The 6 step sales process that really works
Are you one of those people who hate selling?
You hate being rejected! I don’t blame you, rejection is a horrible feeling.
You might even hate selling because you don’t want to be perceived as being a pushy salesperson. Perhaps you think selling is not a very honorable profession. What if you could turn that on its head? What if – instead of trying to sell – you help people buy instead!
The six step sales process will help you overcome the fear of selling.
Fear of selling
The funny thing about rejection, is that when you learn to become more accomplished as a salesperson, you begin to experience rejection less and less and begin to handle it with logic instead of emotion. The reason why, is that you learn what to do and what not to do.
If you are new to sales and you haven’t got the buying and selling process down pat, then naturally you will make some rookie mistakes that will lead to rejection. The important thing to remember is that they are not rejecting you, they are most likely rejecting your products and services because either they don’t know they have a need (yet), they don’t have a relationship with you (yet) or they don’t see the value in what you have to offer (yet).
As you become more experienced and understand how people buy and follow a sales process, you will then start to experience more successes than rejection.
You need a formula to follow
Would you set off across the country without having a plan and referring to a map? Sure you might find yourself ending up where you wanted but I would guess you would take a lot of wrong turns along the way. You would waste time, waste money and still not end up where you want to go.
A sales process is like having a map. It shows you where the buyer is on the buying cycle so that you can match the selling process accordingly. It gets you to where you want to go, not only a lot quicker, a lot more successfully. Not following a sales process map, you are leaving the outcome to chance.
The Bi-Sell-Cycle™ is a process that explains both the buying cycle and the selling cycle.
Imagine you are about to ride a bicycle. Think of the front wheel as the buying cycle and the back wheel as the selling cycle. In order for the bicycle to move along freely, both wheels must turn in unison. If the front wheel and the back wheel aren’t aligned, you can’t ride the bike, you simply get stuck. Alternately the wheels might be aligned but you get a flat tire like an objection, then the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ will come to standstill.
A bicycle would be useless if all it had was a front wheel and a back wheel and no frame to hold it together. The frame of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ makes up all the other skills you need to successfully conclude a sale. The frame is in effect, your communication skills that will hold both wheels together.
The Bi-Sell-Cycle™ helps you keep both wheels turning together so that have more control over the sales process which ultimately leads to more successful outcomes.
Before you can sell anything, you need to understand how people buy.
The 6 steps of the Buying Cycle
- Firstly a buyer has to have a need – without having a need they have no motivation to buy. Needs manifest themselves as a problem or an opportunity.
- Secondly there has to be an impact if they allow the problem to get worse or the opportunity to slip away. Unless there is a consequence of not taking action, there is no motivation to buy and they will simply stay in their comfort zone and do nothing.
- Thirdly, they must have a target goal which will take away their problem or help them realize an opportunity. This becomes their dominant buying motive which is to avoid the pain of a problem getting worse is miss out on the rewards an opportunity might bring them.
- Now they are in a position to go to the market to investigate who is the best supplier and at what cost. The cost could also be opportunity cost.
- They make a choice by matching the provider who will satisfy their need by taking away their problem or help them realize the opportunity in order to achieve their target goal.
- After they have bought the solution to their problem or opportunity, the buyer then evaluates their decision to buy from that provider. They ask the question, did the solution satisfy their need and help them achieve their target goal. If not they then go back into the buying cycle again looking for another solution.
The 6 steps of the Selling Cycle
The selling cycle is a mirror of the buying cycle. As a salesperson you have to find the buyer’s need, explore the impact if they don’t take action and assess what their target goals are. At that point you are then in a position to tailor a solution to their target goal, sell them that solution and evaluate if their needs were met. In other words, you match the buying cycle with the selling cycle.
This is what keeps the process moving forward.
Buyers are motivated by two things, to avoid pain or gain rewards. These are their needs. Needs present themselves as symptoms that something is wrong. It might be a budget deficit, lack of sales, increased customer complaints. Buyers might also have an opportunity to expand their business, improve operations or increase sales. In other words, they either want to take away the problem or realize the opportunity.
Sometimes buyers don’t know they have a need until a third-party points it out to them (like a salesperson).
Explore the impact
Having a need doesn’t mean a buyer will do anything about it. They might happily sit in their comfort zone and not buy from anyone. As a salesperson, you must explore the impact or consequences of the buyer not taking any action. Their problem will get worse or they will miss out on the opportunity if they sit back and do nothing. Once they understand that, then they are motivated to avoid the pain of allowing the problem to persist or miss out on the rewards if they let an opportunity slip by them. This is what motivates them to buy.
Assess their target goals
By now the buyer understands that there is a consequence if they allow the problem to remain or let an opportunity go unrealized. They then have a target goal in mind, which is to take away the problem or realize the opportunity.
This becomes their dominant buying motive. Now you have something to work with.
Tailor the solution
You are now in a position to tailor the solution to their target goals. This is where so many salespeople get it wrong. They pitch their products and services too early in the process. The wheels are misaligned. The buyer is not ready to buy. You must meet the buyer where they are on the buying cycle. If they have come to you rather than you go to them, chances are they know what their needs are, they understand the impact if they allow the problem to persist or the opportunity to slip away. They know what their target goals is and are ready to buy. They are looking for a provider who will help them achieve their target goals.
Don’t be fooled when a buyer comes to you and tells you what they want. You still need to reconfirm what their real needs are because the buyer doesn’t always know this. Your role is to uncover any hidden needs they might have. You do this through effective questioning techniques.
Sell the option
Now you can sell the option that best suits the buyer’s needs and helps them achieve their target goal. Regardless of the need, what a buyer really wants is to choose the solution that helps them avoid pain or gain rewards.
Evaluate the outcome
If you have closed the sale and the buyer has bought from you, you still need to evaluate the outcome. You have to assess that once you have provided the solution that the buyer did in fact achieve their target goal. If not, it means you either didn’t provide the right solution or the buyer had hidden needs that you didn’t know about. Either way, if this happens it won’t reflect well on you.
Bringing the buying and selling wheels together
When you put the buying cycle together with the selling cycle, you get the Bi-Sell-Cycle™. It looks like this. The buying cycle is in the front, the selling cycle is in the back and both wheels must turn together to conclude a successful sale.
Communication skills make up the bicycle frame without which the sales process will collapse. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of your communication skills in the sales process. You must be able to build rapport, ask effective questions and actively listen to the answers in order to keep the wheels turning together.
By following this simple sales process, it helps you match the selling process with the buying process. When the wheels of the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ turn together, you are more likely to achieve a successful outcome. If the wheels don’t turn together, that’s when you are more likely to end up with a flat tire which is known as a sales objection.
On a final note
When you follow a simple buying and selling process like the Bi-Sell-Cycle™, it keeps you on track to successfully conclude the sale.
In A Nutshell
The buying cycle is the front wheel and is what drives the process. The selling cycle is the back wheel which follows the buyers lead. You must match where the buyer is on the Bi-Sell-Cycle™ in order for the wheels to keep turning.
Communication skills are what hold both wheels together and provide the framework of driving the buying and selling processes.
Miss any of these steps, it significantly reduces your chances of closing the sale.