Over the years I have been told by so many people that salespeople are born and not made. There is no doubt that in some ways it could be argued that there is an element of truth in this statement. There are certainly different characteristics that come more natural to some people than others.
In sales training we often talk of the fear of rejection and there is no doubt that some salespeople even without training can handle rejection well and feel comfortable accepting rejection and moving on to the next call with no fear. While others find it very difficult and need training to overcome that rejection.
It is also true that many salespeople have excellent emotional intelligence and are able to understand and read situations naturally while others can’t do this. So yes there is no doubt that some people have specific skills and attributes that they naturally possess which may make it easier for them to sell in their own distinct style.
Iremember many years ago on a sales training course asking one of the top sales people, how do you sell? The answer I received was ‘I just ask them to buy’.
Although this answer may well be correct the reality is that somewhere along the line even the top sales people follow some sort of a process and they may not even be aware that they do it.
I recall another person on the same sales training asked if this person could do a role play just so the others may be able to pick up any tips from watching this individual. So the scene was set and the role play ensued. What amazed me was that this person who said ‘I just ask them to buy’ actually followed a rigorous approach and process to the sale.
Such was this persons success that on the sales training course he actually volunteered to do a number of role plays and guess what, each role play followed the same structure when you actually broke it down into digestible steps.
Below is the structure or process or steps of the sale that this person possibly unknowingly used on each call. I have set it out below as it may be of assistance to you, I understand every business is different, but all businesses should have some form of a sales process.
These were the definite steps this person took on each call:
- Reason for call
- Rapport building
- Found something to compliment the prospect on
- Established if they were the correct person for decision making purposes
6.Then he restated the reason for call
- Asked permission to ask questions to establish f he could help them
- Asked relevant questions
9.Listened to the answers actively and with purpose
- Summarised and confirmed the answers back to the prospect getting the prospect to say YES
- He then spoke about the products and how they would benefit the prospect
- He tried a trial close to commit to the sale
- Managed the objections
- Asked for the order
- Consolidated the sale by telling the prospect what would happen next
The funny thing is there were 15 different steps that this salesperson took on the role play on the sales training course, and this was the salesperson who said ‘I just ask people to buy’
The amazing thing about good salespeople is that they automatically go through some form of a sales process and may not even understand they are doing it.
What I have found in my career in sales and sales training that the larger the value of the sale the more important it is to hit every step of the process. It is okay to product sell if it is a low value product or what I call a maintenance type product. Example if I am selling boxes of staples or screws and they are £5 per box it is probably going to be a much shorter version of the above.
So to go back to the question why is a sales process important? it does mean that it can keep a sale on track, it also means that if you are not a natural salesperson you can follow a step by step procedure that will get you more sales .
Often by following this procedure or process the person who appears to be the not so natural salesperson, will time and time again out sell the person who is perceived to be the natural sales person