Most business owners would like to focus all their energy on daily business operations and serving existing client demands. It's critical to your success, however, to focus on gaining new business from current and potential customers in order to grow and sustain your company. The selling process has six key steps. Virtually every sales interaction will follow these steps, whether it lasts several minutes or several months:
- Initial Contact
- Sales Presentation
- Handling Objections
- Closing the Sale
- Follow-Up and Service after the Sale
As you develop a sales process that is right for you and your business, here are some other pointers to keep in mind:
Continuously improve your sales skills, learn from others and stay open to new ideas.
Be sincere about your desire to help the prospect. Making the sale should be your secondary objective. This attitude will come through in every encounter and will help you build long-term relationships.
Contribute more than just your product. Provide industry news updates, creative ideas, and business advice as part of the service you offer.
Be direct with your communication. Beating around the bush only frustrates people. Answer all questions. Never patronize.
Enclose your business card with every letter and note.
Thank people who refer prospects to you. If the referral results in business, send a small, business-related thank-you gift also.
Never lie. Don't badmouth the competition or say negative things about their clients. Don't gossip.
Don't overbook yourself so much that you don't have time to listen and be available to your customer for their questions and comments.