Every business is concerned about sales. How do you find leads, approach a new prospect, present your offering to them in the best light, and then close the sale? The amount of time it takes for them to actually buy may be only a few moments for critical service or product the business needs, or it might be the result of several years of patient emails, phone calls or newsletters.
It’s important to remember that there are really two sides to that sales process. The sales side and the buyer side. One lays out the stages or steps the salesman goes through in the sales process – practical steps that take the sales effort from point A to point Z. That’s the Sales Pipeline. The other tracks the emotional or commitment stages of the person that you’re talking to. That’s the Sales Funnel.
It’s important to understand where you are in the process to measure your progress towards the final goal – closing that sale and to assure that you are putting your best foot forward all the time. There are entire books written on this topic, but for those who aren’t familiar with the process, let’s look at the steps.
Let’s talk about the Sales Pipeline, and how it sets the steps you go through in finding and processing a lead that will result in the sale of your products or services. And, you need to make a decision at the end of each step as to whether you’re going to proceed to the next step in your Pipeline:
Once you’ve gotten the sale, there are still two things that need to happen: Delivering your product or services and following up to make sure that your customer is satisfied. That is how you guarantee a long-term client. So, once you have closed the sale, reach out to your customer on a regular basis to make sure that your services are being delivered correctly and the client is satisfied. This way, you assure client longevity.
No matter how you approach sales, and how your process might differ from what is presented above, it’s all important that you make ongoing progress with each prospect. You might keep going even if the sale process is taking longer than normal. As long as you are addressing issues and progressing with the knowledge and information the prospect needs to make a decision, you’re doing OK. But there are always those prospects that aren’t ready or have decided not to buy from you. They just haven’t told you yet. In those instances, stop wasting your time. The second best answer in the sales cycle is NO. At least it’s brought resolution to the journey with that one prospect. Now you can devote your time to new prospects that are ready for help.
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