Most sales trainers agree there are a certain number of steps that need to be taken towards making a sale; typically the steps are:
- Greet the customer (acknowledge, qualify & open the sale, etc.)
- Probe to discover needs & wants (ask questions, sales interview, etc.)
- Recommend product (demonstrate, make alternative suggestion, etc.)
- Trial close (first attempt to open relationship, etc.)
- Handle objection (overcome objection, re-state needs & wants, etc.)
- Ask for the order (close sale, open the relationship, etc.)
- Farewell and follow through.
In these seven steps a variety of nuances are included which allow for deviation so that the sale can be achieved/won at any point.
One challenge is that, too frequently, the sales person and prospect who are involved in the process see it as adversarial.
Often an inexperienced or eager sales person is so relieved to receive a ‘Yes’ that the thought of making sure that the customer has everything they need to gain full benefit and satisfaction from the purchase isn’t asked. What a dreadful shame to all concerned!
How many times have you been left with a purchase that was exactly what you thought you wanted, but then realised you left without everything you needed? Let’s play with some examples:
- A camera with a small memory card
- A tennis racquet with no case to carry it in
- A computer with limited space
- A can of paint with no brush
- A new outfit without matching accessories
- A McDonald’s burger with no fries
According to a recent credit card survey, the average number of items on a retail sale invoice INCLUDING grocery sales was 3.3.
Think about that. If the average grocery sale is, say 20-40 items, then there’s a lot cameras out there without film or electronics without batteries.
So how do we go about improving our sales satisfaction process? Well, the first step is to understand that it’s OK to want to help your customer get the most benefit from what they buy from you.
Let’s look at the camera scenario we described before.
A customer walks into a camera shop and says, “I want to buy a good camera.”
With today’s technology nearly all cameras are “good,” and the customer could pick through dozens of different styles.
But, if the sales person asked qualified questions and probed a little deeper they might discover the customer has a real and immediate need for the camera with a bigger memory card.
Then the sales person could have met the needs of a good camera while offering accessories to fit the customers’ needs.
By asking qualified questions and learning the exact needs of the customers, both you and your customer will be satisfied with the purchase.