The Seven Steps of the Sales Process

Open any book on successful sales processes or visit any website blog devoted to the sales process, and you will likely find a list of steps to success. Whichever resource you use, it is important to follow the process and do not skip any of the steps listed. Following is a list of the most commonly referred to steps in closing a successful sale.

  1. Step 1: Be Prepared.Proper preparation is critical. Do the research, plan the presentation, and be ready to answer questions from the prospect before the initial meeting.
  2. Step 2: Introduce Yourself.The initial meeting may take place online, over the phone, or in person. Make sure the introduction is designed get the attention of the prospect. Introduce yourself, present a scenario that will intrigue the prospect and want him or her to know more.
  3. Step 3: Ask Questions.It is important to ask questions designed to discover the prospect’s problem so you can design a solution using your product or service.
  4. Step 4: Time to Present.The presentation should focus on financial or emotional solutions to the prospect’s problem so make sure you completely understand the problem.
  5. Step 5: Handle Objections. Objections usually come from a lack of understanding or not enough information. Listen carefully to objections and provide more information or clear up misconceptions.
  6. Step 6: Close the Sale.By this time, most prospects will be ready to sign on the dotted line. If not, ask questions in an effort to ferret out additional objections.
  7. Step 7: Follow Up. This is an important step. Always take the time to follow up to make sure the product or service has been delivered and the client is satisfied with it.
Author: Janie Sullivan

Janie Sullivan, MBA, MAEd, has been teaching adult learners for over 20 years. She has taught online over 15 years, specializing in writing, communications, and small business applications. Janie directs the Center for Writing Excellence where she offers writing, editing, and formatting services for writers. She has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as multiple online sites. She teaches communication, business strategy, leadership, and management courses. Janie has published a book "Develop and Deliver an Online Class." This is the third book she has written about writing and teaching online. She also has published a novel and an anthology of short stories.

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