Sales is, at its most basic level, a relatively simple process, says author and Speaker Dave Kahle. Regardless of the intricacies of the customer, the product and the setting, the job of the salesperson can be reduced to these basic elements:
- Engage with the right people.
- Make them feel comfortable with you.
- Find out what they want.
- Show them how what you have provides them what they want.
- Gain agreement on the next step.
- Insure that they are satisfied, and leverage that satisfaction to other opportunities.
Today we’ll look at the final points.
5. Gain agreement on the next step.
Every sales interaction has an assumed next step. If you call someone for an appointment, the next step is the appointment. If you present your solution to a decision-maker, the next step is the order. In between, there are thousands of potentially different sales calls, and thousands of potential action steps that follow the sales call.
The agreement is the ultimate rationale for the sales call and the aspect that makes it a ‘sales’ call. If you aren’t expecting to gain any agreement, then why are you making the call? It’s not a sales call. It may be a public relations call, or a something-to-do call, but it’s not a sales call. A sales call is set apart from the rest of the interactions in this world by the fact that it anticipates an agreement.
Without an agreement, the process has been a waste of time. It is the ultimate goal of every salesperson, and of every sales process, and of every sales call.
Clearly, you generally don’t gain agreement without asking for it. There’s that question, again.
6. Insure that they are satisfied, and leverage that satisfaction to other opportunities.
This is the one step in the sales process that is most commonly neglected. Most salespeople are so focused on making the sale that they neglect to consider that their real purpose is to satisfy the customer. And that extends beyond just the sale itself.
The sales call on the customer, made after the sales is complete, delivered and implemented by the customer, is one of the most powerful sales calls available. In it, the salesperson seeks assurance that the customer is satisfied, and then leverages that affirmation to uncover additional opportunities within the customer and/or referrals to people in other organizations.
And, clearly, how would you find out if the customer is satisfied without asking? And, how would you uncover additional opportunities, other than to ask? And, how would you gain referrals if you did not ask? Questions, once again, are the key tool to this and every step in the sales process.
Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of B2B salespeople, sales managers and business owners to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He’s authored nine books, and presented in 47 states and seven countries. To access Dave’s training, insights and tools online, visit The Sales Resource Center. Visit www.davekahle.com to check out a seminar near you.