Sales can be tough, deals can take a long time just to fall through unexpectedly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful, meet and even exceed your targets. By carefully breaking down your sales process, analysing what you are doing and following these seven steps, you can generate quality leads and successfully close them.
1. Lead Generation
Before you can sell anything to anyone you need a list of people or companies who may be interested in your product or service.
Imagine you are in a room full of potential customers, everyone is talking and it is difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. Add some competition it becomes even harder to make yourself heard. This is why you need to be targeting, analysing and quantifying the leads that you are generating.
2. Cold Calling
Once you have a list of warm leads, it’s time to get in touch. With technology on our side, we can reach out in more ways than ever. Email and social media are suited to making first contact, they’re unobtrusive and people can reply at a time to suit them.
If you don’t hear anything back it may be time to pick up the phone. Speaking with prospects directly reassures them that you are real and gives them a chance to ask questions.
3. Meeting Preparation
Your prospect liked what you had to say and you’ve arranged a meeting; this is where the old adage ‘preparation is nine tenths of the job’ comes into play, a lot hinges on sales meetings.
Before the meeting you will have a clear idea of who you’re selling to and should know if the person you are meeting is the decision maker, and how your product or service can benefit them. As a customer, it’s always impressive when someone knows what you want and why before you’ve told them.
4. Meeting Execution
Executing the meeting successfully is the next stage. Your first meeting isn’t the time to pitch to your client, it’s to discover more about each other. Use data and case studies to show how your offering will help the prospect with their needs.
The prospect’s body language can help you gauge how the meeting is going; keep an eye out for subtle changes in stance or intonation, as well as the obvious verbal signals.
5. The Proposal
The meeting went well and you have been invited to submit a proposal. Explain in detail why your offering is right for the prospect but don’t worry too much about pricing, you just want your prospect to be clear that you are the right choice.
6. The Pitch
The proposal has been accepted and you have been invited back to pitch. Using your prospect’s emotions can be a powerful tool; demonstrating exactly how your product will help save time, money and effort is likely to appeal.
Remember, the location of your pitch can also affect the outcome so think about where your prospect will be most comfortable.
7. And finally…Closing
You’ve impressed all the way through the sales process but now you need to close the deal. This can occur naturally if the prospect makes the first move but often they need a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Throughout the process you have established a detailed picture of your prospect’s business needs and their motivation for your product. Use this knowledge to guide them into making their decision and finally signing on the dotted line.
With these steps you should be well equipped to make lasting partnerships with companies and generate new business!
Written by Pareto, based on their Complete Guide to Closing a Deal interactive.