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The Six Steps To Successful Selling

by Robert Garment, Executive Editor | March 14, 2006
Presenting a clear sales strategy to your salespeople is critical to your success. Very few people are "natural born" salespeople - but anyone who is committed to succeeding can learn.
Your salespeople will learn faster and do better is they're given a plan to follow so they know what's expected of them, and how to attack a prospect efficiently.

Some sales gurus will tell there are five steps to success, some say six, some seven, some say eight or more. I think the six steps I suggest cover all the issues thoroughly. And I will do this step-by-step over the next few weeks, because there's a lot to digest here and I don't want to overwhelm you.

The six steps of the sale
1.\tPlanning and Preparation
2.\tThe Introduction or Opening
3.\tQuestioning and Probing
4.\tThe Presentation
5.\tOvercoming Objections and Negotiating
6.\tThe Closing

Step 1 -- Planning and preparation -
The bigger the prospect, the more research you should do before any sales call at which you will be expected, or are likely, to present your company's products or services.

-\tBe sure you know your own products and services extremely well.

-\tDetermine the main benefits and advantages that your product or service would give to your prospect.

-\tLearn what other competitors are able and likely to offer, and which are in the running, if any.

-\tIdentify as many of the decision-makers and influencers as you can, and assess what their needs, motives and relationships are.

-\tAscertain the prospect's organizational decision-making processes, and try to get a feel for the organizational politics.

-\tDetermine what your prospect's strategic issues, priorities and problems are, and explain how your product or service addresses these issues better than the competition.

-\tPrepare your strategy for selling each prospect.

-\tPractice your sales presentation, and be sure when you go on the actual sales call you have all materials, samples, hand-outs, brochures, etc., that you should have.

-\tPrepare a checklist of questions that will ensure you get all the information you need from the meeting.

-\tThink carefully about what you want to get from the meeting and organize your planning to achieve it.

Next week we'll look at The Introduction, Questioning and Probing.