by Howard Butterfield Published 01/12/2009
Howard Butterfield of theimagefile...
offers some more good advice
O.K. I am pretty sure you answered 'yes' to that question. After all that is why we are in business, to sell stuff. Have you though, committed this process to paper? It is hugely important that you do this, for many reasons.
The process can be experimented with and improvements written in. It can be shared with other members of the team and you can be certain that you cover each essential step every time. The most important reason is however, that the very fact you commit it to paper will clarify and crystallise your thoughts. This is a process that you go through every day and could be called upon to run through at a moments notice. So writing it down should be easy but it seldom is, which demonstrates why it needs to be done.
As we are all selling different, even if only slightly, services and products I am unable to give you a process but I can give you a framework around which you can build and develop your own sales process.
Be certain of your objectives. 1. Get the order at the right price and the right terms but if your process has multiple steps then what are the objectives along the way. Remember also that if you don't get the order, then there should be secondary objectives; for example, get a commitment next time they need your services or perhaps some information on your competitors.
2. Preparation and planning, much of this will likely be generic but even a little preparation specific to your prospect will be hugely valuable and make your job infinitely easier.
3. Build rapport (not make friends, anyone who has done any business with friends will understand the distinction!) and take control of the process. Active listening helps build rapport and providing an agenda an easy way to take control.
4. Understand your prospects concerns and problems and empathise. Feel, felt found. I know how you feel, I felt the same way, I found this was a good solution.
5. Explore with your prospect the consequences of these problems. (This is sometimes inelegantly described as creating the pain and developing the need)
6. Reveal budgets and decision making processes for example. Do you Mr/Mrs Prospect, have a budget you would like to work to? And If we answer all your queries to your satisfaction, will you be able to agree the order today?
7. Match your products, services and processes to their concerns and negotiate (or decide not to).
8. Close, ask for the order, unambiguously. There have been many books written on closing but some to perhaps consider are:-
• Option close, would you like to order this one or that one?
• Concession close, if I tailor this package for you, then we have a deal?
• Scarcity close, at the moment I am free on your date but this is a busy booking period, so to be sure...
• Assumptive close, I think that is our best package too, I am looking forward to working with you and helping to make your day perfect.
Howard Butterfield is Managing Director of theimagefile - providing internet sales and marketing solutions for serious photographers.
www.theimagefile.com 0870 2242454.
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