SELLING PROCESS AND THE SKILLS REQUIRED
Selling a product whether branded or not requires skills on the part of the sales person which we are deliberating in this article. The sales person may have to follow the process detailed below for better results and achieving targets.. Selling is an art as well as a Science. The science part is product knowledge, technologies involved in making the product and the advantages as compared to competitorsâ€™ products. The art primarily involves drawing the attention of a prospect so that he can listen attentively.
The selling process is a five stage process. These stages are:
1. Opening of a call.
2. Need exploration.
4. Managing objections.
5. Closing the call.
However, the actual sales call is preceded by market intelligence, which involves collecting information on competition and prospect or customer, and looking for leads that will help a salesperson identify potential customers.
Opening the Call
This is the rapport building stage. What and how is said or done at this stage will, to a large extent, determine the future courses of the sales call itself. It also ensures that the customer or prospect is involved in the entire sales presentation. Hence an effective salesperson is sensitive to the verbal and non-verbal message which the prospect gives. The latter also invokes his or her memory and planning notes (based on market intelligence) to present to the buyer or prospect in plain and confidence building language the purpose of his or her visit. He or she also probes the prospect in order to get the latter to speak out.
The next stage is that of exploring the prospects tangible and intangible needs. This requires the use of probing and sensitivity skills. Probing is the art of questioning the prospect in a way that the latter doesnâ€™t feel threatened. Probe therefore is a psychological tool available to a salesperson to pierce through the prospects psyche and get to know what is the thinking of the prospect and why he or she is thinking so. It has to be borne in mind that without sufficient probing a salesperson can never get to know the prospectâ€™s â€œhidden agendaâ€?.
Having known the prospectâ€™s needs, the salesperson needs to make presentation in a meaningful and convincing manner. A good sales presentation is one that not only gives all the benefits that the prospect gets but also proves to the latter that he or she will be better off after he or she had bought the product and used it. The salesperson can satisfy this need by continuously keeping the prospect in focus and not letting this get shifted to him or her. An effective sales presentation demands the salesperson to use skills like presentation, explanation and receptivity of the prospect.
Prospectâ€™s objections are request for more information on certain aspects of sale. These should be perceived as opportunities for creative thinking to nail competition. Hence, this stage demands that the salesperson understand the true nature of the objectives of the prospects and answer it straight forth. The stage demands probing and problem solving skills as also brevity on the part of the salesperson.
Closing of the Call
This stage has to provide to the prospect sufficient reasons to buy the product. Hence, the salesperson has to restate the purposes of buying and ask for the prospectâ€™s commitment. The salesperson has also to define this commitment and use words which will help him or her get the future business from this prospect.
The skills mentioned in this write up here are explanatory and probing. We have elaborated various stages and the role the sales person has to play at each and every stage. The direction at every stage the sales person has to keep in mind is the objective of closing the deal with a sale and also making the prospect a regular customer.