Let's get knee deep into the fundamentals of the Sales Process. This new blog series will take the components of the sales process a little deeper; each component gives structure to the sales process. The sales process, in the basic form, is: The Opening, Advancing the Call, and Gaining their Commitment. So let's get started...
There are so many aspects to successful selling, but there is nothing more important to the beginning of a great sales experience than a polished Opening, which is why we begin there! Here are the elements of the Opening that need to be mastered:
- Building Rapport ~ When you begin a sales or business conversation, create a warm and friendly relationship by initiating casual conversation outside the pure business discussion. Show the customer that you truly care about them and their business by creating a bond. Personal recommendations/feedback can create a strong bond, as can finding commonality with the customer. Be careful not to rush this step.
- Explaining your Role ~ One of your goals during the opening of the call is to ensure your customer is comfortable. By explaining your role, you put the customer at ease so that they understand what you are doing and how your are going to help them. This also helps them to understand the steps in the sales process.
- Purpose Statement ~ Again, continuing to focus on keeping your customer comfortable and educated during the process, the next very important step is delivering a Purpose Statement ~ "The purpose of our meeting today is..." or "The purpose of my call today is..." This sets the limits for the business discussion and gives focus to the customer on what areas will be explored.
- Benefit Statement ~ A benefit statement that gives the customer reasons for looking at what you are selling, spending time with you, and entertaining doing business with you. For example, "One of the major benefits of considering our business is...." or "Your business is important to us, which is why we will ensure that each step in the contract process is understandable, agreeable, and in your best interest."
- Checking in Statement ~ With each of these steps, you are building a deeper connection with your customer. This step ensures that the customer is still with you. The check in statement is a temperature reading of how the customer is moving along with the sales process. "Now that we have shown the symmetry between our businesses, are you in agreement to move forward?" or "How do you feel regarding the price we discussed?"
As mentioned, our focus today is on delivering clear and concise opening elements during the sales process. Keep an eye out for the next in the series, as we will look closely at how to best advance the call by exploring the customer needs and objectives, understanding options, and presenting solutions.