Behind the sale lie the next 100 sales.
“I made the sale!”
That’s the victory cry of all salespeople. They scream. They jump up and down. They high-five. They calculate their commission-and they miss the biggest sales opportunity of their lives.
Salespeople never seem to understand that it’s not about this sale-it’s about the next sale. So each time they make a sale, they can use the information and the lessons from that sale to make the next sale, and any future sales, easier.
Instead of celebrating your next sale, why not take the following 6.5 steps that will put you on a sales streak that will never end. CAUTION: These steps require work, thought, and preparation. Rats.
The next time you make a sale, instead of celebrating, ask yourself:
1. How was this sale made? What did I have to do? What was the full cycle? What could I have done better? What can I repeat?
2. How was the sale decided? What were all the steps that led to the decision? How was the decision made?
3. Who pulled the trigger? Who actually made the decision to buy from you? Who actually approved the money for the sale? In every selling scenario there is only one trigger puller. Every salesperson needs to know who pulls the trigger before making a sales presentation. Was the person who pulled the trigger the decision maker? Where should you start your sale next time?
4. Why did they buy from you? What was their motive for buying? What was their incentive? What was their reason to give you their business? How can you be certain to use this in your next presentation?
5. Who prepares the budget? How many times have you heard someone say, “We spent our whole budget”? This is not the person you want to meet with. This person is not a decision maker-this person is a “budget spender.” The “spender” usually has to ask “Daddy” for approval, and the “spender” is always the one that wants three bids. Avoid him or her like the plague. The person who prepares the budget can change it in three seconds. Start there.
6. What was their internal communication path to the sale? In other words, what was their internal sales cycle? Who had to say what to whom for the sale to take place? How could half of this been avoided if you would have simply taken the next step?
6.5 Start higher up the authority chain. Salespeople tend to work their way from the bottom up. Nothing could be a bigger waste of time or energy. It makes more sense (but it takes more sales balls) to start at the highest level. CEO’s or other C-level corporate executives always know where the decision is made, and if you can get 5 to 10 minutes of their time (in exchange for something of value to them), they will either make the decision or take you by the hand to the decision maker.
Let me assure you, instead of walking in alone, when you walk in with the boss, the underling listens twice as hard and gives you half the hassle.
The good news is that most salespeople will simply celebrate the sale and overlook this incredible opportunity. The better news is now that you have this insight, you can begin a path to doubling your sales in a very short time. The best news is that doing the hard work to gather this information will make you an award-winning salesperson in a way that will gain the respect of your coworkers, your company, and especially your customers.
There is a final subtle step. One that can only come after you have put all the others into action. Once you meet with the decision makers and spend enough time with them, you will discover what they want their outcomes to be as a result of buying your product or service.
These outcomes are a critical part of your sales presentation, because they are the actual buying motives of a corporate executive or a CEO. High-level decision makers want to know how they will profit, and they want to know how their productivity can increase. As a master salesperson, you have a responsibility to deliver this information so they have enough confidence in you, have enough trust in you, and have enough belief in you to buy from you.
The most interesting aspect of what I’ve just shared is the fact that this is so OBVIOUS. And as with most sales situations, the obvious is overlooked. Why? Because salespeople are too busy celebrating at a superficial level. And because it requires some hard work-but all too often, the salesperson doesn’t feel like doing the work.
Whatever the circumstances, the opportunity is yours. Take it. Master it. Bank it.
Free GitBit: Want a list of “Why they buy” questions to ask? I’ve compiled a list of questions that will get the session started. Go to www.gitomer.com – register if you’re a first-time user, and enter WHY THEY BUY in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, is now offering licensed training programs to corporations, as well as distributorships to individuals, based on his best-selling books and the TrainOne online learning series. This process is starting with his newest book The Patterson Principles of Selling. Jeffrey can be reached by phone: 704/333-1112 or e-mail: email@example.com
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