhere else without overpaying.
But when you're drowning and I swim along and say that I rescue you for $10,000, you are likely to take my offer and won't say, "Stuff it. I'll wait for the next swimmer."

It's our job to discover where they're drowning and what sort of liferaft to throw.

Am I making sense? - by Bald Dog
... Over time I discovered that in the “Open” of a sale you should introduce yourself, your company and product, have some small talk, and find out if you are talking with the right person, and if it is a good time to hear your pitch, among other elements. The “Presentation” is the body of the sale where you present the brand values of the company, the benefits and price of the product offered, answer questions and overcome objections, among other elements. The “Close” is the most important part (good sales reps are always closing throughout a sales pitch), where you know the prospect wants to buy, you ask for commitment, overcome last minute pull-outs, present end of sale disclosures, and make the prospect feel good about buying form you (follow up) . . .

You have just described a technique that I was taught in a taped sales training class that I once listened to, John. I can't remember the author of this course, regretably, but I believe he was a renowned and successful salesperson. Anyway, his steps were:

- Give a little information
- Ask a little information
- Make the presentation
- Ask for the sale

The reason for giving a little information, John, is to set the person at ease before asking for information. As you pointed out, you can tell the person who you are and why you are there. A little small talk can help the prospect lower his defenses. Successful in this step will make the next step, asking for information, easier.

The primary reason for asking for information is to learn what the person you are speaking to needs or wants and what is important to him or her about the product or service. This information will be important when you get to the next step, the presentation. Small talk here is useful too to keep the prospect from putting his defenses back up. After you have learned what the person wants or needs, you are then prepared to sell it to them.

The presentation is, of course, a discussion about what you are offering. Your presentation should be more about how your product or service meets your prospect's needs and less about a list of features your product or service possesses. Many people lose the sale at this point by continuing to sell features long after the person has given signals that he or she is ready to buy. I'll leave it to the experts to tell you how many buy signals you should see before you try to close.

Yet another mistake that can be made is failing to ask for the sale. The reason may be simply inexperience in sales or lack of confidence. Whatever the reason, there comes a time when you must ask the prospect to sign on the dotted line or to give you the check. There are different kinds of closes which I won't list here, but I will describe my favorite close. It is called the assumed close. I assume that the prospect has already decided to buy because I have seen one or more buy signals and rather than asking "if" he wants to buy, I ask if he or she prefers to pay by cash or check. Depending upon the nature of the product or service, this may not be the appropriate question. You might simply say, "I just need your signature right here and we can deliver your [product] tomorrow." Another question that assumes the sale has been made might be, "When would you like us to deliver it?" - by rlabston
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