Brian Tracy's 7 Steps in a Sales Cycle
His Step-by-Step Approach to Success
One shortcut to success in life or in any industry is to follow in the footsteps of those who earned success before you. This can be especially true when it comes to the sales industry, and author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy has developed what he considers to be the seven steps to being successful in sales.
Tracy has been successfully marketing himself since the early 1980s when he founded Brian Tracy International. He has authored more than 70 books on several topics, including sales, and according to his website, he has made more than 5,000 appearances as a public speaker.
Among his most popular books are "The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible" and "Earn What You're Really Worth: Maximize Your Income at Any Time in Any Market."
His seven steps can be effective in every sales cycle, and they also track very well for those searching for a job and completing the interviewing process.
If you don't have people to sell to, you really have nothing to sell. Everything starts with prospecting, which Tracy describes as the process of separating prospects from suspects. Prospecting takes on many forms. Some sales professionals focus on cold calling, while others rely on networking or direct mail campaigns.
No matter how you prospect and no matter whether you love or hate it, every sales cycle begins here.
Prospects who trust you will find a way to do business with you. If they don't trust you, however, they will find a reason to not buy from you.
Once you've found some prospects, you need to shift your focus to building trust and rapport. If you don't do well in this step, you really will struggle through every other step.
A common mistake many salespeople make is trying too hard to be liked. Remember, in life and in sales, it is more important to be respected and trusted than it is to be liked.
Sales are only made to people who have a want or a need that your product or service can fill or solve. The more needs you can identify that your product can fill, the better your chances of identifying prospects and closing a sale.
Some needs are obvious while others take some work to uncover, but once you've uncovered a need and your prospect agrees that the need needs to be filled, you'd better be sure your product can deliver.
Delivering Persuasive Presentations
Many salespeople love the spotlight. Being the center of attention with a chance to display their skills are a significant reason why some get into sales. Whether you are a fan of the spotlight or are a bit more reserved, you need to be able to effectively present your ideas, solutions, or company in a manner that is persuasive, professional, and targeted.
No matter what form your presentation takes, being prepared and having clear objectives are two of the most important elements of its effectiveness.
Your sales cycle will be filled with customer objections. Learn to expect them, anticipate the specifics of the objections, and respond accordingly. When you do this, they'll lose their sting. In fact, if you learn to approach anticipated objections from customers as an opportunity to tout an aspect of your product or service, you'll come to welcome them. The more effective your response, the more likely it is the customer will be impressed.
Closing is just one step in what often is a very long sales cycle. While it may be the most important step, successful closes are built by completing each of the previous steps and not by jumping right to asking for the sale.
There are hundreds of closing techniques, tips, and tricks, but the most important thing to remember is that closing a sale is not a standalone event but just a step in a process. When you are confident the customer's questions all have been answered, that's when you can seek the commitment to buy.
Getting Repeat Sales and Referrals
The final step in a sales cycle is really the first step in your next sales cycle. Asking for referrals from your customers is something every sales professional should do.
If you can't get referrals for whatever reason, you should at least ask your customers if you can use them as references. Having references for your prospects to call on makes building trust much easier. And having a fresh supply of referrals makes prospecting much easier and more productive.