By Terry Corbell
The Biz Coach
The Seven Steps to Higher Sales
Secrets for sales success include: Five value perceptions that motivate customers to buy; seven steps to higher sales; and the three-step process for overcoming sales objections.
Weak economy or not, you need a noteworthy elevator pitch and be able to implement seven steps in your sales process to effectively sell your products or services for optimal revenue. That’s either in a two-minute discussion in a retail store or to sell big-ticket goods or services.
But even before your launch into your great elevator pitch and seven steps, it’s important to understand why people will buy from you – remember it’s always an emotional decision.
Admittedly, about 18 percent of customers – in B2B or B2C, alike – will only buy if you’re selling at the cheapest price in the marketplace. Yes, one in five prospects will be hardcore — they always insist on paying the cheapest price — no matter what.
Assuming you’re selling products or services of value, avoid those people. Screen them out in the qualification phase before you start your sales process. They are the most troublesome.
Even if they buy, they’re more likely to return their purchase and demand a refund. Even if they keep the purchase, they complain the loudest and longest.
Focus on people who are motivated by price and value.
For them, here are the five value perceptions of what your customers sub-consciously think in motivating them to buy from you:
Employees, Spokespersons – 52 percent. The key characteristics are integrity, judgment, friendliness and knowledge. Remember, about 70 percent of your customers will buy elsewhere because they feel they’re being taken for granted by your employees. And customers normally will not tell you why they switched to your competitor.
Image of Company – 15 percent. They are concerned about the image of your company in the community. Cause-related marketing is a big plus in forging a positive image. So is cleanliness and good organization.
Quality of Product or Service Utility – 13 percent. The customer is asking the question – “What will this do for me?”
Convenience –12 percent. Customers like easy accessibility to do business with you. That includes your Web site, telephoning you, and the convenience of patronizing your business.
Price – 8 percent. Price is important, but it’s the least concern among the five value-motivating perceptions.
Once you understand what motivates the customer to buy, there are seven steps you must take for creating a happy buying environment. Yes, the sales process goes a lot easier if you can make buying fun.
The seven steps to higher sales:
1. FEE. This is an acronym for establishing a common ground for a foundation using the principles of event and empathy. Every purchase is an event in the life of a customer – no matter how big or small. It also helps to show concern about the welfare of the customer.
2. Research attitudes. By asking open-ended questions, the customer will open up and you will learn what the customer is thinking. If you ask close-ended questions, you will get yes or no answers, and the sales process will end prematurely. In addition to any research I do on a prospect before trying to sell to them, my firm has a three-page questionnaire to get answers I want to provide solutions for maximum profits.
3. Agreement on Need. Get the customers to agree on their need to buy a product or service. (e.g. “So you need good IT services?”) In other words, don’t ask them to agree they need to buy from you. You have much more ground to cover.
4. Generic Value Proposition or Benefit Statement. Here’s where you explain your value proposition. Remember the difference between features vs. benefits to answer the basic marketing questions, such as the acronym, WIIFM , “What’s in it for me?” or “So What?”)
5. Fill Prospect’s Need. If you listened intently in Step 2, you’re now ready to offer specific solutions to the customer’s concerns.
6. Commitment – Ask for the order using a non-threatening, closed-ended question. For example, “Why don’t we start Monday?”
7. Seal the Deal. This final step has three components –
- Use the magic words: “Thank you for your consideration.” (Avoid: “Have a nice day.”)
- Prevent buyer’s remorse – remind the customer of benefits they’re receiving. (as a business-performance consultant, mine is “You will be very pleased with the strong results.”)
- Look for an opportunity to provide the person with unexpected, perceived added value without hurting your bottom line.
Another thought: Before the end of the day, write a thank you note. Remind the prospect what a pleasure it was to meet, include your value proposition, fill any specific needs with benefit statements, thank the person and prevent buyer’s remorse. Preferably, use your firm’s A-2 size card, or monarch or executive-size stationery. Make certain you mail your thank you note from a post office or mail box so that your correspondence arrives in the next day’s mail delivery.
In order to overcome objections in sales, it’s important to use empathy.
Here are the three steps to overcoming objections:
1. Get the prospect to restate his/her concern. Then repeat the person’s words: “If I understand you correctly, you feel…?”
2. Empathize: “I can see how you feel that way”…or “You know, someone said the same thing last week.”
3. Overcome the objection with facts. (Then go back to the seven steps.)
From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:
- 7 Tips for Strong Results in Setting B2B Appointments with CEOs
- You Can Get Bigger Corporate Accounts in 5 Steps
- Valuable Secrets for Profitable Deal-Making with Clients
- 6 Tips to Increase the Quality, Quantity of Your Client Referrals
“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.