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This article is Part 2 in Dr Greg Chapman’s ‘Five Profit Drivers’ Five Part Series. Follow these monthly articles for a comprehensive guide to driving profits with expert marketing advice for your small business. Last month, Dr Chapman introduced The Five Profit Driver marketing system that can double your profits.
The second of the Five Profit Drivers is Increasing Conversion to Sales.
Sales should be considered as a process like any other key part of a business. It is in fact the most important part because without sales there is no business. This step in the Five Profit Driver Marketing Model converts the leads created with the First Profit Driver into sales.
At this point in the marketing process, the prospect has called you, they have walked into your store, or you have the appointment with them. While the types of sales processes can appear quite different in different businesses, every sale goes through seven steps. For different businesses, some steps might appear to be almost missed, while in others, there might be a very long time spent within a single step.
The seven steps to every sale are:
- Establish Rapport
- Identify Needs
- Build Value
- Create Desire
- Overcome Objections
- Close the Sale
- Follow-up (The 3rd Profit Driver)
Unless the sale is for a commodity and transactional, for example, buying petrol for your car, establishing rapport before the sale is critical. We like to buy from people we like.
Thus the salesperson will spend some time creating a connection with the buyer. Depending on the value of the sale, this might be quite a lengthy process, particularly for a high value sale. It is important that the buyer is put at ease as any significant purchase contains risk for the buyer, and they are wary of being pushed into a purchase they don’t want or need.
During this time, the salesperson starts to identify the needs of the buyer. If they are looking at cars, what will they use it for? Is it to commute to work? Is it to carry a family around? How big is the family? Do they have pets?
The next step is to build the value of your service. Briefly discuss.
- Your reputation in the market place
- Your Points of Difference
- The ultimate benefit and value of your service to the buyer
Create desire with a mixture of problem/consequence and solution. Get the blood on the floor, then mop it up! Show the benefit of your solution. Remember:
Features tell, Benefits Sell
The better you are at painting an elaborate picture of their wonderful future with your product, the more desire you will create.
At this point it will be necessary to overcome objections. But if you have properly qualified your prospect early in the conversation, they will be less likely to have objections.
A common objection is that they need to discuss the sale with someone who is not present. So at the start of the sales process, you should ask if they will be the one making the decision, or will they need to consult with someone else. Then make sure all decision makers are directly involved.
The biggest objection can often be cost. However, if you have explained the value and benefit in the early stages of the sales process, and properly qualified them on price, this should not become a barrier when you close.
Close the Sale
Once you have covered their objections, you are ready for ‘the close’. When you close the sale, you are helping the prospect make a decision. Most people are not good at making a decision, but once they have, they feel relieved, because you are going to fix a problem for them. They know that their indecision is probably the biggest impediment to fixing their problem. By helping them with the decision, you have done them a great favour.
So it’s ok to push a little bit. There are whole books written on how to close the sale, but it can be as simple as asking: “When do you want to start?”
When you make a close, SHUT UP! Let the prospect be the first to speak. He who speaks first loses.
- Document each of the steps in your sales process.
- Train your staff in your sales process.
- Monitor the results and modify steps to improve results from this the Second Profit Driver.
Dr Greg Chapman is the author of the award winning best seller, The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success. Visit Empower Business Solutions to learn more about marketing your business and a free preview of his book.