The acquiring knowledge of the product or the services for “us”, is less about the features of the product itself, and more about how the end customer/user will benefit from those features. Product knowledge is the most important tool for acquiring business. It instills faith, trust, and respect in the customer, which creates a positive customer experience. The importance of product knowledge represents itself the most in these situations like addressing customer apprehensions, building trust, making lasting impressions,
Prospecting, just as the word implies, is about searching for new customers. Like product knowledge, this step may seem fairly straight forward but upon closer examination it becomes more complex and extremely important to hit the right target audience. The key to prospecting effectively is knowing where to dig and what to look for.
This is where the rubber meets the road in the sales process. This is the step where you begin to build a relationship and the intelligence gathering continues (it started with prospecting). A good approach is crucial to sales success because it will either identify you as a bothersome salesperson and cause a prospect’s guard to go up, or it will identify you as an obliging salesperson with something of value to offer.
The Need assessment
This is arguably the most important step of the sales process because it allows you to determine how you can truly be of service. This means you must think in terms of solving a prospects problem. The only way to do that is by asking lots of questions. Asking good questions will not only help you determine what will best suit the prospects needs, but it builds confidence, trust, and will very often help the prospect consider issues they may never have thought of. Intelligence & gathering of information though occurs throughout the sales process.
If you consider your product/service in terms of how it benefits the customer, your presentation will be a focused and relevant dialogue rather than a self aggrandizing monologue. Nothing is worse than a sales presentation which proceeds from the seller’s perspective. This is why the needs assessment is so important and why it will ideally flow in and out of this step. A good needs assessment allows you to tailor your presentation to your audience, and keep it interactive.
Eighty percent of sales are lost because a salesperson fails to close and hesitates to ask for an order. Closing is about advancing the sales process to ultimately get an order. What you are trying to sell at each stage may be different. There are lots of ways to close, indeed closing a sale has become a science unto itself. Books have been written on this topic alone. But there is one elemental truth – if you don’t ask you don’t get.
Good follow up will double your closing ratio. When a sales person makes contact with a prospect a relationship has been built, and follow up is how it is nurtured. Staying at the forefront of a prospect’s mind requires persistence and should not be confused with being bothersome. This is why it’s important to get agreement on some next step each time there is contact. Follow up therefore should never end. The pace may slow but it will never end.