The Sales Cycle – Part 2

Visible and invisible elements of all selling
Even when mentioned, it is rarely underscored that everything you say or do, every action you take or fail to take in the sales cycle has a consequence.

Everything that you do in the process moves it forward or backwards.

There is never a no-consequence of anything during the process.

Before, during and after the selling procedure, your words, actions, in-actions, manner, attitude, and body language – everything that is visible or invisible to the client can affect the outcome of the selling procedure.

Invisible elements that enter into the sale are made up of things like honesty, sincerity, character, respect, affinity, knowledge, confidence, and experience are some of the more important positive ones to any prospect.

Visible elements that enter into the equation, such as, being on time, physical appearance, cleanliness, manner of shaking hands, handling the introductions, professional looking presentation materials, starting, controlling the meeting, handling questions, bringing it smoothly to a close, setting up the next meeting or closing the deal right then, follow-up as necessary, and much more.

But even the positive, visible factors will be doubted if the invisible elements are not present first.

Both the visible and invisible factors must be in sync and recognized as vital to the success of any sales process.

The Bond of Trust
The biggest enemy to building trust between you and the customer is doubt.

Invisible factors such as trust and doubt are alike perceived by the customer consciously or unconsciously. Either one can have an enormous effect on the outcome of the sale.

The bond of trust between you and the customer is far, far more important than any other significant influencing factor whatsoever.

The secret to building trust between you and the prospect is obvious – but not widely recognized:

Trust yourself first.

The client is buying from you not from your company. And when you trust yourself, it is infectious. They find it easier to trust you. They will go ahead with the deal because you say it can be done not just because it is stated in the company brochure.

They will trust you first and the company second – it’s always been this way and always will be this way.

An organization can do the marketing and promotion but it up to the salesman/woman to contact, handle, enlighten and close the deal with the client. And that only happens if the bond of trust has been established. Any doubt in the customer is always traceable back to their lack of trust in you.

This bond of trust is created and reinforced buy a combination of all the factors, invisible or visible, that they are exposed to. These add up to them trusting you, or the reverse.

Sell yourself first and your product or service second.

As a professional, if you have the knowledge and experience of every aspect of the sales cycle and a high degree of willingness to control all the elements involved, starting with the bond of trust, you’ll find yourself able to take a high degree of responsibility for the outcome. You are the one who is causing the sale to take place for the benefit of everyone involved.

Put all these parts together and you’ll discover you can almost predict how any sale is going to turn out. The result is a dramatic increase in your capability, confidence and competence in the area. And of course, all these things feed on themselves as success tends to breed success.

 The Reason For Sales Troubles
Volumes have been written about finding and satisfying the purposes of the prospect, but something has been overlooked – and it’s so powerful it borders on the mystical.

Also, it is a step that occurs before any contact is made between and the prospect.

Here it is: Clarify your purposes before you start selling.

When you have clearly sorted out your own purposes and firmly decided to make them happen, miracles become possible. It will open the doors to accomplishment beyond ones wildest dreams. Don’t underestimate the power of this concept.

Here are the two steps:

1. Establish your own goals and purposes.

2. Decide that you want to make them happen.

Interestingly, the concept of clarifying the purposes of the salesperson – before they start the sales cycle – is missing in other texts on the subject; yet it seems plainly intuitive once identified, doesn’t it? And in my opinion, it’s important enough to explore further.

Purposes in selling
The dictionary defines purpose as: the goal or intended outcome of something – the desire or the resolve necessary to accomplish a goal.

Two key words jump out: intention and desire.

A purpose sets a direction and dictates action toward the accomplishment of something considered worthwhile.

In selling, if you set up a purpose that involves only your well being and excludes the prospect, you’ll have problems.

This would be like convincing someone that that they should give you money only because you need it. Perhaps that worked on our parents when we were kids to further our ends, but in the adult world, others are not often so generous.

Regarding purposes, there are two pitfalls you must be aware of:

a) If you set up a wrong purpose, you can only achieve a wrong result.

b) Unless you recognize when you have achieved your purpose and bring it to a close, you can create problems that didn’t exist.

Beware of setting up purposes like this:

I’m going to try to see a lot of people today.

I hope I can make a good presentation.

I must get them to buy something, because I need the money badly.

These “purposes” will cause you difficulties because they are not really purposes in themselves; they are methods used toward achieving a purpose.

Instead, ask yourself: Why do I want to see a lot of people today? Or, Why do I want to make a good presentation? Or, Why do I need money so badly?

If you answer each of these questions honestly, you’ll likely arrive at your purpose; the real reason you are doing these things.

But, in selling, your purpose must be something that will benefit both you and the customer in a willing exchange. It can’t just be a one-sided transaction.

What is considered to be a benefit is subjective, but it should be something that would help or assist the other prospect and you as well.  Time spent working this out is a key step. Put it in writing.  Read it out loud to yourself and others. Ensure that it sounds and feels right for you.

To get you started, here are a few examples regarding setting correct purposes:

a) Create a friendly selling environment where the prospect is comfortable and willing to talk with me about their difficulties.

b) By attentive listening and effective communication, the client is confidant that I understand their problems and that my product or service will benefit them.

c) The prospect has willingly decided to engage my services or purchase my product and has entered into a contractual agreement with me.

d) The contract is signed and all parties are still smiling.

e) I have delivered what I promised to a happy, satisfied customer.

f) The customer is so happy with the deal that they enthusiastically tell others about it.

Almost any wording of your purpose will work, as long as it takes into consideration that you’re trying to help give the client what he wants at a price that is still profitable for you too.

Note that though money is implied, it has not been specifically stated as a purpose.

Money is the reward of accomplishment of the purpose, not the purpose itself.

 daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2002-2030, all rights reserved

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