(Part 8 in the Sales Series)
At the end of the series, I’ll introduce a mnemonic that can help you train your staff to remember clearly the 7 Gears of the Sales Process. My business coaching clients in Edmond, OK (and across the United States) immediately ask me when they hear these steps explained: “Can you come teach my employees this process?” In the meantime, a lot of ground can be covered. To manage the process, you need to know it first.
Many dog owners realize that most of the instruction is Owner Training when they take their cherished pet to school. This concept is similar in vein to Owners and Managers (The Leadership Team); who need to learn what their role is in this entire process. You are the coach. You must learn the game to be an effective leader.
Once you have completed the prior step of the buying process, you are now ready to transition into asking more relevant questions about the client’s needs as it relates to your products and services. It would take me 3-5 minutes of visiting with a client to create a relaxed atmosphere at the low end of time, sometimes up to 10. There’s no point in starting into the next gear until you know they are satisfied. I would also suggest using a transition statement to signal the client that you are moving from chit-chat to pertinent questions. My personal favorite was, “Wow, I get distracted really easily and I could talk for hours about stuff, let me tell you exactly why I came by today.”
This is a polite way to guide the client into the Set-Up phase of the conversation. This part of the conversation aims to clearly define the major areas of need from the client. This is not only basic facts, but also you need to be setting up the emotional state of the purchase. Finally, ask about the framework of their decision process. This is a YUUUUGE part of a successful and comfortable buying experience. As far as increasing results, this gear, the “Set Up” is the most vital to do well. When coaching sales teams, I tell them they should have a 90% accuracy in knowing if the client will buy at the end of this step. And we haven’t even begun the presentation yet.
How does that sound?
It bears repeating. If you do the preliminary parts of the buying process fairly well, you will know how the buying decision is going to go. This “Gear” will occupy three blog posts. I personally spent 10 years in direct face-to-face selling situations daily. Additionally, over 25 years training thousands of others to be more successful in sales. I love this stuff and I love sharing it with others.
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: