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The Sales process: Create pull before you push

Is your sales process working to your satisfaction? Could it be improved? How effective are your employees in making sales? Any process can be improved, especially the sales process, but sometimes we need to go back to the basics.

A great deal of homework is often required before you start to sell. You need to uncover the needs of the prospect and then offer solutions to those needs. There is an old expression that you should not try to sell ice cubes to Eskimos. Some considerations to determine are timeliness, effectiveness, quality, financial return, enjoyment, satisfaction, etc.

Sometimes the prospect does not perceive the real needs and need to be educated to realize the real needs before you offer the solution. Many companies do research on their clients business to develop solutions that satisfy their real needs and help them to understand their articulated perceived needs are not what they really need to succeed. This ensures a thorough examination of issues and opportunities faced by the prospect.

Once the needs are identified, you need to show the benefits of your product/service. The prospects can be viewed as selfish; they really don't care about the features and details of your product. They only care about what the product can do for them. There is an expression, WIIFM, pronounced "wif-em"; it means, "What's in it for me?" Speak only in terms of benefits, which means going back to your homework and knowing what benefits will really help the prospect.

The presentation of your solution requires both sight and sound. The Japanese have a saying that it takes more than one of the senses to communicate. Just reading a proposal or sales literature does not fully communicate the benefits. It should be presented orally as well so they hear it to reinforce the message and have an opportunity to ask questions and overcome obstacles. In both written and oral presentations, you should remember to speak in second person, not I or we.

Referring back to your homework, determine who will make the decision on this sale. You want to make sure you are working with the decision maker or else, you are probably wasting your time and the prospects time.

In oral presentations, be aware of your body language. What kind of message is it sending? In all presentations be confident, enthusiastic, and positive. The client will reflect your attitude.

Selling is simple, no? All you have to do is create a pull by your prospect for your product/service by:

• Understand prospects needs

• Offer benefits to those needs

• Speak in the prospects language, both written and oral

• Be positive and enthusiastic

And don't forget to ask for the order.