Business tips from the Finally Fast team
It’s arguable that the most important — and complicated — action in the art of business is the endeavor to close a sale. And to complicate matters further, it may be harder for firms to close the sale today than it used to be. Between the tough economic environment and global competition, it may take even longer to close a sale today. For successful businesses, the sales process has become a communications process that involves a series of decisions that both you and your customer will be making. At each decision point, both you and your customer will be achieving mutual understanding and establishing clarity about what you are saying to each other and how you will proceed.
Closing a Sale
There are four stages of the decision process involved in closing the sale. These stages are Discovery, Diagnosis, Design, and Delivery. When you walk your customers through the process, there are some key objectives you need to accomplish at each stage along the way in order to successfully sell your product or service.
In the initial Discovery stage, you must ensure that the customer matches the profile of individuals or businesses that typically find value in your product or services. This means progressing beyond the traditional boundaries of prospecting to learning unique characteristics and background information about your prospect. Part of the learning process involves listening to your customer. You need to discover what they want and then fulfill their needs. It’s not really relevant to the sales process what you want. You need to verify that customer is sales-worthy.
In the Diagnosis stage, you want to help your customers understand their inefficiencies and performance gaps. You may be able to help maximize the customer’s awareness of their dissatisfaction with their situation, and determine whether that dissatisfaction supports the need for your product or service.
When customers decide to make a purchase, their intention is to improve their situation. It is important to help them get a very clear picture of the desired outcome, their expectations. This Design stage brings clarity to the desired situation and how to get there.
After your customer commits to the sale, the next phase of the process is to deliver the product or service and assure your customer’s success in executing your solution.
Whether you close the sale or not, always follow up with customers to find out what you can learn from them. The most successful sales people are the ones that have repeat business, and the only way to generate that repeat business is to have clients who are happy with the service or product you have sold to them.