I was about 14 when I started selling Nutrimetics to my friends at school. They were polite and sort of interested but I didn’t get many sales during lunch hour. A couple of them thought their Mums might be interested and held parties at home – and that was when my business really took off. I won sales awards, medals, and you name, it … but I also learned an important lesson – it’s much easier to sell to people who are thirsting for a solution, than to people who are just showing polite interest.
I took that lesson to heart and it helped me in all my later sales experiences – whether I was actually selling products or services, or sharing ideas. Polite interest just wastes your time, and the other person’s time as well. If you’re in a social situation then you can move on to other topics of interest. If you are in a business situation then polite interest just wastes your time, and robs you of other opportunities.
Don’t Be Afraid of ‘No’! – It Might Even Be Your Best Friend
It is far better to spend your time talking to people who have the problem your service solves and the money to spend on your solution, rather than with people who are just being polite – because after all, business is about sales, not just interest. That’s why it is always good to elicit a ’no’ response sooner rather than later if the person you are talking to is really not a good candidate for your product.
So, I don’t want to make people’s decisions for them, and I really want to give them the information they need – but how do I open the door so they are willing to listen.
5-Steps Sales Process That Works.
- Establish Rapport. The easiest way to do this is to match and mirror their behaviour, or identify their preferred internal representation system and use that to communicate with your prospect. Without rapport, it’s harder to elicit the information you need to determine whether you and the prospect are actually a good fit, and if you don’t seem to be getting anywhere in establishing try to work out why.
- Ask Questions. You can use questions to continue to build rapport but you are really listening carefully so that you learn about your prospect’s problems and concerns. You’ll be asking questions throughout the interview so that you can discover what they value, and what their decision-making process is, and trying to uncover their objections so that you’ve answered them effectively before you come to the point of closing the deal. These questions will help your prospect feel that they were heard, and they will help you know whether the person is actually a real candidate for your product.
- Establish Value and Need. Your questions will have shown you whether this person actually need your product or service. At this point you are making some decisions on their behalf. If you realise that you can’t add enough value to this particular business for it to be worthwhile that’s okay – you can tell the other person how you feel and end the conversation. You never want to go into a deal so hungry that you need to get it at any cost. If you can’t add enough value to make it worthwhile for the prospect then you’re better off walking away. If you do make a deal under those circumstances neither of you will be happy with the outcome.
- Propose Solution. Hopefully you’ve taken all the time you need to ask questions and listen to their answers, because by the time you get to this fourth step in the sales process you should be ready to propose your tailored solution succinctly and clearly. Your prospect should be nodding agreement at this point and demonstrating that they can see the value you are offering to them specifically. As you outline your solution the prospect should feel confident that it will solve their specific problem, not just be the package you happen to have in your cart ready to unload on them.
- Seal the Deal. This is the final step in the process – whether it involves signing a contract or a verbal agreement. If you’ve done your job well, the outcome won’t be a surprise to either party because your will be offering your prospect a custom solution that will truly fit their needs.
I’ve taught this 5-step Sales Process to hundreds of people in corporate sales trainings and through my Confident Closing Workshops [LINK] and I usually receive this kind of feedback: “By the time I actually proposed a solution I had all the information I needed to offer a tailored solution using my prospect’s terminology. Their ‘yes’ was almost instant and price became a non-issue.”
This 5-Step Sales Process is one of the easiest ways to move your closing rate from average (or below average), so astronomical – and it also takes the sting out of rejection. Most of the time, you’ve already determined that this person is not a good fit before they get as far as saying ’no’.
Meta Description: How to move your sale closing rate from average to astronomical with a simple 5-step process that doesn’t rely on scripts or programming