Steps to a Sale

The Order of Things

Are there definite steps to a sale ?

I was struck yesterday morning about the concept of doing things in the correct order.

Let’s take the example of buying a house.

First you have to make the decision to buy.
You can’t then immediately go out and buy any house you wish. 
You need to do certain things:

  • Check that you have the finances to buy
  • Decide on an area or areas you could live in
  • Look at various designs to decide what you like
  • Decide on the size of the house
  • Decide whether you’ll buy land and build or whether you’ll buy an established property
  • Look into the construction of the established house or the reputation of the builder
  • Check the price of the house is in line with it’s value (look at other prices in the neighbourhood)
  • Negotiate a fair price
  • Do the required legal searches
  • Pay the money and receive the deed

Now, apart from that last point the order of these various steps could vary depending on the buyer’s situation, but if you leave out any of these steps you could well live to regret it.

Many of the steps of buying a house are interrelated, e.g. the price you can afford may have a big bearing on where you buy and the size of the house.

It seems to me that selling is a lot like that.
There is a process to go through but the process is not strictly linear, sometimes it sort of loops back.
Other times you can skip a lot and jump almost through to the end. 
What is important if you’re in sales is to make sure you are mindful of all the steps in the process, and proficient at them.

This is the problem I have with a lot of sales books.
They don’t cover the whole process. 
You can buy a book that covers closing techniques but what’s the point of trying to close if the product is not right for the customer or if you haven’t yet established a climate of trust ?

I look at a book like “SPIN Selling” with a lot of good advice in it but there is no mention of establishing rapport and trust with your client.
Likewise the whole book concentrates on a questioning process as though it’s the be all and end all.

What about the attitude of the salesperson ? 
What about the verbal skills of the salesperson ? 
What about the salesperson’s belief in themselves ? 
What about the salesperson’s belief in their product

I am reminded of the words of that famous sales trainer, Zig Ziglar who said,
“ You’ve got to be before you can do and you’ve got to do before you can have”.

Be a salesperson. 
Do the work and you can have the results.

You can’t get ahead of the process.
To get the results you need to BE a salesperson.

How do you become a salesperson ? 
We’ll the old way was through trial and error.
The sink or swim principle.

I don’t believe that this concept works in the modern business world.
It leaves too much to chance and it’s costly to the business while the salesperson loses sales during his or her learning curve.
The modern way to become a professional salesperson is via sales coaching or sales mentoring.

Look at the American football teams.
They practice for months on end before the season starts.

Not only do they work on fitness and individual skills (the Being of a footballer), they drill on offensive and defensive formations and strategies (the Doing).
They practice until the execution of a play becomes a habit.

Why ?

“ When the going gets tough you get what you practice.”

I had a great chance to witness this on Saturday.

Australia and England were playing in the Rugby World Cup final.
Being the number one ranked team in the world England were the favourites.
Australia threw everything they had at them and played with great passion and courage.
In fact, at full time the scores were tied.

During the whole match, however, it was apparent that England had the advantage in a number of aspects of the game.
These advantages were based on their technical proficiency.
They were obviously coached very well.
So, despite the fact that Australia got off to a great start in the match England eventually won in the last minute of extra time.

“ when the going gets tough, you get what you practice” and believe me Australia made it VERY tough for them.

England won because they were so well practiced in EVERY aspect of the game.
They worked on ALL the facets of the game.

Likewise, if you want to be successful at selling you need to work on ALL the aspects of sales not just the close or the questioning techniques.

Maybe you need sales coaching to help you with that ?

Work on them till they become a habit.

Here's to YourSalesSuccess.