(Part 5 in the Sales Series)
In the last post- Buying Vs. Selling– I explained how there is a linear process of buying activities that a successful presentation should be built around. As you think through your process as a customer or buyer, you will find this progression to be right on the mark.
We need to define the steps that every conversation about buying should be. Most of the time when I coach my business owner clients in Edmond, Oklahoma, increasing Sales is a very important item on the wish list. There are so many misconceptions about how to increase sales and what makes up a successful sales presentation. Clients will often say “I don’t want to engage in high-pressure sales,” before they understand how sales successfully work.
Let’s begin with the actual Seven Gears of Sales and I’ll take some time to discuss strategy, tactics, and goals for each step.
The 7 Gears of Sales:
Let’s begin at the beginning – ha. Prospecting is the activity of locating potential clients amongst all the consumers in the world. There is a ton of overlap with this step of the Sales Process and the activity of Marketing. Depending upon the company you work for and the industry it sits in, you may or may not have “Sales Leads” provided to you. I can say with zero hesitation the salespeople who engage in prospecting proactively almost always generate more sales overall, more commissions overall, and are more successful overall.
I can also say with zero hesitation that this gear of the process is the second most frequent point of failure for salespeople because it involves the most effort. In the sales process, prospecting for clients is probably the most actively avoided activity. Everyone is looking for the magic “marketing funnel” instead of just picking up the phone to call, knocking on the door to ask, or walking down the street to find the next customer.
That’s not to say you should not go ahead and build a web page, engage in SEO, and spend some actual marketing dollars to make the phone ring or the inbox ding. But you should not count on that. There will be times when the marketing funnel stops working. You will need some techniques established that are part of your company’s daily process.
Yes, I said daily.
But Chris, I don’t like to make calls.
I’m sorry, did you say you don’t like to make money?
No, I said I don’t like…..oh…never mind.
Right, this isn’t about you. It’s about the client and what they need and what they will respond to in a predictable way.
If you are a business owner and you personally don’t like the process of calling on prospective clients in order to make new sales, that is fine.
However, it still has to be done.
This is one of those oft-neglected areas of a business that most owners don’t understand can simply be “down-sourced”. You can easily find and hire sales professionals to do these things daily for your business. You will have to provide them a process. That’s what we will line out as we continue this series. If you want specifics on how to apply this to your product or service, contact me and we can set up a call. It can definitely be done.
And it definitely should be done.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to take my Free Online Assessment on the main page of the 7th Gear Website.
Other Articles of the Sales Series: