7 Steps of Selling a Solution
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is proven to bring benefits galore, whichever perspective it is seen from. It might sound bizarre to talk about stairs when speaking of the sales process, but the metaphor depicts it quite well. So we might as well take seven of those steps and explain them one at a time.
1. Pre-study and prospecting
Research. Research is the key to a good start, especially in when dealing with sales. Years ago when people held business meetings they didn’t have the luxury of learning about their prospects from their office or home comfort beforehand, the internet makes it way easier for us today. Chances are that a considerable amount of information you need is already online. Be it about the company or the person you have a meeting with, it is crucial for a salesperson to conduct a proper research and get all the information available before the sales meeting and making sure you’re contacting the right decision maker.
2. Strong start
As ironic as it is, the beginning of a successful sales process depends more on you than on the party you are dealing with. It’s upto you to make a good first impression and give the customer a reason to meet with you and listen to what you have to say. A strong start can consist of a firm handshake, a good elevator pitch and/or a great first contact email. Quickly introducing yourself and your product and what value you’d bring to your prospect can get you pretty far and help with the coming steps more than you’d think!
3. Building Trust
You need your customer to trust you – otherwise it’s impossible to do business together. People don’t open up without trusting the person they are talking to, and that counts for all situations, sales related or not. One way to do it is making it personal, talking about personal subjects makes people vulnerable. Hard-to-get-information has always been a weakness for humans, we are triggered by things we are not supposed to know or do, so tell facts about yourself, or stories which are neither available nor obvious to them. One way to measure if your customer is comfortable enough is to tell a joke and see if they laugh or at least smile.
4. Need Discovery
Understanding the needs of the company/person which you are dealing with is the key point of setting a base of your sales process. Listening carefully and asking follow-up questions about the developments and issues they have been through will lead to getting more information about what they need next and what approach would help to find the solution. One way to make sure you always get the answers you need to build a solution for your customer, is to make the need discovery a part of your sales deck.
5. Demo of your solution
If you reach this point, you have successfully managed to write down your customers needs and problems, and figured out in your head how you could solve them. Now is the time to tell your customer how it’s done. Specify what problems will be solved, how you will do it, what products and services it requires from your portfolio, and why they should choose your company’s solution. What makes you better and different from your competitors offering? Remember to focus on the benefits you’re bringing and only tell about the products and services your customer is interested in.
It feels good taking the stairs, huh? It’s kinda tiring but totally worth it in the long run. This is the part you make the proposal. Put together a document where there is a clarification of your customers challenges, the main benefits they will gain choosing you, specified information about the services and products you’ve discussed would suit their needs and most importantly the pricing with your terms and conditions. Never leave this document hanging by just sending it to your customer – but always show it in a meeting for the first time. Go trough it step-by-step no matter how stupid it would feel. You know your stuff but your customer has probably been talking to 2-10 possible vendors. So remind them, why you’re the best and make sure they understand everything in the proposal.
7. Closing the deal
In some cases closing a deal is easy when you’ve done the previous steps by the book. Just ask for the deal to happen: “Should we get started?”. Reach out your hand for a shake.
In many cases, you still have to go back and forth answering your customers questions and even turn “No”s into “Yes”s by handling objections. The best way to handle objections is to ask more questions to make your customer tell you what is really bothering them and why they still feel you’re not bringing enough value to the table. Given the answers, you’re able to return to the proposal stage again and make it more suitable and understandable for your customer.
Don’t give up, be persistent, and make the right moment yours.
Many of these points are easier said than done, but if you do not try you will never know. One or two things you could take from here: never hesitate to take the stairs and sign up for Seidat. Both will help.
Keywords: Seidat for Sales Teams