Wednesday, February 15, 2012
How to Implement the Personal Selling Process
By Nick Tart
Selling is at the core of almost every business. In almost every case, you have to sell something for your business to make money. That is why the Personal Selling Process is so important. This process has eight steps that every salesperson should go through in order to be efficient and effective at landing sales.
The first step, prospecting, involves finding qualified sales leads. Not every consumer is going to be willing and able to buy. Your job as a salesperson is to find the ones who are.
This step involves collecting information about the potential customer prior to the initial visit. If you are on the sales floor, this means studying their demeanor and attitude while scanning the shelves. If you are on a computer, conduct a little research about your customer before contacting them.
The approach is obviously the first contact you make with the customer. As always the first impression is important and you should be able to recognize and adapt to the potential customer's social style. If the customer is
looking for facts, give them facts. If they are looking for opinions, give opinions.
4. Need Identification. This is the stage where you, as the salesperson, should ask probing questions of the prospective customer to determine their needs. Remember to ask open-ended questions so the customer feels comfortable to respond.
This is the most important step in this process, also known as the sales pitch. Here you will explain to the customer how the features of the product will provide benefits. If this step goes well, the customer will seriously consider purchasing the product.
6. Handling Objections.
After presenting your sales pitch, your potential customer will likely have objections. If you can comfort the consumer about their objections, they will probably make their final decision to buy. Keep in mind that objections are a sign of interest on the part of the prospect.
7. Gaining Commitment.
In this step, the salesperson must ask for commitment from the customer. Whether it is the commitment to make a one-time purchase of a product or to sign a five-year contract for a service that your company provides.
This is the final step of the personal selling process. Here you must complete any agreed upon actions (i.e. bonus, rebate) and stay in touch after the sale. Customer retainment is critical to future sales.
The personal selling process is almost fool-proof when it comes to managing customers. Happy selling!
About this Author
Nick Tart is a senior at Colorado State University and the founder of JuniorBiz.com, teaching young people how to become entrepreneurs. He anticipates graduating Magna Cum Laude this spring and chooses to use his $40,000 education to help young people with their businesses. Find 100+ teen business ideas on his site. Entrepreneurship is a game. May the best one win.
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