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24801647 Sales and Techniques

24801647 Sales and Techniques

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a free guide to selling methods, sales techniques, selling models, sales processes, sales training programs and sales training providers (and sales training specification template)
Selling is a wonderful profession when approached ethically, constructively and helpfully. Happily much sales development theory takes this positive direction. Selling is a wide subject, covering many selling methods, sales theories, models and sales training methods. This sales training guide attempts to summarise the main ideas of the professional selling field. You can use this information as a self-teaching aid to develop your own sales skills, to teach others, or to help you identify and choose suitable sales training courses programs and providers for yourself, for your team or for your sales organization. I welcome suggestions of new selling concepts and sales training methods for inclusion or reference within this guide. I also encourage providers of sales training courses, services, development products, etc., to add their details and examples of their promotional/teaching material to the free publishing/advertising Space on Businessballs, to help the website's growing global audience to locate and consider suitable and effective sales development products and services.
Ads are being tested on Businessballs. Thanks for your understanding. Feedback.

section index - sales terminology, selling history, theories, methods
• • • •

Introduction - and some quick tips for sales improvements Glossary of Sales and Selling Terms The Changing Face of Selling Early Selling and Sales Training Ideas

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AIDA and the Hierarchy of Effects The Seven Steps of the Sale ('PSS' - 'Professional Selling Skills'), including basic questioning techniques The Product Offer - FAB's, USP's and UPB's (Features Advantages Benefits, Unique Selling Propositions/Points, Unique Perceived Benefits) Consultative Selling, Needs Creation Selling; and 'SPIN® Selling' Open Plan Selling/strategic selling ('lower-case' generic selling description)/Strategic Selling® (Miller Heiman registered trade name for Miller Heiman's sales training methods and products) including telemarketing/telephone 'script' for appointment-making, sales introductions, and identifying decision-making contact names and buying processes Collaboration, Facilitation and Partnership Selling Beyond 'Sales Training' - the modern sales role: strive to be an enabler and facilitator of good outcomes

introduction - sales training and selling methods, techniques, skills
The sales techniques and selling ideas here have all been effective at some stage. Many are still widely used. Think about what you are selling, the market that you're selling into, the people you meet in the selling process, and use what will help you sell better. If you are managing sales people, the best results generally come if you allow sales people to work to their strengths; in a way that is natural to them. New sales techniques, sales training and selling methods are continually developing. This free sales training section covers sales and the selling process from its early beginnings, through to the most modern selling techniques and ideas. See for example the remarkable new Sales Activator® sales training system, Sharon Drew Morgen's Buying Facilitation® selling methods, and the super Buying Facilitation® resources available via Ms Morgen's Space profile. Sales and selling terms, and early sales and selling theories appear first in this article; the most advanced sales methods and ideas are at the end of the section. While early sales processes still contain some useful techniques and fundamentals, successful selling today relies on modern selling using collaboration, facilitation, and partnership. Tips on selecting sales training providers, sales training programs, selling courses and sales management training are in the sales training providers section.

Successful selling also requires that the product or service is of suitable quality for its target market, and that the selling company takes good care of its customers. Therefore it's helpful for the sale person (or anyone else in business for that matter) to work for a professional, good quality organization. Product development, design and production, service delivery, and the integrity of the selling company's organization are also necessary for successful selling, and typically are outside the formal control of the sales person, hence why internal selling is an increasingly important aspect of the modern sales role. Effective sales people are interpreters and translators (and increasingly educators too) who can enable the complex systems of the buying organisation and the selling organisation to work together for the benefit of both. Tips on how to gain selling experience and learn sales skills (for people new to selling or seeking to teach themselves sales skills for a career in selling) are at the end of this article.

examples of how to improve your selling skills, processes and sales training
See the tips for selecting sales training providers, sales training methods, courses and programs. Thes examples indicate the variety of concepts and methods available. 1. Ari Galper's 'Unlock The Game®' programme contains a lot of excellent modern ideas - especially related to cold-calling, which is always one of the greatest challenges for sales people and sales organizations. Have a look and see what you think. I reckon he's a good guy. 2. Sharon Drew Morgen's Buying Facilitation® methodology leading edge ideas in sales and selling. Buy Sharon Drew Morgen's remarkable book 'Buying Facilitation' - it's available from Sharon Drew Morgen's website and other good online booksellers. It will transform the way you sell and dramatically increase the results you achieve. 3. If you have a sales team or sales organisation, see the Sales Activator® system for sales training and development - for developing sales teams, sales management, sales training and great selling organisations. The Sales Activator® is an innovative and effective sales training and sales coaching system, underpinned by solid sales theory, ethical principles, and a unique learning concept. 4. Download and read the free ebook - Unleash the Power of Consultative Selling - excellent free 200 page ebook (560KB pdf) by

Rich Grehalva on modern selling methods - this superb ebook has been kindly offered free to businessballs visitors by sales and selling expert Rich Grehalva. Your feedback on this ebook would be appreciated, which you can send direct to Rich or to me. 2. Additionally see the many interesting and different sales training providers who are featured on the free Businessballs Space. There are many more good modern ethical sales training and development systems out there. If you've had experience of a good modern sales training programme or product, or a particularly effective selling concept please let me know.

If you want your own presence on Businessballs you can create it free at Businessballs Space.

glossary of sales and selling terms
This list is not exhaustive, and is not meant to be an endorsement of any of these techniques or terms. See the notice at the foot of the page. accompaniment visit/accompaniment report - when a manager or supervisor or trainer accompanies a sales person while working on the sales territory, usually while meeting prospects or customers. Typically the manager would complete an accompaniment visit report on the performance of the sales person, which would be discussed, and suitable follow-up actions or training agreed. account - a customer, usually a business-to-business organization; a major account is a large organization; a national account is a customer with branches or sites that constitute a nationwide coverage, which typically requires special pricing and senior sales attention. active listening - term used to describe high level of listening capability and method, in which the sales person actively seeks to understand how the speaker feels, and what their issues are, in which the type of listening extends far beyond common inattentive listening. Related to empathy and Stephen Covey's principles of seeking to understand before attempting to be understood. added value - the element(s) of service or product that a sales person or selling organization provides, that a customer is prepared to pay for because of the benefit(s) obtained. Added values are real

A good. buyer .also known as facilitative buying.most commonly means a professional purchasing person in a business. See decision-makers. when and how they buy it. image and brand building. appointment . Buyers are not usually major decision-makers. buyers will tend to act as influencers at most. and how much they pay are prescribed for them by the business they work for. advertising agencies generally receive a commission (discount 'kickback') from above-the-line media services. and incentivising distributors. Extremely advanced form of personal selling. tangible and intangible. if not by the selling organization. and arguably sales people.the gain (usually a tangible cost. advertising/advertising and promotion/A&P . . generating leads and enquiries. but not from below the line services. direct-mail. A&P methods are sometimes described as above-the-line (media advertising such as radio. then you may well be able to restrict your dealings to buyers. merchandising (supporting and promoting the product in retail and wholesale outlets). And see the super Buying Facilitation® resources available via Ms Morgen's Businessballs Space profile. especially a consumable. usually arranged by phone. generally attributed (and registered) to sales guru Sharon Drew Morgen.the aspect of a product or service that makes it better than another. newspapers. If you are selling a routine repeating predictable product. benefit . See collaboration and partnership selling at the end of the section. telemarketing.the methods used by a company to publicise and position its products and services to its chosen market sectors. especially the one in-situ or that of a competitor. as perceived by the customer. not selling to them. See the appointment-making process.and perceived. informed sales person becomes a very significant part of the selling organization's added value. buying facilitation® . in which case if asked to arrange any will seek to add a mark-up. expert. honest. magazines) or below-the-line (non-'media' methods or materials such as brochures. but can be intangible) that accrues to the customer from the product or service. TV. advantage . special offers. and agents. in which the central ethos is one of 'helping organizations and buyers to buy'.a personal sales visit to a prospect. if you are selling a new product or service of any significance. and PR). reliable. can also mean a private consumer. what they buy. including product launches. press and public relations activities. that is to say. exhibitions. cinema.

application. commodities/commoditised (products and services) .behavioural. widely available. In days gone by a Sales person's expertise was measured almost exclusively by how many closes he knew.buying signal .cold-calling personally at the prospect's office or more commonly now by telephone. etc). Thank God for evolution. in an attempt to arrange an appointment or present a product. non-verbal and other signs that a prospect likes what he sees. canvass/canvassing . or to gather information. in which seller truly collaborates with buyer and buying organization to help the buyer buy. low price. call/calling .. de-mystified." buying warmth . and simplified.very modern and sophisticated. or cold call (in the case of a first contact without introduction or notice in writing). A logical extension to 'strategic' or 'open plan' selling. The most common buying signal is the question: "How much is it?" Others are questions or comments like: "What colours does it come in?". but don't expect to kid any buyer worth his salt today. produced and sold in vast scale. Use with great care. etc. close/closing . and surprisingly.the penultimate step of the 'Seven Steps of the Sale' selling process. See the many examples of closes and closing techniques in the Seven Steps section.also known as collaborative selling and facilitation selling . however in a more generic sales and selling sense the term 'commoditised' refers to a product (and arguably a service) which has become mass-produced. all of which is almost invariably associated with a . very positive from the sales person's perspective. but not an invitation to jump straight to the close. installation. low profit margin. "Who else do you supply?". grain. "It's too expensive. high volume. See collaboration and partnership selling at the end of the section. and using one might even get you thrown out of his office. Also referred to a sales call (for any sales visit or phone contact). Traditionally the 'commodities' term applies to the 'commodities markets' which trade and set prices for fundamental commodities such as coffee.typically a term applied to describe products which are mature in development. collaboration selling . "Is delivery free?" "Do you use it yourself?". easy to make. involving little or no uniqueness between variations of different suppliers. de-skilled ('ease of use' in consumption. when essentially the sales-person encourages the prospect to say yes and sign the order.a buying signal is a comment from a prospect which indicates that he is visualising to whatever extent buying your product or service. oil. "What's the lead-time?".a personal face-to-face visit or telephone call by a sales person to a prospect or customer.

requiring a high level of sales and selling expertise. off-the-self from a retail store (or via the internet). as opposed to specialised or high-complexity products. Commoditised products are amenable to mass-market and large-scale sales distribution methods and models. if appropriate. and commissioning and application. prices and profit margins. and involvement from.usually meaning the purchaser. even motor cars are becoming genuinely commoditised. An electric battery torch is a commoditised product that is freely available. widely available. Commoditised products sell by the millions. Strongly based on questioning aimed at gaining useful information. One of the fundamental principles of sales negotiating is never giving away a concession without getting something in return . potentially without a similar competing product. home security systems. that is given away or conceded by seller (more usually) or the buyer. and practiced widely today. which tend to require closer customer support and greater expertise and advice at the point of selling and installation. customer . See the negotiation section. and requires a significant degree of technical advice and support. customer relationship management (CRM) . inexpensively. at relatively high cost and profit margin. Prior to the sale is usually referred to as a prospect. a microwave oven is a commoditised product. 'off-the-shelf' at any supermarket (or via the internet). Similarly. the buyer in the selling process. Colour TV's are cheaper than they were thirty years ago because they've become commoditised. Virtually all B2B products and services become commoditised over time. organization. consultative selling (consultation selling) . or consumer after the sale. specialised products might only sell in hundreds or less.used in the context of negotiating.CRM is now a commonly used term to describe the process of managing the entire . concession . consultative selling was a move towards more collaboration with. In our lifetimes perhaps so too will houses and buildings.reduction in costs. whereas a holographic projector is only available via a specialised supplier. and possibly user-training. whereas an integrated commercial kitchen is a specialised system. support and installation. All consumer products and services become commoditised over time.developed by various sales gurus through the 1980's by David Sandler among others. at competitively low price. computers. when it refers to an aspect of the sale which has a real or perceived value.even a small increase in commitment is better than nothing. Same can be said for mobile phones. and which also has massive implications for the sales distribution model and methods for taking the product or service to market.

selling process within a department or organisation. Computerised CRM systems enable management of prospect and customer details, contacts, sales history and account development. Well known examples of CRM computerised systems are Sage's ACT!, which claims (as at 2006) to be the world's most popular CRM system, and Front Range's Goldmine. Chief elements of a CRM system (or strategy, since the term is used to describe the process and methodology as well as the system) are:
• • •

compilation and organisation of data (prospects, customers, product, sales, history, etc) planning, scheduling and integrating customer development activities and communications analysis and reporting of all sales related activities and data

Good CRM strategy and systems are generally considered necessary for modern organisations of any scale to enable effective planning and implementation of sales (and to an extent marketing) activities. cycle - see sales cycle. deal - common business parlance for the sale or purchase (agreement or arrangement). It is rather a colloquial term so avoid using it in serious company as it can sound flippant and unprofessional. decision-maker - a person in the prospect organization who has the power and budgetary authority to agree to a sales proposal. On of the most common mistakes by sales people is to attempt to sell to someone other than a genuine decision-maker. For anything other than a routine repeating order, the only two people in any organization of any size that are real decision-makers for significant sales values are the CEO/Managing Director/President, and the Finance Director. Everyone else in the organization is generally working within stipulated budgets and supply contracts, and will almost always need to refer major purchasing decisions to one or both of the above people. In very large organizations, functional directors may well be decision-makers for significant sales that relate only to their own function's activities. See influencer. deliverable(s) - an aspect of a proposal that the provider commits to do or supply, usually and preferably clearly measurable. demonstration/'demo'/'dem' - the physical presentation by the sales person to the prospect of how a product works. Generally free of charge to the prospect, and normally conducted at the prospect's premises, but can be at another suitable venue, eg., an exhibition, or at the supplier's premises.

demographics - the study of, or information about, people's lifestyles, habits, population movements, spending, age, social grade, employment, etc., in terms of the consuming and buying public; anyone selling to the consumer sector will do better through understanding relevant demographic information. discipline - within the context of an organization this means the same as function, ie job role. distribution/sales distribution - the methods or routes by which products and services are taken to market. Sales distribution models are many and various, and are constantly changing and new ones developing. Understanding and establishing best sales distribution methods - routes to market - are crucial aspects of running any sales organisation, and any business organisation too. Sales distribution should be appropriate to the product and service, and the end-user market, and the model will normally be defined by these factors, influenced also by technology and social trends. For example, commoditised mass-market consumer products (FMCG fast-moving consumer goods, household electricals, etc) are generally distributed via mass-market consumer distribution methods, notably supermarkets, but also increasingly the internet. A lesson in changing sales distribution models, and the need for manufacturers and sellers to anticipate changes is found in the switching of book sales and CD sales from retail store distribution to websites, with the resulting demise of many retailers in those sectors. Future changes in sales distribution will see for example music transferring increasingly via online downloads, thus threatening those involved with or dependent upon physical shipping of products. B2B (business-to-business) sales distribution models have their own shape, again dependent on products and services, customer markets, technology, plus other influences such as economical trends, environmental and legislative effects, etc. Examples of B2B sales distribution models are franchising, direct sales forces (employed), direct sales forces (sales agents), telephone sales (call-centres, out-bound and in-bound), the internet (online website businesses), distributors (independent sellers who carry products and services of other manufactuerers and 'principals'), and channel partners and partnering arrangements (prevalent in telecomms and IT sectors). FAB's - features advantages benefits - the links between a product description, its advantage over others, and the gain derived by the customer from using it. One of the central, if now rather predictable, techniques used in the presentation stage of the selling process. feature - an aspect of a product or service, eg., colour, speed, size, weight, type of technology, buttons and knobs, gizmos and gadgets, bells and whistles, technical support, delivery, etc.

field - means anywhere out of the sales office. Field sales people or managers are those who travel around meeting people personally in the course of managing a sales territory. To be field-based is to work on the sales territory, as opposed to being office-based. forecast/sales forecast - a prediction of what sales will be achieved over a given period, anything from a week to a year. Sales managers require sales people to forecast, in order to provide data to production, purchasing, and other functions whose activities need to be planned to meet sales demand. Sales forecasts are also an essential performance quantifier which feeds into the overall business plan for any organization. Due to the traditionally unreliable and optimistic nature of sales-department forecasts it is entirely normal for the sum of all individual sales persons' sales annual forecast to grossly exceed what the business genuinely plans to sell. See targets. function - in the context of an organization, this means the job role or discipline, eg., sales, marketing, production, accounting, customer service, delivery, installation, technical service, general management, etc. gestation period - sale gestation period typically refers to the the time from enquiry to sale, the Sales Cycle in other words, (see Sales Cycle). Awareness and monitoring of Sale Gestation Period/Sales Cycle times are crucial in sales planning, forecasting and management, for individuals sales teams and sales organizations. influencer - a person in the prospect organization who has the power to influence and persuade a decision-maker. Influencers will be generally be decision-makers for relatively low value sales. There is usually more than one influencer in any prospect organization relevant to a particular sale, and large organizations will have definitely have several influencers. It is usually important to sell to influencers as well as decision-makers in the same organization. Selling to large organizations almost certainly demands that the sales person does this. The role and power of influencers in any organization largely depends on the culture and politics of the organization, and particularly the management style of the two main decision-makers. See decision-makers. intangible - in a selling context this describes, or is, an aspect of the product or service offering that has a value but is difficult to see or quantify (for instance, peace-of-mind, reliability, consistency). See tangible. introduction - first stage of the actual sales call (see opening).

LAMP® - Large Account Management Process - sales acronym and methodology for major accounts management developed by Robert Miller, Stephen Heiman and Tad Tuleja in their 1991 book Successful Large Account Management (see the books at the foot of this page). Note that LAMP® and Strategic Selling® methods and materials are subject to copyright and intellectual property control of Miller Heiman, Inc. Also note that LAMP® and Strategic Selling® methods and materials are not to be used in the provision of training and development products and services without a licence. See LAMP® and Strategic Selling® copyright details below. lead-time - time between order and delivery, installation or commencement of a product or service. listening - a key selling skill, in that without good listening skills the process of questioning is rendered totally pointless. major account - a large and complex prospect or customer, often having several branches or sites, and generally requiring contacts and relationships between various functions in the supplier and customer organization. Often major accounts are the responsibility of designated experienced and senior sales people, which might be formed into a major accounts team. Major accounts often enjoy better discounts and terms than other customers because of purchasing power leveraged by bigger volumes, and lower selling costs from economies of scale. marketing - perceived by lots of business people to mean simply promotion and advertising, the term marketing actually covers everything from company culture and positioning, through market research, new business/product development, advertising and promotion, PR (public/press relations), and arguably all of the sales functions as well. It's the process by which a company decides what it will sell, to whom, when and how, and then does it. See the marketing section. margin/profit margin - the difference between cost (including or excluding operating overheads) and selling price of a product or service. Percentage margin is generally deemed to be the difference between cost and selling price, divided by the selling price ex tax (eg something that costs £1 and is sold for £2 plus tax produces a 50% margin - gross margin that is - net margin is after overheads are deducted). mark-up - this is the money that a selling company adds to the cost of a product or service in order to produce a required level of profit. Strictly speaking, percentage mark-up refers to the difference between cost and selling price as a factor of the cost, not of the selling price. So a product costing £1 and selling for £2 has been

" .intentionally or otherwise . rules and techniques.the first stage of the actual sales call (typically after preparation in the Seven Steps of the Sale). Ideally. negotiation/negotiating .. processes. objection .of starting to negotiate before the selling process have even commenced. although generally it's down to one or two meetings and one or two exchanges of correspondence. eg. on the phone or face-to-face . overcoming objections is a revered and much-trained skill in the traditional selling process.traditionally an initial impact statement for sales people to use at first contact with prospect. open/opening . I'm bound to point out that this is no substitute for good research and proper targeting of prospects who have use of the products and services being sold. opening benefit statement/OBS . and conditionally upon satisfactory negotiation.a modern form of selling.N. Negotiations can last a few minutes or even a few years. However most sales people fall into the trap set by most buyers .a point of resistance raised by a prospect. but can be anything at any stage of the selling process.use it with extreme care for fear of looking like a total twerp. See the section on negotiation for negotiating theory. The method was for the sales person to question the prospect to identify. in writing. constraints .the OBS generally encapsulates the likely strongest organizational benefit typically (or supposedly) derived by customers in the prospect's sector. heavily dependent on the sales person understanding and interpreting the prospect's organizational and personal needs. open plan selling . negotiation must only commence when the sale has been agreed in principle. discover (and suggest) organizational problems or potential problems that would then create a need for the product. usually price ("it's too expensive").. in an attempt to shape a supply contract (sale in other words) so that it is acceptable to both supplier and customer.the trading of concessions including price reductions. between supplier and customer. (at the same time it produces a margin of 50%).. from the seller's point of view.B.a selling style popularised in the 1970's and 80's which asserted that sales people could create needs in a prospect for their products or services even if no needs were apparent. The OBS is a relatively blunt instrument for modern selling .given a mark-up of 100%. issues. obvious or even existed. needs-creation selling . Also called the introduction. "Our customers in the clothing retail sector generally achieve 30-50% pilferage reduction when they install one of our Crooknabber security systems.

how something is seen or regarded by someone. especially those which are relevant to the prospect. it's the whole product and service offering at a given price. ie what it really means to the customer. Almost entirely without exception in the global history of selling. why. when. or more subtly 'tell me about.in a selling context this is another term for the product offer. .' package .typically improvements in costs. open question . presentation/sales presentation . time-saving and competitive strengths areas. commonly bullet-point text slides and images on a computer display or projected onto a screen. but more usually involve the use of visuals. and access to strategic decision-makers and influencers. In 'open plan selling' the seller identifies strategic business aims of the sales prospect or customer organization. usually by the prospect or customer. See the presentation training section.a question that gains information. and develops a proposition that enables the aims to be realised.see sales pipeline. partnership selling .very modern approach to organizational selling for business-to-business sales . pipeline . usually beginning with who.. irrespective of what is believed or presented by the seller. upon given terms. (in a way. There is a strong reliance on seller having excellent strategic understanding of prospect organization and aims. revenues.see collaboration and partnership selling. what. and sales that fail to happen are due to this failing. The proposition is therefore strongly linked to the achievement of strategic business aims .and strategic aims. ideally including the product's features. advantages and benefits.in the context of the selling process this is the work done by the sales person to research and plan the sales approach and/or sales call to a particular prospect or customer. profit. no call is adequately prepared for. overheads. how. quality. where. expert consultancy). preparation . Can incorporate a video and/or physical demonstration of the product(s). free. which generally extends the selling discussion far beyond the obvious product application. efficiency. margins. market sector situation and trends. Presentations can be verbal only. perceived . it's rather like combining selling with genuinely beneficial.the process by which a sales person explains the product or service to the prospect (to a single contact or a group).

but PSS is still in use and being trained.see PSS PSS . proposal/sales proposal . outline terms and conditions. product offer . Largely now superseded by more modern 'Open Plan' two-way processes. Generally an immensely challenging part of the process to get right. particularly in old-fashioned paternalistic company cultures. persuasive yet objective. The regimented one-way manipulative style of PSS nowadays leaves most modern buyers completely cold. puppy dog sale/puppy dog close .just like . One of the great marketing challenges is always to define a product offer concisely and meaningfully. An outline proposal is often a useful interim step.how the product and/or service is positioned and presented to the prospect or market. ever since. The initial proposition means the basis of the first approach. prospect . and warranty arrangements.product . to avoid wasting a lot of time including in a full proposal lots of material that the customer really doesn't need. from a sales person or selling organization to a prospect. organization.a customer (person. normally as the 'Seven Steps of the Sale'. but strip it away to the bare process and it's better than no process at all. which would normally include features and/or advantages and also imply at least one benefit for the prospect (hence a single product can be represented by a number of different product offers. ie a prospective customer. buyer) before the sale is made. professional selling skills . well specified yet orientated to the customer's applications. overcoming objections and umpteen different closes. in that it must be concise yet complete. PSS places a huge reliance on presentation. each for different market niches (segments or customer groupings). but can also mean or include services and intangibles. proposition . can mean sales proposal.generally a physical item being supplied. and adopted by countless businessto-business sales organizations.a method of selling or closing a deal whereby you let the customer try the product or service for free without commitment. prices.highly structured selling process pioneered by the US Xerox (and UK Rank Xerox) photocopier sales organization during the 1960's.usually means product offer. for a limited period.'Professional Selling Skills' . in which case product is used to mean the whole package being supplied. in the confidence that once they live with it they won't want to give it up .usually a written offer with specification.

and building rapport and empathy. and so put sufficient investment into looking after and growing existing accounts. Often seen as a job for telemarketing personnel.) sales cycle . The Sales Cycle in a sweet shop is less than a minute. type of business (product/service). (and actually prior to enquiry stage). Sales Cycle times and processes vary enormously depending on the company. typically after the opening or introduction in the Seven Steps of the Sale.the second stage of the sales call. retention/customer retention .giving someone have a puppy for a day.the Sales Cycle term generally describes the time and/or process between first contact with the customer to when the sale is made. The funnel diagram and sales development process on the free resources section show the sales cycle from a different perspective. especially where large prospects are concerned (which should really be the only type of prospects targeted by modern sales people. but actually more usefully carried out by sales people. A typical Sales Cycle for a moderately complex product might be: . that will help progress or enable a sales approach. A crucial selling skill. See Level 5: education/information-led selling in the development of selling overview. in the international aviation sector or civil construction market the Sales Cycle can be many months or even a few years.the act of gathering information about a market or customer. Questioning also requires that the sales person has good listening. (The hole in the bucket syndrome. interpretation and empathic capabilities. The Sales Cycle time is also referred to as the Sale Gestation Period (ie from conception to birth . See the questioning section. given the need to recover very high costs of sales people). the effectiveness of the sales process. matching needs. and rarely well demonstrated.enquiry to sale).means simply keeping customers and not losing them to competitors. where it leaks out faster than it can be poured in. Less sensible companies find themselves spending a fortune winning new customers. the market and the particular situation applying to the customer at the time of the enquiry. while they lose more business than they gain because of poor retention activity. Modern companies realise that it's far more expensive to find new customers than keep existing ones. questioning . The correct timing and use of the important different types of questions are central to the processes of gathering information. These days the puppy dog approach would ideally extend to giving the prospective customer some education and support about looking after the puppy so that they understand and are prepared for the changes that come with a new puppy. research/research call .

The extent of conversion success (ie the tightness of each ratio) reflects the quality of prospects fed into the top. Also referred to as the Sales Pipeline. 7. The length of the pipeline is the sales cycle time. and the effectiveness of the sales process.. meaning some other grouping that spans a number of vertical sectors. receive enquiry qualify details arrange appointment customer appointment arrange survey conduct survey presentation of proposal and close sale sales forecasts . sales report . etc. or a grouping defined by age. 2. A diagram of a typical basic Sales Funnel appears on the free resources section. sales funnel . activities. The Sales Funnel is a very powerful sales planning and sales management tool. A sales report can be required weekly. 3. to advertising and promotion. 5. trends.a linear equivalent of the Sales Funnel principle. staffing levels. meaning an industry type.also called sales projections. categorised and then targeted according to its own criteria and characteristics. eg. sector/market sector .1. market situation.a business report of sales results.a part of the market that can be described. and converted sales drop out at the bottom. Prospects are said to be fed into the top of the funnel. which has a funneling effect. 6. sales pipeline . traditionally completed by a sales manager.. or 'horizontal'. quarterly and annually. financial performance and market strategies. . 4. or size. and often includes the need to provide sales forecasts. or as a PDF version of the same report template.describes the pattern. So-called because it includes the conversion ratio at each stage of the sales cycle. these are the predictions that sales people and sales managers are required to make about future business levels. a geographical grouping. See the sample monthly sales report template (MSExcel format). and the sales skill at each conversion stage. etc. monthly. which depends on business type. pre-enquiry and then through the sales cycle. but increasingly now the responsibility of sales people too. sectors are often described as 'vertical'. necessary for their own organisation to plan and budget everything from stock levels. production. plan or actual achievement of conversion of prospects into sales. Prospects need to be fed into the pipeline in order to drop out of the other end as sales.

. The term is based on the premise that customers don't buy products or features or benefits they buy solutions (to organizational problems). Also known as trading agreements. particularly the sales call. SPIN® and SPIN SELLING® methods and materials are not to be used in the provision of training and development products and services without a licence. which first became popular in the 1970's-80's.segment/market segment .a formal document usually drawn up by the supplier by which the trading arrangement is agreed with the customer. or Need Payoff. eight or more. depending whose training manual you're reading. Problem. dependent on identifying needs to which appropriate benefits are matched in a package or 'solution'. service contract . SPIN® and SPIN® Selling .a common but loosely-used description for a more customer-orientated selling method than the Seven Steps.A popular selling method developed by Neil Rackham in the 1970-80's: SPIN® is an acronym derived from the basic selling process designed and defined by Rackham: Situation. See SPIN® copyright details. and what immediately precedes and follows it. and other variations. but can be five. Solutions selling remains relevant and its methods can usefully be included in the open plan selling style described later here. supply agreements. Need. See the section on service contracts and trading agreements.so be warned. Strategic Selling® .. solutions selling . More detail about SPIN® and SPIN® Selling appears in the Consultative Selling and Needs Creation Selling methods section. LAMP® and Strategic Selling® methods and materials are subject to copyright and intellectual property control of Miller Heiman. although modern collaborative and facilitative methodologies are becoming vital pre-requisites. Implication. Inc.when used in upper case and/or in the context of Miller Heiman's Strategic Selling® methodology (which features in their books of the same name.describes the structure of the selling process. It's a similar approach to 'needs-creation' selling. a segment can be a horizontal sub-sector across one or more vertical sectors.a sub-sector or market niche. Usually represented as the Seven Steps of the Sale. basically a grouping that's more narrowly defined and smaller than a sector. six. Note that SPIN® and SPIN SELLING® methods and materials are subject to copyright and intellectual property control of the Huthwaite organisations of the US and UK. steps of the sale . first published in 1985) the Strategic Selling® term is a registered and protected product name belonging to the American Miller Heiman training organisation .

you will also hear people (me included) referring to 'strategic selling' in a generic sense. customers and strategic priorities. telesales . an aspect of the product or service offering that can readily be seen and measured in terms of cost and value (eg.any pre-sales activity conducted by telephone.. strategic selling . its markets. usually by specially trained telemarketing personnel . normally a sales function in its own right. any physical feature of the product.in a selling context this describes.selling by telephone contact alone. a regular service visit. appointment-making. utilising specially trained telesales personnel. tangible .for instance. See intangible. life and death. etc). and not specifically referring to the Miller Heiman methods and materials. so all in all sales targets are quite sensitive things. and then reinforced with a system of regular forecasting and reviews (sometimes referred to as 'a good bollocking') throughout the year. target/sales target .call it something else to avoid any possible confusion with the Miller Heiman products. or is. delivery or installation. which is described below and referred to as 'open plan selling'. job gradings. When using the 'strategic selling' terminology in a training context you must be careful therefore to avoid confusion or misrepresentation of the Miller Heiman intellectual property.and again be warned that LAMP® and Strategic Selling® methods and materials are not to be used in the provision of training and development products and services without a licence... See LAMP® and Strategic Selling® copyright details below.in a sales context this is the issued (or ideally agreed) level of sales performance for a sales person or team or department over a given period. If in any doubt don't use the 'strategic selling' term in relation to providing sales training services . In a generic 'lower case' sense. ie. research. Bonus payments. used typically where low order values prevent the use of expensive field-based sales people. pay reviews. a warranty agreement). See forecasting. etc. literally 'strategic' by its nature (the principles involve taking a strategic view of the prospective customer's organisation. telemarketing . product promotion. can all be dependent on sales staff meeting sales targets. (see the Miller Heiman Strategic Selling® copyright details below. spare parts.a very structured formal proposal in response to the issue of an invitation to tender for the supply of a product or service to a . 'strategic selling' describes a broad methodology which began to be practised in the 1980's. and a recognisable product or service allows the process to succeed. tender . Targets are established at the beginning of the trading year. sales commissions.

and before ask why the question is important. for one person this used to be called journey planning. so as to avoid always missing prospects who might never be available on one particular day of the week. etc. to which the sales person would traditionally reply: "Would you want one if they are?" Use with extreme care. which explains why it's so difficult to prise the business away from them. based on detailed understanding of the prospect's personal and organizational needs.the technique by which a sales person tests the prospect's readiness to buy. which will be far more constructive.large organization or government department. in other words. A UPB is your USP from the customer's perspective. traditionally employed in response to a buying signal. innovative. for fear of looking like a clumsy desperate fool. specifications and even the presentation of the tender itself. Tenders require certain qualifying criteria to be met first by the tendering organization. The UPB acronym and concept was developed by The Marketing Guild. trial close . who specialise in practical. It is not unknown for very successful tendering companies to actually help the customer formulate the tender specification. territory planning . territory . unique/uniqueness . If you see a buying signal there's no need to jump on it . and was often based on a four or six day cycle. eg: prospect says: "Do you have them in stock?". It's essential to discuss your offering in these terms with your customer.the process of planning optimum and most cost-effective coverage (particularly for making appointments or personal calling) of a sales territory by the available sales resources. and effective sales and marketing.just answer it politely. which is a very different way of approaching selling than from the traditional angle of seller-oriented USPs.now one of the central strongest mechanisms in the modern selling process. even if one territory by one sales person. Tenders must adhere to strict submission deadlines.the geographical area of responsibility of a sales person or a team or a sales organization. UPB . an extension and refinement of the product offer.a feature that is peculiar to a product or service or supplier . what your USP means to your customer. buying patterns.unique perceived benefit . and usually only suppliers experienced in winning and fulfilling this type of highly controlled supply ever win the business. density. which in itself can constitute several weeks or months work by lots of different staff.no competitor can offer it.. . contract terms. given prospect numbers.

routine maintenance. payment terms. See the section on negotiation. generally the most valuable unique advantage of a product or service. warranty. Variables may be real or perceived. technical factors. installation. styling factors. however.sales methods continually change This simple chart illustrates the fundamental shift in selling theory which occurred particularly during the 1980's. quantity. values/expectations of the sales organization and the selling process traditional (typified by 1960's through to 1980's and amazingly still found today) modern (essential today to sustain success in business-to-business and consumer markets) . Typical variables are price. or for person-to-person sales scenarios.unique selling point or proposition . Please note that where reference is made to the customer 'organization' this reflects a business-to-business scenario.USP . delivery. The development of selling ideas and methods is progressive. for the market or prospect in question.this is what makes the product offer competitively strong and without direct comparison. based on one-way persuasion and control theories were finally obsolete for all mainstream business activities. back-up and breakdown service.an aspect of the sale or deal that can be changed in order to better meet the needs of the seller and/or the buyer. reflecting the development of an increasingly competive market-place and a better-informed buying and purchasing audience. now superseded by UPB. spare parts. Selling inevitably reflects the changing world of business and communications. The advent of the internet and globalization during the 1990's meant that old styles of selling. the changing face of selling . the principles in all other respects apply for business-to-consumer. lead-time. and often the perceived ones are the most significant in any negotiation. variable .

and any assistance that the selling organization can provide to the customer to enable an improvement for their staff. and intangibles are rarely considered or emphasised benefits of supply extend to products and services only selling price is cost plus profit margin. and assistance with strategic planning and market development value is assessed according to the cost to the customer. and assistance with project evaluation and decision-making are added value aspects of supply just-in-time (JIT) is taken for granted. environment. reputation and performance in all respects selling price is market driven (essentially seller has product knowledge delivery service and supporting information and training are typical added value aspects of supply good lead-time is a competitive advantage value is represented and judged according to selling price the benefits and competitive strengths of the products or service are almost entirely tangible. customers. as are mutual planning and scheduling. ethics. competitive advantages are: capability to anticipate unpredictable requirements. and the onus is on the selling organization to quantify their value benefits of supply extend way beyond products and services. and corporate culture the benefits and competitive strengths of the product or service now include many significant intangibles. and . flexible.standard product sales function performed by a 'salesperson' customised. to relationship. tailored product and service sales function performed by a 'strategic business manager' seller has strategic knowledge of customer's market-place and knows all implications and opportunities resulting from product/service supply relating to customer's market-place strategic interpretation of the customer organisation's market opportunities. continuity. plus non-financial implications with respect to CSR (corporate social responsibility).

from and across all functions between supplier and customer organization seller knows the business customers' needs sales person sells (customers only deal with sales people. with few management layers authority of sales person is high (subject to experience). ie. flexibility to negotiate is minimal. pre-sale) sales people only sell externally. and exceptions are dealt with quickly and directly by involving the relevant people irrespective of grade selling organization is structured in a matrix allowing for functional efficiency and also for inter-functional collaboration required for effective customer service. approvals must be sought via management channels and levels for exceptions selling and buying organization are divided strictly according to function and department. negotiation flexibility exists. in order to ensure customer needs are met strategic emphasis is on customer retention and increasing business to those customers (although new business is still sought) buying and selling is a process. all supply chain processes. with people distinctly responsible for each discipline within selling and customer organizations hierarchical multi-level management structures exist in selling and customer organizations authority of sales person is minimal. and communications open communications to. to customers strategic emphasis is on new business growth (ie. acquiring new customers) buying and selling is a function. in which many people with differing jobs are involved in both selling and customer organizations management structures are flat. inter-departmental communications must go up and down the management structures supplier and customer organization functions tend to talk to their 'opposite numbers' in the other organization . although certain customers may insist on access to cost and margin information seller knows the needs of the business customers' customers and partners and suppliers whole organization sells (customers expect to be able to deal with anybody in supplier organization. pre-sale) sales people need to be able to sell internally to their own organization.customers have no access to cost and margin information supply and demand).

This is different historical perspective of the way that selling methods and theory have changed.there is little to build on. Standard commoditised products. price and reliability . on behalf of the customer the customer's buyer function researches and justifies the customer organization's needs the customer's buyer probably does not appreciate his/her organization's wider strategic implications and opportunities in relation to the seller's product or service. Pure transaction is Basic selling. pure transaction Since time began. and make an appropriate decision whether to buy or not Nowadays. business may be spasmodic. professional buyers and organizations choosing their suppliers. The grid tracks the sales function from its beginnings to what sales means and entails in the modern age. the development of the selling function 1. more is demanded from the selling process by consumers.the customer specifies and identifies product and service requirements the selling organization must be capable of specifying and identifying product and service requirements on behalf of the customer the selling organization must be capable of researching and justifying customer organization's needs. and also to the progression of a relationship between supplier and customer. so that the customer organization can assess the strategic implications of the supplier's products or services. hand-to-mouth and . The analysis below refers both to the development in recent decades of what customers require from the selling function. and there will be no discussion with the seller about this issues the seller will help the buyer to understand the wider strategic implications and opportunities in relation to the seller's product or service the buyer will tell the seller what the buying or supplier-selection process is the seller will help the buyer to understand and align the many and various criteria within their own (customer) organization.

Organizations could be more effective and adaptable by devolving operating responsibilities to suppliers. matched styles of trading. which involves a level anticipation. relationship and trust Since the beginning of selling as a profession. among others. Continuity. technology. even if it were in the customer's interests to do so. 4. and build loyalty to supplier.probably between 1-3 years 2. Intangibles such as continuity on communications and contacts. and therefore offer protection against 'cheaper' competitors.effectively one step removed from stone-age barter. and some understanding of the customer's real issues are seen to have a value by both selling and buying organization. and is likely to be more involved in some of the the customer's own internal systems.a requirement for and outcome of this level of selling . 'Out-sourcing' generally requires this degree of collaboration.. . The provision of management and information support by seller to buying organization. unpredictable. partnership A sophisticated open approach to selling which mainly first developed in the 1980's. There is no relationship other than the transaction. There is typically an enormous depth of understanding and cooperation which is not written down or detailed in a contract. technology. and the increasingly fast pace of change.is seen as an advantage by seller and buyer. The supplier is seen as part of the team. eg. early-mid 1900's 3. product development which improve the customer's own competitive strengths and operating efficiencies. Partnership level selling is not a legal or contractual arrangement. management and information Operated instinctively in isolated examples in business relationships for centuries. popularised by Dale Carnegie. etc. because it brings extra intangible benefits of co-operation and support other areas of the customer's business. etc. and the exchange and cooperation in these areas represent a significant increase in depth and effectiveness of selling reletionships. global markets. it describes the relationship. are regarded as relevant benefits by the customer. Partnership selling relationships generally need time to develop . probably in response to the increasing complexity of business relationships. consistency. The activities of the buying and selling organization become almost seamless wherever they are connected. Very different to merely buying and selling products and services. which can justify a price premium. innovation and integrated support that is very difficult to un-pick. A longerterm supply arrangement .. but not generally seen in selling methodology. sales training and strategic application until the 1960's-1970's. sustainability. meetings. which operates virtually as a formal partnership would do. mutual flexibility and adaptability. the supplier is virtually part of the customer's organization and treated as such. training. planning.

Carnegie's ideas contain a huge amount of useful learning relating to understanding other people and their motives. Internet organizations such as Google are examples of this sort of selling. This is a hugely sophisticated level of selling which was difficult to see anywhere in the last century. Carnegie's concepts. which at its best can actually give more than it takes. early selling and sales training ideas Much of the early development of selling skills and conventional sales training theories is attributed to American writer. started his training business in the early 1900's. interpretation and commercial development of issues relating to the supply area. and probably the major source of the ideas and theory which underpinned traditional selling through the 20th century. Carnegie. 5.especially in areas that the customers didn't even know they had a need or an opportunity . education and enablement 2000 and beyond. which can influence and help customers far beyond commercial and financial outcomes.depending on the size and complexity of the seller and buyer organizations. into previously unimagined strategic business development and considerable change. Carnegie's book remains a highly regarded and widely read work on human motivation. relationships and 'influencing' others. In this respect. scope and impact of this new type of selling are not yet fully developed and defined. which are for example well represented by Sharon Drew Morgen's 'Buying Facilitation' methodology. Sellers and selling organizations take the role of teacher. are helpful in understanding that people are all different and therefore all have different perspectives (and different to those of the seller. . The educational and 'giving' activities of the selling organization extend the aspects of anticipation and information found in the partnership level. The dimensions. from humble beginnings and several early career failures. and other similar methods based on them. The seller gives to the customer any and all help it can reasonably offer as might improve the customer's understanding. speaker and businessman Dale Carnegie (1888-1955). Carnegie's 1937 self-help book 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' became an international best-seller. initially focusing on personal development. Later.will be the most successful. Also incorporated are aspects of facilitative and enabling support. mentor. There are signs however that the sellers who can give most to their customers . As such the theories are well worth reading. guide. enabler.

but arguably the matters of ethics. and remains. to use knowledge about the other person's (or customer's) perspective as a means of gaining their trust and flexibility. integrity. learn the Seven Steps of the Sale. understand consultative and needs-creation selling . However. or others seeking to persuade and influence. values. the more likely we will be able to develop rapport and trust with them. aims and feelings.or influencer). Indeed. the purpose of 'influence' is in the hands of the 'influencer' (or seller). Used unethically this amounts to manipulation and is therefore wrong and not sustainable. as with all early and 'traditional' sales persuasion techniques and methodologies.as sales-people . so that the customer can be led in a certain direction. and then hopefully to arrive at suitable solutions and agreements with them. feelings. In other words. early thinking (and much current thinking still unfortunately) primarily focuses on influencing the other person (customer) to adopt an opinion or to take action in the direction which favours the influencer. some modern criticism suggests that Carnegie's and other similar traditional selling methodologies and sales training systems lack honesty and integrity. commonly provide a good framework for understanding other people's needs and motives. and this purpose (product or service) may or may not be in the best interests of the customer.most of which continue to draw on the ideas and concepts contained in Dale Carnegie's 1937 book. are omitted. honesty. The question is . which in my opinion are the most effective. sustainable and ethically sound concepts for today's business world. tend to encourage sales people. This is a vital concept within selling . Look at the old ideas like Carnegie's. Carnegie and others who have interpreted and developed his early ideas. The purpose of using the techniques. Traditional methods . As far as this goes all is well. open to use or mis-use by the seller. The more we can understand the other person's situation.is our purpose (and responsibility) to exploit people . irrespective of whether this is in the genuine best interest of the other person. sustainability.they all .to appreciate that people have their own views. and aims.or to help people? Therein lies the major difference between early (and still-practised) traditional selling. and what to do with the understanding was. which in my view many do. facilitative ideas. and modern collaborative.

AIDA AIDA is the original sales training acronym.Desire A . remember AIDA.contain useful learning and processes . Something first gets our attention. These days selling should more than ever focus on helping people. and the products and services that you choose to represent. If you remember just one sales or selling model. A . unique. and it provides a reliable template for the design of all sorts of marketing material. including the way that successful selling happens and sales are made.even on the phone because people can hear it in your voice .but most importantly. AIDA describes the basic process by which people become motivated to act on external stimulus. Often called the 'Hierarchy of Effects'. when selling was first treated as a professional discipline. and resources. particularly if it is special. . If we are prompted or stimulated to overcome our natural caution we may then become motivated or susceptible to taking action to buy. or rare. when we buy something we buy according to the AIDA process. from the late 1950's. If the product or service then appears to closely match our needs and/or aspirations.Interest D . which of course has additional implications for your choice of organization.Attention I . So when we sell something we must sell go through the AIDA stages. honest and professional. AIDA is even more relevant today. we begin to desire it. Some AIDA pointers: Attention • Getting the other person's attention sets the tone: first impressions count . if it's relevant to us we are interested to learn or hear more about it. Simply.be happy (but not annoyingly so) be natural. and sales training began. so smile .Action The AIDA process also applies to any advertising or communication that aims to generate a response. ensure you work within a strong and ethical value-system.

explain and convey solutions with credibility and enthusiasm.• • • • • If you're not in the mood to smile do some paperwork instead. and lots of competing distractions.but remember that every 'no' takes you closer to the next 'okay'. through empathic questioning and interpretation.like the rest of us . and particularly all relevance and implications for your prospect. and a preparedness in the prospect's mind to do business with you personally (thus dispelling the prospect's feelings of doubt or risk about your own integrity and ability). because your prospective customers . have less free time. Desire • • • • • The sales person needs to be able to identify and agree the prospect's situation. priorities and constraints on personal and organizational levels. Getting attention is more difficult than it used to be. You must obviously understand your product (specification. so think about when it's best to call. This implies a lot: The person you are approaching should have a potential need for your product or service or proposition (which implies that you or somebody else has established a target customer profile). and that aspects of seasonality and other factors affecting timing have been taken into account) You must empathise with and understand the other person's situation and issues. Interest • • • • • You now have maybe 5-15 seconds in which to create some interest. You must approach the other person at a suitable time (ie it's convenient. features. advantages. tricks and crafty techniques don't work. and benefits).are irritated by hundreds of them every day. You must build rapport and trust. . needs. Despite the time pressure. and be able to express yourself in their terms (ie talk their language). by which time the other person has formed their first impression of you. relax and enjoy it . If you are calling on the phone or meeting face-to-face you have about five seconds to attract attention. Something begins to look interesting if it is relevant and potentially advantageous.expect mostly to be told 'no thanks' . You must understand your competitors' capabilities and your prospect's other options. Gimmicks. because people are less accessible. You must be able to present. If you rarely smile then get out of selling. options.

meaning the same as AIDA with the insertion of Commitment prior to the action stage. which in this case makes AIDCA nonapplicable to selling methods that do not involve a two-way communication. for which AIDA remains more helpful. a sale is so well conducted that the prospect decides to take action without any encouragement at all. for example. The better the preceding three stages have been conducted. trust and relationship (the 'you' factor) are increasingly significant. Commitment here means that a prospective customer is more likely to progress to the Action stage if their commitment to the proposition can first be established. discussions. As ever. Arguably Commitment is implicit within the Action stage. within all constraints. the structure of a sales letter or advert. and part behaviour and style. then AIDCA is fine. or encourage agreement to move to complete the sale or move to the next stage. in fact on a few rare occasions in the history of the universe. your own organization and your product will suitably. so the sales person must suggest. but if it suits your sales training purposes then AIDCA is an acceptable interpretation. • • • Attention Interest Desire . Action • • • Simply the conversion of potential into actuality. AIDCA More recently (c. to achieve or move closer to whatever is the aim. presentations. then the less emphasis is required for the action stage. etc. Natural inertia and caution often dictate that clear opportunities are not acted upon. In modern selling and business.1980'-1990's) the AIDA acronym has been used in extended form as AIDCA. particularly by purchasers of all sorts.• • The key is being able to demonstrate how you. Creating desire is part skill and technique. as natural competitive development inexorably squeezes and reduces the opportunities for clear product advantage and uniqueness. adding detail make the thing less elegant and flexible.. reliably and sustainably 'match' the prospect's needs identified and agreed. For two-way sales communications.

the seven steps of the sale The original commonly used Seven Steps terminology is in bold. preparation/planning/research/approach (using facilitative methods) 2. as shown here: 1. typically when treated as a frontend to the Seven Steps or incorporated withing the first stage as an approach. For these pre-arranged presentations it is assumed that the sales person has already been through the questioning stage at prior meetings.• • Commitment Action the seven steps of the sale The Seven Steps of the Sale is the most common traditional structure used for explaining and training the selling process for the sales call or meeting. which is shown later in this section. but it can can be five. that the prospect has agreed to discuss things there and then. This structure assumes that the appointment has been made. earlier discussions or meetings. or in the instance of a cold-call. Aside from the questioning stage. This structure is usually represented as the Seven Steps of the Sale. introduction/opening/approach/establish initial credibility 3. eight or more. this structure also applies to a sales visit which been arranged for the purpose of presenting products/services or a specific proposal following an invitation. presentation/explanation/demonstration . six. The process for appointment-making is a different one. and these days the modern collaboration and facilitation methods are a lot more effective. etc/establish rapport and trust 4. questioning/identify needs/ask how and what. In recent years more sophisticated interpretation and application of the Seven-Step selling process requires the model to be expanded and interpreted with more subtlety and flexibility. including what immediately precedes and follows it. The Seven Steps of the Sale remains a helpful structure for sales and sales training. of which Sharon Drew Morgen's 'Buying Facilitation'® is a uniquely special and effective model. depending whose training manual you're reading. The collaborative selling section includes an augmented 'seven steps of the sale' which includes integrated modern 'facilitative' sales skills. but do bear in mind that the concept is over forty years old.

or if you can't discover these pre-meeting. overcoming objections/negotiating/fine-tuning 6.allow for more than the planned numbers as extra people often appear at the last minute . and always have spares . to present you company's products or services. MS Powerpoint slides for laptop or projected presentation) plus all materials.1) Generally. planning and preparation (the seven steps of the sale .5. follow-up/after-sales/fulfil/deliver/admin the seven steps of the sale in summary 1. aims. and which ones are being considered if any identify as many of the prospect organization's decisionmakers and influencers as you can. motives and relationships are try to get a feel for what the organizational politics are what are the prospect's organizational decision-making process and financial parameters (eg. • • • • • • • • • • ensure know your own product/service extremely well especially features. and assess as much as far as you can what their needs.g. year-end date) what are your prospect's strategic issues. and assess what the present supplier's reaction is likely to be if their business is at threat understand what other competitors are able and likely to offer.. priorities and problems. the larger the prospect organization. brochures. advantages and benefits that will be relevant to the prospect you will be meeting ascertain as far as you can the main or unique perceived organizational benefit that your product or service would give to your prospect discover what current supply arrangements exist or are likely to exist for the product/service in question..see the presentation section for more detailed guidance on designing formal sales presentations . hand-outs. or are likely. what are they generally for the market sector in which the prospect operates? prepare your opening statements and practice your sales presentation prepare your presentation in the format in which you are to give it (e. etc. close/closing/agreement/commitment/confirmation 7. samples. budgets.. the more research you should do before any sales call at which you will be expected.

to explain how we (your own company) approach these issues. when." ask how much time your prospect has and agree a time to finish ask if it's okay to take notes (it's polite to ask .2) • • • • • • smile . and what the your company does (ensure this is orientated to appeal to the prospect's strategic issues) set the scene . all business information is potentially sensitive. people and procedures involved.also.• • prepare a checklist of questions or headings that will ensure you gather all the information you need from the meeting think carefully about what you want to get from the meeting and organise your planning to achieve it 2. questioning (the seven steps of the sale .if only a little you should plan to give a quick credibility-building overview in your introduction) 3. eg "I'd like to learn about your situation and priorities in this area. what your job is and the company you represent.explain the purpose of your visit. Then if there looks as though there might be some common ground. and asking shows you realise this) ask if it's okay to start by asking a few questions or whether your prospect would prefer a quick overview of your own company first (this will depend on how strongly know and credible your own company is . which may be obvious to seller and buyer. in which case questioning expertise is critical questioning must also discover how best to develop the sale with the organization . competitor pressures. to agree how we could move to the next stage. again orientate around your prospect not yourself. and take confidence from the fact that you are well-prepared introduce yourself .first and last name. or not obvious to either.3) • • the main purpose of questioning is to confirm or discover the strongest or unique perceived organizational benefit that would accrue to the prospect from the product/service . etc. .it may be one (usually) or two (occasionally) or three (rarely) key things. and then if appropriate.how they decide.be professional. introduction/opening (the seven steps of the sale .

.for example. especially in early discussions with people when trust and rapport is at a low level listen carefully and empathically.nobody wants to buy anything from a sales person who's only interested in their own product or company .. particularly when you probe motives and personal aspects interpret and reflect back and confirm you have understood what is being explained.. (other useful training quotes) use "can you tell me about how. The Elephant's Child. How when training or learning the skills of using open questions it helps to refer to the Rudyard Kipling rhyme: "I keep six honest serving men. Why.especially understand what is meant and felt. questions beginning with Who. What. eg.• • • • • • • • • • • • • good empathic questioning also builds relationships. "Do you mean that when this type of equipment goes down then all production ceases?".?' are the best words to use in open questions because they provoke thinking and responses about facts and feelings in a non-threatening way use 'why?' to find out reasons and motives beneath the initial answers given. if you are talking for a third or half of the time you are not asking the right sort of questions do not jump onto an opportunity and start explaining how you can solve the problem until you have asked all your questions ." from Just So Stories.now use it use open questions to gather information .. 1902.do not interrupt your prospect should be doing 80-99% of the talking during this stage of the sales call.we all want to buy from somebody who gives the time and skill to interpreting and properly meeting our own personal needs you will have prepared a list of questions or headings ." if you are questioning a senior-level contact . maintain good eye-contact..it causes the other person to feel they have to defend or justify themselves.a closed question is one that can be answered with a yes or no. trust and rapport .. When. understand. the bigger the open questions you can ask.generally the more senior the contact. SHUT UP . and if relevant the feelings behind it use closed questions to qualify and confirm your interpretation . or "Are you saying that if a new contract is not put in place by endMarch then the existing one automatically renews for another year?" when you've asked a question. Where.. And How and Where and Who.. but be very careful and sparing in using 'why' because the word 'why?' is threatening to most people . not just what is said. Their names are What and Why and When. They taught me all I knew. and show that you understand .? and 'how. and as such will not bring out the true situation and feelings. and the more the other person will be comfortable and able to give you the information you need in a big explanation 'what.

and why.4) • • • • • the sales presentation should focus on a central proposition. culture. structure. and this is how it is typically positioned in the old-style 'Seven Steps of the Sale'. discuss and summarise the key issues/requirements/priorities from your prospect's organizational (and personal if applicable) perspective questioning is traditionally treated by conventional sales people and conventional sales training as a process to gather information to assist the sales person's process.• • • • and gathered all the information you need (in any event never be seen to 'jump' onto any issue) all the time try to find out the strategic issues affected or implicated by the product/service in question .as an essential part of a facilitative process whose purpose is to help the buyer decide (see the information about buying facilitation for explanation) 4. presentation (the seven steps of the sale . etc) the sales presentation must demonstrate that the product/service meets the prospect's needs. however.these perceived benefits will vary according to the type of customer organization (size. from the product/service . acknowledge the fact and say thanks. market sector. modern sales methodology treats questioning in a radically different way . constraints and motives. then take a few moments to think about. priorities. this is why establishing the prospect's situation and priorities during the questioning phase is so vital the above point is especially important to consider when the sales person has to present on more than one occasion to . general economic health. or the prospect will not even consider buying or moving to the next stage.these are where the ultimate decision-making and buying motives lie. strategy. if during the questioning you think of a new important question to ask note it down or you'll forget it when you have all the information you need. which should be the unique perceived benefit that the prospect gains from the product/service during the questioning phase the sales person will have refined the understanding (and ideally gained agreement) as to what this is .the presentation must now focus on 'matching' the benefits of the product with the needs of the prospect so that the prospect is entirely satisfied that the proposition the sales person therefore needs an excellent understanding of the many different organizational benefits that accrue to customers.

• • • • • • • • • different people or groups. . it is important to recognise that the sales person is effectively asking the influencers to personally endorse the proposition and the credibility of the selling organization and the sales person. and will therefore respond to different benefits (even though the central proposition and main perceived benefit remains constant) all sales presentations. therefore the presentation must be convincing in these areas private consumer buyers ultimately buy for similar reasons.eg. whether impromptu (off the cuff) or the result of significant preparation. facts and figures . eg. it is important to show that all the other incidental requirements and constraints are met . clear and concise. professionally delivered. technical people need technical evidence. image.a vague or poorly prepared sales presentation sticks out like a sore thumb. which is another reason for proper preparation . but for more personal ones as well..the quality and integrity of the presentation is always regarded as a direct indication as to the quality and integrity of the product/service it follows then that the sales person must avoid simply talking about technical features from the seller's point of view. without linking the features clearly to organizational context and benefit for the prospect . etc. so the influencers' needs in these areas are actually part of the organizational needs of the prospect company the presentation must include relevant evidence of success.all backing up the central proposition business decision-makers buy when they become satisfied that the decision will either make them money. sales and marketing people like to see flair and competitive advantage accruing for their own sales organization. security. and have lots of integrity . they also need to be certain that the new product/service will be sustainable and reliable. references from similar sectors and applications. who will each have different personal and organizational needs.also avoid using any jargon which the prospect may not understand sales presentations must always meet the expectations of the listener in terms of the level of information and relevance to the prospect's own situation.. or save them money or time. and it will be disowned immediately when presenting to influencers. which may need to feature in these type of presentations if they form part of the main perceived benefit while the presentation must always focus on the main perceived benefit.but do not over-emphasise or attempt to 'pile high' loads of incidental benefits as this simply detracts from the central proposition presentations should use the language and style of the audience .. must be well structured. which is necessary on occasions. ego.

from the appropriate functions. relax and be friendly . distribution. at the outset invite questions at any time . and they can often be handled constructively.. one-way. and less empathic. customer service. and if your are comfortable. in which case the sales person must ensure that these people are properly briefed and prepared. eg. and make sure you do. but plenty of relevant hard facts and evidence. if you don't know the answer to a question don't waffle . profits and operating efficiency. even to get as far as presenting.say you don't know and promise to get back with an answer later.let your personality and natural enthusiasm shine through . no frills. never knock the competition .• • • • • • • • managing directors and finance directors want clear.don't even imply anything derogatory about the competition if appropriate issue notes. keep control of the presentation. but don't be put off if people stay quiet invite questions at the end. the less time you will have to make your point . successful modern selling now demands more initial understanding from the sales person.it undermines your credibility and integrity .5) • • decades ago it was assumed that at this stage lots of objections could appear. etc..it depends on how confident you feel in controlling things whether presenting one-to-one or to a stern group. concise benefits to costs. overcoming objections/negotiating (the seven steps of the sale .no-nonsense. technical. because the selling process was more prescriptive. but do so in a relaxed way. confirmation and agreement as to the relevance of what you are saying.people buy from people who love and have faith in their products and companies 5. or a copy of your presentation use props and samples and demonstrations if relevant and helpful. which is the key . then it's extremely advisable to enlist the help of one or two suitably experienced colleagues. and this would tend to happen. and the prospect notified of their attendance. so the need to overcome objections is not such a prevalent feature of the selling process nevertheless objections do arise. See the presentation section for more guidance on this. and make sure it all works properly during the presentation seek feedback. and generally the more senior the contact. if the sales person is required to present to a large group and in great depth. however.

for large prospects and contracts this process can go on for weeks. firstly the sales person should qualify each one by reflecting back to the person who raised it. then to overcome the objection by drawing up a list of pro's and con's. to establish the precise nature of the objection . avoid head-to-head arguments . which is why this is often more in the negotiating arena than objection handling . for example: the prospect says he thinks it's too expensive..it's inherently confrontational an old-style technique was to reflect back the objection as a re-phrased question. and in so doing.some objections result from misunderstandings. can I ask you to tell me more about why it is and what's important for you here?. the sales person is effectively isolating them as the only reasons why the prospect should not proceed. or re-selling the benefits even harder.. but you'd prefer the payments staged over three years rather than two? .." try to avoid altogether the use of the word 'but' . or analysing to death all the hidden costs of not going for the deal. provided the basic proposition is sound most objections are usually overcome by both the seller and the buyer adjusting their positions slightly. and then to close powerfully. and then working with the prospect to shape the proposition so that it fits more acceptably with what is required."why do you say that?" is usually a good start it may be necessary to probe deeper to get to the real issue. but these days such a contrived approach to objection handling is likely to insult the prospect and blow the sales person's credibility it is important to flush out all of the objections.instead the sales person must enable a constructive discussion so that he and the prospect are both working at the problem together.• • • • • • • • if objections arise. the best standard response is something like "I understand why that could be an issue.even if you win them you'll destroy the relationship you'll go no further ." another old-style technique used to be to isolate the objection (confirm that other than that sticking point everything else was fine). by asking why to a series of answers . the sales person reflects back: "I think what you're really saying is that you have no problem with giving us the contract. so definitely avoid responding by trying to re-sell the benefit simply ask and probe instead.well I think we could probably do something about that. but in a form that the sales person is confident of being able to answer positively. and some are used to veil other misgivings which the sales person needs to expose lots of objections are simply a request for more information. See the section on negotiating. but then the more modern approach is to work with the prospect in first understanding what lies beneath each objection.

even if the silence became embarrassingly . close/closing/agreement (the seven steps of the sale . this is sometimes called buying warmth. if the sales person conducts the sale properly. very friendly types may actually say yes before they're ready. Instead respond to early buying signals (ie those received before you've completed the presentation to the prospect's satisfaction. and this should be the another aim for the sales person . but this widely perceived as clumsy and insulting nowadays. respectful. and no need for a close the best close these days is something like "Are you happy that we've covered everything and would you like to go ahead?". even using the traditional Seven Steps process. and answered all possible queries) by asking why the question is important. in which case you need to ensure that everything is suitably covered so nothing can rebound later for the record here are some closes from the bad old days the traditional golden rule was always to shut up after asking a closing question. Certain questions and comments from prospects are described as buying signals because they indicate that the prospect may be visualising buying or having the product/service. but do stay in touch and make sure they have all the information they need. and actually implies and requires a high level of sales professionalism the manner in which a sale is concluded depends on the style of the decision-maker . the prospect will close the deal himself. so don't push them.it's therefore important to keep notes and show that you're doing it by this stage you may have seen some signs that the prospect is clearly visualising or imagining the sale proceeding.watch out for the signs: no-nonsense high-achievers are likely to decide very quickly and may be a little irritated if you leave matters hanging after they've indicated they're happy. every sales person's aim should be to prepare and conduct the selling process so well that there are few if any objections. In the old days.it's civilised.• • you've handled all the objections when you've covered everything that you've noted down . and then by answering as helpfully as possible 6. or simply "Would you like to go ahead?" in many cases. cautious technical people will want every detail covered and may need time to think.6) • • • • • in modern selling. sales people were taught to respond to early buying signals with a 'trial close'. or even talking in terms of your working together as supplier and customer.

..and I promise you we'd be able to sort out the extra features once I speak to our production people. so we can only do it next week.../safeguard your.. and I feel almost guilty that I've not sold it to you properly... is that okay?" the guilt close: "Over three years it might seem a lot of money...." the sympathy close: "I know you have some reservations that we can't overcome right now. as if I've let you down. and runs through each one to confirm it's not that one which is causing the problem."Would you like it delivered next Tuesday or next Friday?".• • • • • • • • • • • long ." (How could anyone live with themselves using that one?." the elimination close: "I can see I've not explained this properly .I don't know how you feel about it?.. do you need to refer it?" the ego close: "We generally find that only the people who appreciate and are prepared to pay for the best quality go for this service .." the pro's and con's list: "I can appreciate this is a tough decision . crossing a line through ...my manager says he'll sack me if I don't get an order this week.which one would you prefer?" the challenge close: "I know most men wouldn't be able to buy something of this value without consulting their wives ...) the puppy dog close/puppy dog sale: "Let me leave it with you and you see how you get on with it..(a who-talks-first-loses kind of thing) . and you're my last chance I'd be ever so grateful if you'd go ahead . (whatever). but we find that most responsible people decide they simply have no choice but to go for it when it's less than a pound/dollar a day to protect your..use them at your peril: the pen close: "Do you want to use your pen or mine?" (while producing the contract and pen) the alternative close: for example .do you need to get your wife's permission on this?.you see I just know this is right for you." the negative close: "I'm sorry but due to the holidays we can't deliver in the three weeks after the 15th.. and we have a T52 in white ..what normally works is to write down a list of all the pro's and con's .two separate columns ../improve your.would you tell me where I went wrong ." the last ditch close: (sales person packs case and goes to leave. but stops at the door) "Just one last thing ...and then we can both see clearly if overall it's the right thing to do.can we take a moment to go through all the benefits and see which one is holding us back from proceeding?" (At which the sales person lists all the benefits the positives." or "Most business people in your position need to refer this kind of decision to their boss. but I've got to admit that I'm pretty desperate for this sale . or "We can do the T50 model in silver.

and often these are linked to sales commissions and bonuses. who should consider themselves the 'guardian' of that customer.. possibly the completion of installation and delivery specification and instructions Sales reporting by the sales person is also necessary. follow-up/fulfilment/delivery/admin (the seven steps of the sale . and details about the customer such as industrial sector .. which are a big cause of customer dissatisfaction or order cancellation if left to fester unresolved Customer follow-up and problem resolution must always be the responsibility for the sales person. this helps reduce possible confusion and misunderstood expectations. generally on a pro-forma or computer screen.to confirm that the customer is happy with the way the order is being progressed. The sales person should also make follow-up contact with the customer . etc.) 7.as often as necessary .paperwork is will cover the processing of the order. when a sales person makes a sale he is personally endorsing the product and the company. typically detailing the order value. the confirmation of the order and its details to the customer.each sales organization stipulates the sales person's reporting requirements. When he crosses the last one out he can claim that there really seems to be no reason for not going ahead.7) • • • • • • • after-sales follow-up depends on the type of product and service. but generally for every sale the sales person must carry out a number of important processes: all relevant paperwork must be completed and copies provided to the customer . so ensuring that value and satisfaction are fulfilled is an integral part of the modern sales function the product offer . even if a wellorganised customer service exists for general after-sales care Customers rightly hold sales people responsible for what happens after the sale is made. and good conscientious follow-up will usually be rewarded with referrals to other customers Follow-up is an important indicator of integrity.each as he goes. product type and quantity.

but nowadays the sales person greatly improves his selling effectiveness if he able to refine and adapt the product offer (not the specification) for targeted sectors and individual major prospects. they don't even buy the advantages what they buy is what the product's features and advantages will do for them. and a lot of time through not having to change from one piece of equipment to another. Unique Selling Propositions/Points. and benefits (FAB's) was developed in the 1960's and it remains an important basic concept for successful selling and sales training. is how the product or service is described and promoted to the customer. Here is the principle of using Features. Advantages. is a vital part of the selling process. The product offer is what the sales person uses to attract attention and interest in verbal and written introductions to prospects . who rarely thought much about developing them.so it has to be concise and quick . USP's and UPB's (Features Advantages Benefits. which in selling parlance is called the benefit. and Unique Perceived Benefits) The product offer. In fact lots of customers won't even have a clue as to what a 'TV with internet connectivity and remote qwerty keypad' . and the approach to this has changed over the years. the advantage is that the customer can now access and interchange internet and TV services using a single system. FAB's were traditionally identified and by the company and handed by the training department to the sales people. and the benefit is that the customer saves money. or proposition.FAB's. A sales person who formulates a sales proposition or product offer around those benefits will sell far more Internet TV's than a sales person who simply sells 'TV's with internet connectivity and remote qwerty keypads'. Developing and tailoring a product offer. FAB's The technique of linking features. For example: A TV might have the feature of internet connectivity and a remote control qwerty keyboard. It's the saving in money. Benefits: Customers don't buy features. Traditionally the selling company's marketing department would formulate the product offer. advantages. space and hassle that the customer buys. or sales proposition.remember that attention needs to be grabbed in less than five seconds. It's also used by the selling company in its various advertising and promotional material aimed at the target market. space.

may well . and any product that is marketed purely with a low-price USP will always be vulnerable to competition which offers proper user-related benefits. not being sold to. A low price is not a benefit in this context. the ones that would sell the best would be those which had the strongest unique selling points. most will pay a little or a lot extra to get what they want. USP's The strongest benefit for a given target sector is often represented by the term USP. Moreover the few customers who recognise the product benefit by its features and advantages will also recognise all the competitors' products too. sure. If there were umpteen WebTV's on the market. The aim is to formulate a product offer which elegantly comprises enough of what the product does and how. an advantage that produces a money-saving benefit is different to straight-forward price discounting. but most do not.unique selling point . Market sectors or prospect types with big houses and lots of big rooms are more likely to regard the timesaving benefit as the key USP instead. leaving the most lucrative uninformed prospects largely untouched. most of which may come in the form of a higher value. which will cause all the sales people selling features and advantages to converge on the most astute purchasing group. Purchasers of all sorts are more interested in buying. Price is not a USP. A sector which comprises people who are not technically competent or advanced. Market sectors or prospect types with smaller houses and fewer rooms are more likely to respond to the space-saving benefit of the WebTV as the product's main USP. some people only buy the cheapest.. with the most important or unique benefits for a given target market or prospect type. Each type of prospect has different reasons for buying. The name itself . higher price package. so the term is often used rather loosely where the word 'strongest' would be more apt).says it all.. branded and promoted as the latest 'WebTV XL520 with the new Netmaster GT500 Supa-consul'. meaning unique selling point or proposition (for many companies no real uniqueness exists in their USP's.USP's by their nature fail to take account of a prospect's particular circumstances and detailed needs. What makes it difficult to succeed all the time with a fixed USP or series of USP's is that one man's USP is another man's dead donkey . As with the example of the WebTV. Real or perceived uniqueness is obviously very important because it generally causes a prospect to buy from one sales person or supplier as opposed to another..is. particularly when it's packaged.

First it comes down to knowing the target market segment. given no requirement for extra space. The UPB for this particular prospect type might look something like: . UPB's This leads us to the UPB. their parents (the decision-makers) would likely be interested in improving their children's access to internet services at home.respond best to a USP that the supplier could fail to even mention. and it also shows why the planning and preparation stage in the selling process is far more significant and influential than it ever used to be. installation. This implies that we should first decide which sectors or segments to target. Where does that leave the sales person if his marketing department hasn't included that one on the list?. If the package enabled the parents to upgrade their TV as well for not much more than the cost of a conventional TV. they stem from product features after all. then we're certainly likely to get their attention and interest. The UPB acronym and concept was originated by The Marketing Guild. and these combine to create the prospect's or target sector's very specific buying motive. and in a way that didn't put pressure on their limited technical know-how at the time of installation and for ongoing support. A UPB is essentially a customer-orientated product offer. we can build up a UPB-based product offer that fits the prospect's situation and motives much better than any list of arbitrary FAB's and USP's. With children at school learning how to use computers. and it is proper to mention this when using the term in training. ie. So if instead of looking at the product from the seller's viewpoint.. So if we can identify and then formulate a unique perceived benefit to meet or match a known or researched sector's specific buying motive. we can create a very well-fitting and easily recognisable product offer indeed. Each targeted segment or prospect type has its own particular needs and constraints. training and a free technical support hotline. a likely attractive target sector for the WebTV could be families with limited space and little technical confidence. For instance. we look at the need.a modern selling concept naturally evolved from FAB's and USP's. or the targeted prospect type. The problem with USP's and FAB's is that they are largely formulated from the seller's perspective.. from the customer's viewpoint. meaning unique perceived benefit . extremely well. and we're a short step away from creating some real desire.

The feature does nothing to attract the buyer. The trade-off is that more words reduces impact and attention. the UPB does a lot. and can immediately match it to his own situation. and 'SPIN Selling®' Consultative selling involves deeper questioning of the prospect. rather than focus on FAB's and unique selling points: it's easy for prospects to compare and put a price on what a product is (FAB's and even USP's).. only by using the UPB in various forms can we see what works best. and a lot of thought. ie. (particularly those affected by the product). The process has been practised instinctively in good sales people and organizations for many years."You can now give your children important educational access to the Internet at home. particularly since the 1970's. The 'important educational' reference is an example of developing the UPB further. and empathy between sales-person and buyer.ie.. driven by . This means that sales people who sell UPB's are far less prone to competitor threat. It's now clear to see the difference now between a basic technical feature ('a TV with internet connectivity and remote qwerty keypad) and an unique perceived benefit (your children will be better educated)." The product offer above is described so that the prospect type in question identifies with it. if you know nothing about computers. There's another important reason to use tailored perceived benefits.it requires good insight and understanding of the prospect or sector to be approached. and the questioning process itself also results in a greater trust. that your children's education will be improved. consultative selling. about organizational and operational issues that can extend beyond the product itself. but it's very difficult to value a real UPB. 'needs-creation' selling. and don't even have room for one. This leads to greater understanding of the prospect's wider needs. you save space and you don't need to spend time understanding the technicalities have been translated to match exactly why we believe that the prospect might be motivated to consider buying it. rapport. The WebTV's relevant benefits . trial and error to arrive at something that works well. Developing strong meaningful unique perceived benefits is not easy . especially for concept selling or service solutions selling.

law. to 'consult' with the buyer in developing a solution. etc): 1. and many of these remain in use today. which of course entails the supplier organisation provision of product and/or service. such as . The 'needscreation' selling approach is example of consultative selling. The process is rather like the process employed by professional consultants in all sorts of 'professional' and 'technical' disciplines (for example. 2. finance. but it is still largely centred on what the supplier wants. difficulties. contract review dates. Obviously the sales-person would must have a reasonable confidence that the supplier organisation is able to offer a suitably matched remedy or solution (product and/or service proposition) once the 'need'.) This could be a 'distress' or emergency pressure. with all of its attached considerable and negative strategic and financial implications. aims. In the 1970's and 1980's various proprietary frameworks and models were established. Research the prospective customer organisation to confirm suitable prospect profile (subject to the supplier's prospect qualification criteria). for example an issue which the prospect is involved in 'fire-fighting' to resolve currently. past dealings. challenge or issue that a potential customer faces. challenges and unresolved issues within the prospect organisation. the sales-person seeks to identify and then 'enlarge' a particular need. etc. The consultative aspect exists hopefully in the sales-person's ability.competitive pressures. In 'needs-creation' selling. explore and develop areas of potential problems. experience and expertise. and a relevant area of product and/or service opportunity for the seller. are firmly established in the buyer's mind. It's more involving (of the client) than the essentially one-way prescriptive Seven Steps method. priority. as buyers began to learn as much about the sales process and techniques as the sales people themselves. problem. opportunities. IT. engineering. or threat. Normally identify and agree on a single primary issue (which represents both a major concern for the buyer. health and safety. 3 Ask 'strategic' open questions to identify. Establish rapport and seller's professional credentials with the client (typically by referencing case-histories and case-studies for successful solutions provided in similar markets and applications that are similar to those of the prospective client). and competitor threats. rather than helping the buyer.

the higher the cost or value of the challenge. what are all the negative effects and costs of failing to resolve the threat or pressure?.small. then the higher the cost of the solution. That is to say. Sell the principle of the seller's solution (necessarily in outline for large prospects . A large complex proposal would typically need to be presented by the sales-person. and thus increases the buyer's feeling that action must be taken . cost-savings and/or competitive advantage are attached. 4.the buyer increases his/her perception that outside expertise (from the seller) is required. to a board or decision-making team within the prospect organisation. to which significant potential profit. 5. matching the benefits of the solution to the various aspects of the prospect need or strategic opportunity. extend and quantify in financial and strategic terms the knock-on effects of the primary area of opportunity or threat.it gets the issue higher up the buyer's agenda and closer to the front of his/her project schedule. simple situations often require specific solutions proposals at this stage). b) Increasing the costs or values associated with the issue naturally increases the buyer's tolerance and expectations for the cost of the supplier's proposed product/service solution . or a team from the seller's organisation. For larger prospects it is commonly necessary to agree to proceed with a survey or assessment prior to producing a fully detailed proposal. or a strategic development opportunity for market or business development. Interpret. or what are all the positive effects and revenues/profits that will be derived from achieving the identified strategic opportunity? The sales person is effectively doing three things here: a) Increasing the size and cost/value of the issue heightens the issue's priority and importance.legislative compliance. clarify. b) Increasing the size and complexity of the issue increases the need and opportunity for consultative advice . The final point referring to a buying organisation's decision-making team provides a clue as to the weaknesses of these traditional supplier-orientated selling methods. Decision-making within .

understand or explain the situation with the prospect. involving analysis of data from 35. It was developed by Neil Rackham in the 1970's-80's. For this reason. howsoever packaged.simply an acknowledgement of the extremely complex nature of organisational decision-making. which traditional 'consultative selling' alone is unable to address in a true and meaningful sense.000 sales calls. decision-making. consultative selling and 'needs-creation' selling. especially the ideas developed and defined by Sharon Drew Morgen. and implementation. Rackham's SPIN® model is in simple terms: S . however good the sales-person is. from his extensive 12-year study into successful selling behaviour in 20 leading sales organizations. and certainly the buyer.organisations.Situation P . Rackham's book 'Spin Selling' is one of the biggest selling on the subject of sales. if you seek to become a truly expert and effective sales person modern selling and business. I would urge you to look beyond the traditional methodologies.Need (or Need-payoff) In other words: 1. communications. don't always provide a reliable selling framework for the modern age. let alone be able or willing to explain it to an outsider.Implication N . They need help with their own processes of evaluation and assessment. Buyers rarely explain everything to a sales-person during a consultative meeting. This is not a criticism of buyers . As such. in 23 countries. is a highly complex process. to the modern philosophy and concepts contained in collaborative and facilitative selling. Discuss. neil rackham's 'SPIN Selling®' model Neil Rackam's SPIN Selling® model is a fine example of a consultative selling process and 'needs-creation selling'.Problem I . Buyers and customer organisations often need more help. particularly large ones. Often the organisation. . and the SPIN® methodology remains a mainstay of his Huthwaite training organization. does not understand it. especially in the early stages of the sales process.

g.. but be very careful not to confuse this with Miller Heiman's registered and protected 'Strategic . See SPIN® copyright details. SPIN® and SPIN SELLING® methods and materials are not to be used in the provision of training and development products and services without a licence. discuss or understand the implication of the problem for the prospect's business (ie. what organizational improvement can potentially be achieved).. discussion. memorable and useful sales models. Note that SPIN® and SPIN SELLING® methods and materials are subject to copyright and intellectual property control of the Huthwaite organisations of the US and UK. Stanley Guffogg. 4. during the early-1980's. interactive exercises and reinforcement tools.2. Next identify the problem that exists or could arise. e.. Explain. presented by one of Huthwaite’s expert training consultants • • • • • • • • open plan selling.the 'payoff'. strategic selling. and they provide some of the bedrock for what is written here.and much more through the SPIN Selling workshop’s combination of lecture.. SPIN® endures as one of the most versatile. What you’ll learn: Essentials of successful selling Why feature-based selling doesn’t work Why pushing for a quick close doesn’t work Four stages of successful sales calling Internationally renowned SPIN Selling methodology How to obtain customer commitment to advance outcomes How to turn product advantages into specific customer benefits . the term 'Open Plan Selling' was first coined by a wonderful and inspirational British business consultant and trainer. Strategic selling (lower case generic description) is also commonly used today to describe similar selling ideas and processes. His ideas and philosophies were many years ahead of their time. 3. This effectively creates a need or opportunity to rectify the problem (by selling the sales person's product/service) . Miller Heiman's Strategic Selling® To my best knowledge.

can and should be readily adapted for all other types of selling. This implies that the customer contact should be a strategic buyer . first published in the Miller Heiman book Strategic Selling® in 1985. see the explanations of the strategic selling terminology in the glossary above. successful sales people and organizations provide a tailored product or service which delivers a big measurable strategic improvement to the customer's own businesses. For that you'll need to buy the books or the Miller Heiman materials. Open plan selling is especially suited to the business-to-business major accounts selling function . and a licence as well if you seek to sell or provide Miller Heiman products. including even telesales (selling by telephone). The explanation in this section is concerned with 'open plan selling' and 'strategic selling' (lower-case generic descriptive in the sense of selling strategically). In modern business-to-business selling. and the Professional Selling Skills model. Open plan selling is also more advanced than most consultative selling methods being practiced today. Diane Sanchez and Tad Tuleja (1995 and later revisions). Nobody lower in the organization has the necessary authority and budget.Selling® (upper case trademark) sales training methods and products. and more recently updated and revised in The New Strategic Selling® by Stephen Heiman.which is now the principle domain of the field-based sales person (because field-based sales people are very expensive people and low-value business can't recover their costs).not the fullblooded structure . open plan selling and strategic selling (lower case descriptive) Open plan selling is in many ways a completely different approach to the old prescriptive and relatively rigid Seven Steps of the Sale. or in a small company the finance director or CEO. and see the Miller Heiman copyright details. the open plan selling principles . .usually at least a director. However. largely because of the strategic aspects of the open plan approach. and is not an attempt to summarise or describe Miller Heiman's sales training methods or products in any way. The American Miller Heiman organization uses the term Strategic Selling® to describe its own particular sales training methods and products. See the books below. that began in the 1960's.

The open plan or strategic selling (lower case . open plan selling process: 1. negotiate/refine/adapt/conclude agreement 9. make the appointment 3. present proposal 8. agree survey/audit proposal (normally applicable) 5. carry out survey/audit (normally applicable) 6. gather information about business needs. oversee fulfilment/completion 10. research and plan .step 1 In open plan selling. research and planning is a very important part of the process. whose size and complexity let's say does not enable a sales proposal to be formulated at the first meeting. and time for selling opportunities to be identified and researched. When you do business at this strategic level you are at a higher level than your competitors. feedback/review/maintain ongoing relationship open plan selling in summary: research and plan .The only way to develop tailored strategic offerings is by researching the market and understanding the customer's business.market sector. write product/service proposal 7.open plan selling . The bigger the prospect organization or potential . attend appointment to build rapport and credibility. prospect. and decide initial approach 2. and be comfortable talking at director level. and develop/agree a project/product/service specification 4. aims and process.not Miller Heiman) process and summary below assumes a major account scenario. Selling strategically takes time time to train sales people. which means the sales person must understand business. For smaller-scale opportunities the middle stages numbers 4 to 7 are effectively compressed or leap-frogged so that the formulation of the proposal and its presentation happens at the first appointment (stage 3) or soon after it. who are still selling ordinary products and services to middle managers and buyers without true authority.

positions. scale for the product/service in question current supply arrangements and contract review dates decision-making process (who decides. priorities. because it's impossible to make a strong impact while promoting lots of different points . This is to enable the sales person to decide on the best initial approach or opening proposition. on what basis. When the sales person moves the dialogue with the prospect into this area then the sale takes on a completely different . but only the open plan sales person will look for the final point. Major accounts need extensive researching before any serious approach is made to begin dialogue with an influencer or decision-maker. Assuming a large account is being targeted.sale. The other information is what all good sales people will be trying to discover. threats and opportunities that the product/service in question affects or could affect (in terms of the organization's strategic aims.people respond most to a single relevant point of interest (see the advertising tricks of the trade for more detail on this). subsidiaries and parent organization) strategy and trading situation (main business aims. and obviously requires a good insight into the prospect's business and market. responsibilities and locations) the organization's strategic implications. A benefit-loaded 'catch-all' approach does not work. product and service quality. and what the company considers important for its own customers) current and future demand. management and corporate structure. The final point is absolutely pivotal to the open plan selling process. as perceived by the person to be approached (different people have different personal and organizational views and priorities). operating efficiency. volume. Implicit in this is deciding what is likely to be the strongest perceived organizational benefit that could accrue from the product or service in question. staff types and numbers. Generally it is best to concentrate on one strong organizational benefit. staff reaction and attitudes. trends of business and sector. a profile of the organization's customers and competitors. the more planning and preparation is required. issues. when and how) decision-makers and influencers (names. the sales person must acquire as much as reasonably possible of the following information about the prospect organization: • • • • • • • the organization's size and shape (turnover. sites. and particularly how the product/service in question affects or could affect the organization's own competitive strengths and added value to its own customers) The final point in bold is the really special part.

and their priorities. because of the wealth of information available in company brochures. prospects respect and respond well to a well-prepared approach because it shows professionalism. a prospect responds poorly to a 'blind' approach because it suggests a lack of care and it usually produces a vague.assuming they are asked politely and given proper reason . and researching during the first appointment. This template will be different for each sales organization and product and maybe sector. With a sensitive approach it's often possible obtain the trust and cooperation of somebody in the prospect organization. and allows a relevant and focused discussion. websites and from the organization's own staff. These days it's easier to research and plan for a sales call than it used to be. the styles of the key people. ill-informed discussion. purchasing procedures and authority.complexion. but once designed serves as a really useful tool.because they know that a well-informed visitor is more likely to enable a productive meeting. politics. Trade journals and trade associations are other useful information sources for building up a picture. The secretaries and personal assistants of the influencers and decision-makers are generally very helpful in providing information to sales people once an appointment has been made . that other sales people might be discussing. Depending on the particular product or service. and from the relative openness of most organizations. different people in the prospect organization will potentially be able to provide company-specific information about important matters such as contract review dates. empathic and of some strategic potential for the prospect. The rules of AIDA apply even to this information gathering element alone. thereby saving the boss's time. even sometimes very useful details of attitudes. which wastes time. . Conversely. It's important to strike the right balance between researching prior to the first appointment. It's often worth approaching these people for information and guidance even prior to making the approach for an appointment. The sales person should take advantage of all information that is obtainable easily and leave the rest to be filled in at the first meeting . it completely transcends and surpasses any benefits. particularly if the discussion is positioned as non-threatening.as a rule. so as to provide this information. press relations. USP's or UPB's. Again the justification needs to be sensitively and professionally positioned. notably in customer service. A good technique for planning and research is to design a 'proforma' or checklist of items to be researched for new prospects.

. threats and opportunities that are affected or potentially affected by the product/service in question (in terms of the organization's strategic aims. phone and address data influencers. titles. etc) special criteria (eg supplier accreditations) trading and strategic pointers the organization's strategic implications. locations. product and service quality. phone and address data decision-making process information budgetary issues. users. operating efficiency. titles. inc financial year-end current supplier(s) and contracts volume and scale indicators (staff. sample research and planning (customer/prospect) profile template organization name decision-makers. locations. staff reaction and attitudes. sites. the sales person is better informed as to how and whom to approach in the prospect organization. and particularly how the product/service in question affects or could affect the organization's own competitive strengths and added value to its own customers) other notes Having researched and gathered information from various sources.both to gather the right data and to provide the discipline for it to actually be done.

normally the finance director/chief financial officer or the managing director/CEO. is prone to the initial "not invented here" reaction. The reaction of the recipient is largely dependent not on the nature of the proposal. either in writing or on the phone. while trying to arrange an appointment. it is very difficult to raise the contact to the necessary higher level afterwards. but for large prospects it's useful for the sales person to combine the appointment-making with the initial . make the appointment . by a person who reports to them. The sales person's proposition should ideally be based on serious strategic implications and benefits. The sales person must never get drawn into having to sell the product or service.step 2 The most important rule about appointment-making is to sell the appointment and not the product. The sales person cannot sell without first understanding the real issues. Appointment-making is a skill in its own right. let alone before even making an appointment.Generally the first serious approach should be made to a senior decision-maker. not least due to the 'notinvented-here' reaction of higher ranking people in the prospect organization. Some selling organizations use canvassers or telemarketing staff to do this for the sales person. Everyone. but upon their relationship with the proposer.open plan selling . other managers simply work within prescribed budgets and strategies established by the FD/CEO. This is due to the perfectly normal psychology of politics and pecking-order in organizations. when presented with a proposition which concerns their own area responsibility. The sales person must avoid a situation developing where he is reliant upon someone in the prospect's organization having to 'sell' the proposition to a decision-maker on the sales person's behalf. and the real issues may not even be apparent at the first meeting. There are other reasons for planning to make the approach at the highest strategic level: If the sales person begins a sales dialogue with a non-decisionmaker. This is because it rarely succeeds. This is because only these people have the authority to make important strategic budgetary decisions in the organization. which will not typically match the motives of a lower-ranking influencer.

Bear in mind that the pa is there as a defence for the boss. When telephoning for an appointment. So for any approach to succeed in getting through to the boss. with or without a prior letter. or the boss would never get anything done. whose time the secretary is protecting) be put in writing first. and rightly so. When combined in this way it helps to build initial relationships with helpful people in the prospect organization.researching activity. If it looks interesting and credible and worthy. so it's best to work with them and certainly not to alienate them. Generic product and service approaches do not work because the are not seen to relate or benefit the prospect's own strategic priorities. or at lunchtimes. and the sales person can collect additional useful information that would otherwise be missed or not passed on by a separate appointment-maker or canvasser. If the boss is interested. If it strikes the right chord the appointment will be granted.it applies to the appointment-making process as well. the sales person typically must first speak to a switchboard operator or receptionist. Generally the larger the prospect organization. and in the event that the pa keeps the boss's diary (as is often the case). Calling early or late in the day. A carefully thought-through UPB (unique perceived benefit) forms the basis of the appointment approach. . the pa will show it to the boss. This is mainly because pa's and secretaries almost always suggest that any approach to a decision-maker (ie the boss. Remember AIDA . which is why researching and understanding the organization's strategic priorities are so crucial. Introductory letters are a useful and often essential requirement before an appointment can be made. often enables the sales person to circumvent the pa. It's simply an expected part of the process by which credibility and level of interest is assessed by the prospect. A good introductory letter may win an appointment without the need even to speak to the decisionmaker. Imagine what happens: the letter is received by the pa. They can be immensely helpful. See the section on introductory sales letters. the pa must effectively endorse its credibility. then the more essential an introductory letter will be. they are usually extremely capable and knowledgeable people. the boss often instructs the pa to make an appointment when the phone call from the sales person is received. then be put through to the targeted person's secretary or pa. the reason for wanting to meet must be serious and interesting enough. The aim is the appointment not the sale. but generally it's best to work with secretaries and pa's. Whether by writing or telephoning.

By orientating the reason to fit into the contact's responsibility. the pa will for certain tell the boss about the sales person's attitude. The sales person's attitude towards the pa is very important. On occasions. sale sales and marketing will be referred to those departments. a managing director's pa will refer anything purely functional to the functional department concerned. The pa will generally try to divert the sales person's approach to a less senior member of staff. Therefore if the sales person seeks an appointment with one of these decisions-makers. IT issues will be diverted to IT department.even if the approach is enormously well researched. Most pa's can exert positive influence too. CEO's. or FD's (the main decision-makers) are those which are perceived to significantly affect or benefit the profit and/or strategy of the business. Imagine a pa who has taken a dislike to a pushy arrogant sales person . calling out of normal hours is advisable only in instances where both pa and boss are extremely difficult to reach during normal working hours. The use of serious-sounding language is important also in presenting the reason for wanting the appointment. there is less chance of the approach being diverted. relevant and appealing.. and it is virtually inconceivable for the boss then to agree to an appointment. and functional responsibility of the person being approached for the appointment. The sales person should always assume that the loyalty and mutual trust between boss and pa are strong. so there are lots of reasons for a sales person to make a favourable impression with a pa. but instead will be referred by them to make an appointment with a lower ranking manager or director. So it's important to tailor the approach to fit with the level of. Being referred down is fine. ie. the sales person will not be granted an appointment with the targeted main decision-maker. The only issues which will win appointments with MD's.the sales person then proceeds with the MD's or FD's endorsement to develop the situation with the lower ranking contact. . but trying to refer upwards for eventual purchase authorisation or budgetary approval is nearly impossible. HR issues will be referred to personnel.In modern appointment-making. the approach must be orientated to have a potentially significant affect or benefit upon profit or strategy. For example. If this happens it's no problem . The fact that it's been referred by the MD or FD gives the sales person vital authority and credibility. some will even make appointments for the boss with little reference to the boss.

who'll have heard the technique about a thousand times just in the past week. Just be your honest self. because words spoken with a smile or a grimace sound different. from (your organization). Just ask when would suit best. but if they're offered don't quibble. If you don't feel like smiling. Just say "Hello. I'm/this is (first and last name). don't try to be someone that you're not.00am or 4." This can be quite insulting to another person. For all but the most experienced practitioners of self-hypnosis or neuro-linguistic programming. jokes and flashing bow-ties your credibility will be undermined before you even open your mouth.do some paperwork instead until you cheer up. Just wait until you're in the right mood and everything will be fine. because unhappy people can't sell. If you're not feeling good.everyone recognises and reacts against a script. Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon?. enthusiastic and straight-forward. If you are door-knocking and personal cold-calling . this is nonsense... eg. Here is a simple stage-by stage 'script' for beginning the initial approach to a new prospective company.Positive Mental Attitude . just be you. or "are you okay to talk for a minute?" Let your personality shine through . Don't suggest appointments at 9. and then take it from there. and still are. smile and mean it. with a strategically orientated proposition. If you rarely cheer up then you should get out of selling. You must also smile on the phone.which is why appointment-making should always aim high. "What week are you looking at?. Some trainers talk about PMA . "What's best for you. so it's best avoided these days. Sales people were. then don't do any sales calling .30pm. don't force it or you'll waste the call and feel worse. and people can tell which is which. Avoid scripts ..and suggest that this is some kind of magic that anyone can simply turn on and off at will. taught to use an alternative close when making appointments. however. Resist any temptation to employ gimmicks. can I take a couple of minutes of your time please?".". You must. or initially.. or at lunchtime.don't force it.be professional. through the PA: telephone sales/telemarketing flexible 'script' for initial sales approach .which is only recommended for smaller prospects .

don't try to by-pass him/her . professional language. and to think about what sort of proposition is likely to be of interest. thanks .) If no.."I'd like to submit a strategic proposition to (company) concerning (briefly describe your area of interest using professional straight language.ask for their help . and straight open. If yes Ask the PA: "I wonder if you could help me please?" PA will normally say: "Sure/I'll try/it depends/what's it about?" You say.. but do not go into great detail.There is no magic. Operations.or secretary) of the director/VP for the function that you believe makes the strategic decision about your offering (if in doubt ask for the PA to the CEO/MD/President/General manager: " Hello. but do not go into great detail..could you put me through to the PA for the (relevant function.that's their job . It also helps to have done some research before-hand about the company..full name and company . this is (your name) from (your company name) . First you'll normally speak to the person on switchboard.the process is based on straight-forward logic.. secret or trickery involved .what is the PA's name please?" (Ask this last thing while you are being put through it will help you to know the PA's name now and in the future should you call back . and try to use a description that is unlikely to attract the response: 'we've already got that covered thanks') ..this person is there to help his/her boss .and ask to be put through to the PA (personal assistant ... to whom I should write or ... When put through: "Hello.could you tell me to whom I should initially approach that has a strategic view of this?" Or: "I'd like to open dialogue with (company) about (again describe your area of interest using professional straight language. director/VP? (depending on whether you have the PA's name or not.is that (name)/are you the PA for the . this is (your full name) from (your company name) . ask when/if he/she is available and if applicable if you can be transferred to them. and try to use a description that is unlikely to attract the response: 'we've already got that covered thanks') could you advise how best to do this.. honest..to be a vital link in the communications between their boss and everyone else). IT. Finance. eg Sales. but do not make assumptions of what needs or opportunities will arise. etc) director/VP. Introduce yourself .

journey and travel time . professional.speak. so here they are: • • • • • establish how long the meeting will last and who'll be there confirm the appointment in writing . and the PA is the best one to help you begin to understand about this. and prepares the contact for what's to come gather any more information that you need .step 3 There are some obvious things to do pre-appointment which can be overlooked.be guided by the PA. and you can even provide an agenda for the meeting. ie the basic company profile (though not necessarily any mundane points. mainly this will be information about the company. and when's the best time to reach them on the phone afterwards?" Or: "I wonder if you can advise me on what's the best way to find out who. and try to use a description that is unlikely to attract the response: 'we've already got that covered thanks'). which could be provided later.allow sufficient time for delays The sales person's aims at the first appointment are to • complete the gaps in the basic research and planning template. the appointment .broadly. car-parking.map and directions. you must be able meet the expectations that your contact has for the meeting. maybe relevant case history examples (if any exist summaries of successful supply contracts to similar organizations) learn anything you need to know to avoid being late .the willingness of the contact's support staff to help will be quite high at this stage. when and how for (company) determines strategy and decides solutions and providers in the area of (again. its products and services. security gate check-in procedure. but certainly the strategic information and views) . which shows you've thought about it.keep it brief. but do not go into great detail. but don't be a nuisance ensure you've prepared everything that you might need for the meeting ." And then take it from there . Fitting in with their communications and decision-making processes and systems is as important as your proposition and service.open plan selling . briefly describe your area of interest using professional straight language.

and the credibility of the sales person and the selling organization learn about the prospect's business. inventory. health and safety. let alone agree to another meeting. interested prospect afterwards won't return the sales person's phone calls. problems. .long term partnerships vs short term contracts . lead-times. or technology.beyond product knowledge and FAB's . that have potential implications for the prospect's organization. internal politics and attitudes. but typically this will not happen in major account situations. including people and the role of influencers.making money or saving money) in similar organizations and in similar industrial sectors to the prospect's organization. priorities. budgets. The sales person will be expected to know about and refer to some examples of how the product/service has produced significant strategic benefits (profit and/or quality . Sales people who do this will be listened to politely. This is more proof of the need for good industry knowledge . and especially the corporate aims and objectives of the main decision-maker(s) gather relevant information about the strategic needs. (They'll then wonder why the once attentive. in whatever areas of help that are useful to the prospect The sales person's aim at this stage is absolutely not to launch into a full-blown presentation of the product/service features advantages and benefits.) The sales person must be prepared to talk about the relevant technical aspects and benefits if asked. ordering.payment. ushered out and forgotten. trends and issues. It may be also that the sales person is able to convey and interpret issues of legislation.purchase vs lease vs rental . onestop-shop vs dual or multiple supplier arrangements. because the prospect will know that the sales person is in no position yet to present a relevant solution or proposition of any kind. competitors and existing supply arrangements understand the trading preferences of the prospect . This is a great way to build both credibility and added value for the sales person and the selling organization. etc agree a way forward that progresses the opportunity in a way that suits and helps the prospect.• • • • • • establish personal rapport and trust. timescales. procedures.this is knowledge about how the prospect's organization could significantly benefit from the product/service. implications and potential benefits linked with the product/service understand the prospect's buying process.

and they will often be unable to give reliable information about real strategic decision-making motives and priorities. specialising in the application of the particular product or service to the prospect type and industry concerned . helpful and co-operative. The sales person should actually try to adopt the mindset and style of an 'expert consultant'. so more care and time needs to be taken to discover the facts. If the appointment is with a senior decision-maker the breadth of implications and issues can be immense. Senior experienced decision-makers will provide a lot of relevant information in response to very few questions. would again simply have price and technical issues for a middle-ranking technical buyer. and use of the phrase 'why is that') will the issues and opportunities be uncovered. Only by asking intelligent. second. Any product or service can have completely surprising implications. where specification and price appear to be the issues. probing questions (mostly open questions. which has already been outlined in the Seven Steps of the Sale.At the beginning of the appointment explain what you'd like to achieve . Where questioning differs in major accounts selling compared to the style within the Seven Steps. And then you're into the questioning phase. A new computerised monitoring system for example. There is twin effect from asking and interpreting strategic questions: first. vital information is established.it's a professional courtesy).and not behave like a persuasive sales person. rapport and trust. For example. Steven Covey's maxim 'Seek first to understand before you try to be understood' was never more true. Combine . dealing with an issue at a time. but there could be massive health and safety legislative compliance issues (threats and potential benefits) for the CEO. is that the prospect's perspective and situation are wide and complex.which is to identify how best to progress the situation in a way that will be most helpful to the prospect. because they simply do not operate at that level. Sales people really only need a pad and pen for the great part of the first meeting (ask if it's okay to take notes . might have enormous cultural and cultural implications for a CEO.and to what end . The appointment process and atmosphere should be consultative. the act of doing this also establishes professional respect.broadly a summary of the points above (essentially to understand all the relevant issues from a strategic perspective . Lower ranking influencers need to be asked more specific questions. when an MD or CEO explains their own position. a purely technical product sale lower down the organization.

carry out the survey or audit . . and what the output is at the end of it. after the appointment the sales person needs to summarise very concisely the main points of the meeting and the details of the survey. but can be if significant expertise and input is required). a completion date.these two and the sales person then has a platform on which to build the next stage.4 For anything bigger than a simple small business prospect.step 5 This part of the process will depend on the type of product or service. Some will have dedicated survey staff. audit or gather necessary data to be able to produce a sales proposal. This confirmation must include all necessary parameters to ensure no misunderstandings develop and that seller's and buyer's expectations match.open plan selling step . It may be necessary for reviews during the survey process to check understanding and interpretation. Permissions and access may need to be agreed with different sites or locations in the prospect's organization. Therefore. which is normally a detailed sales proposal. normally the stage after the appointment is to survey. and this should all be managed sensitively by the sales person. it would be rare in a large account situation for the sales person to be able or to be asked to carry out a survey immediately. in other situations the sales person may carry out the survey. The document outlining the survey parameters and aims should be copied to the relevant people in the seller's and buyer's organizations. Therefore at the appointment it is important for the sales person to agree the survey or audit parameters: exactly what is to happen. The survey will normally take place some time after the appointment. from the prospect's viewpoint. particularly focusing on its purpose and outputs. whether a cost is attached (rarely. agree audit or survey .open plan selling . who is to be involved. how it is to be done. For a large prospect organization this survey stage can be protracted and complex. and the process of the selling organization.

open plan selling .step 7 . or actually ask for. factually correct.It is essential that the sales person manages this stage properly. The sales person should always try to present the sales proposal personally. The sales person should try to avoid any situation where a proposal is presented on the sales person's behalf in their absence. by an influencer to the decision-maker(s). present the sales proposal . which should reflect the findings of the survey. The prospect may agree to. See the tips on writing.step 6 The sales person is responsible for writing the sale proposal. It may be possible for the sales person to involve an influencer or decision-maker in the drafting of the proposal. and outlines the organizational benefits clearly stemming from the product or services being proposed. Some sales organizations have dedicated people who write project proposals or quotations. a presentation to a group of people in the prospect organization including influencers and decision-makers. This is because the way that a survey is conducted serves as a very useful guide to the prospect as to the potential supplier's quality.open plan selling . In this case the sales person should ensure that what is written is relevant and concise. If the open plan process has been applied thus far then it's actually unlikely that the prospect would not want the sales person's involvement at the presentation stage. which is ideal. so that it is framed as suitably as possible to meet the requirements of the prospect organization. thoroughly and sympathetically. write the product/service proposal . Proposals that are necessarily lengthy and very detailed should begin with an executive summary showing the main deliverables. rather than send it. integrity and professionalism. costs and organizational benefits. Getting some help in this way is ideal.

See the page on creating and giving presentations. in which case all involved must be carefully briefed as to what is expected of them. or the sales process may warrant several more refinements to the proposal and more presentations or meetings. depending on what suits the prospect.The aim of the presentation must be based on whatever is the next best stage for the prospect. and the sales person must by now understand the roles and motives of all the people present. The presentation must concentrate on delivering the already agreed strategic organizational needs. The presentation can take place in widely different circumstances. It could be that the decision-maker is advising and needing the sales person's help in how to achieve positive approval for the proposal from the influencers. reference material must be available for all present. in order to present and respond appropriately. which will generally be so for large complex proposals. negotiate/refine/adapt/conclude the agreement . subject to cost and being able to implement without disruption. Adequate copies. samples. Whatever the aim is. Preparation is crucial. Large organizations will not be pushed. The presentation must be professional and concise. Or the decision-maker may have given agreement to the concept already.open plan selling . The sales person must enlist help with the presentation from colleagues if required and beneficial. People's time is valuable .don't waffle . overall aims and fall-backs etc.keep it concise and factual . Groups of influencers and decision-makers need to be handled very carefully. whatever the format.if you don't know the answer to something don't guess or you'll lose your credibility and the sale for sure. and to try to do so often risks upsetting the relationship and losing the opportunity altogether. It may be that just one presentation is required and that approval can be given there and then. not for the seller.step 8 . the sales person needs ensure that the presentation is geared to achieving it.

terms and prices are ironed out. Deals often fall down in the early stage of implementation through the sales person's failure to do this . change. and communication of implications (specifically training) are all likely to be important (and often late-surfacing) aspects of the prospect's requirements when agreeing any major new supply arrangement. As with the other stages of open plan selling. Some situations develop into negotiations. especially in meeting their specific organizational needs in the areas of operating. Management of the introduction.. The supplier's ability to anticipate and meet these requirements quickly become essential facets of the overall package . that subject to agreeing the points to be negotiated. Generally the latter is more productive and by its nature avoids the potential for confrontation. it's important to adapt your responses and actions according to what the prospect needs. in very complex situations it is certainly advisable to try to obtain provisional agreement ('conditional agreement' or 'approval for the concept in principal') as soon as the opportunity arises. Moreover. ie. in which case it's essential at this stage to follow the rules of negotiating.In open plan selling it is common for agreement in principle to be reached before all of the final details.and actually contain some of the greatest potential perceived benefits of all. A similar process takes place when the prospect seeks to negotiate aspects of the deal before finally committing. communicating. the deal will proceed. It's critically important at this point to establish conditional commitment for the sale in principle. others into more of a co-operative mutual working together to agree points of detail. When the negotiation or agreement is concluded it is the sales person's responsibility to confirm all the details in writing to all concerned on both sides. Do not begin to negotiate until you have provisional or conditional agreement for the sale.often extra potential added value . So be on the lookout for these issues and react to meet these needs. In this event the sales person must agree and confirm the various action points necessary for the conclusion of the agreement to the satisfaction of the customer. and if the opportunity arises to do this then such as understanding should be noted and then confirmed in writing. processing and implementing the decision. However some prospects will want or need to negotiate.

There may be ongoing issues to manage . The customer may always be right. costs. The modern sales person needs to be an excellent internal communicator these days (ie. All big deals will invariably be tailored to suit the customers needs. . and these need to be managed and explained. capabilities. as well as the prospect's). the sales person must always remain the guardian of that customer and sale. so as to know what is realistically achievable..properly.step 9 Even if the concluded sale is to be passed on to another department in the selling organization for implementation. and commercially viable. This implies in turn that the sales person has a good understanding of the selling organization's strategy. If the implementation is very complex the sale person must ensure a project plan is created and then followed. Expectations need to be clearly understood to be the same by both sides at all times.in fact there will be. The sales person will have won the sale partly by virtue of their own credibility and personal assurances. and this will entail the sales person being able to agree and confirm requirements and deliverables with the relevant departments of the selling organization. to the selling organization's people. Upon implementation the sales person must check and confirm that the prospect is satisfied at all levels and at all points of involvement. strategically desirable. with suitable reviews. especially the main decision-maker and key influencers. prices and margins.) oversee the sale's implementation/fulfilment/completion open plan selling . (See ways of saying 'no' in the negotiating section. The sales person must stay in touch with the decision-maker and give regular updates on the progress of the sale's implementation. but this does not automatically imply that the supplier should do everything without question just because the prospect needs it often there are limits. so it's unforgivable for a sales person to 'cut and run' (see the derivations section if you're interested in the origin of this expression). adjustments and reporting.

Problems need to be anticipated and prevented. refine. Even for one-off outright sale transactions.and it should have been part of the original product offer after all. and largely customers appreciate and need this enormously.summary of the open plan selling process Selling strategically. the relationship and support continues. communicative and proactive after the sale is concluded or the contract has been set up. using an open plan approach requires a lot of thought and expertise.that is to say. opportunities and capabilities (as entailed within the process of selling strategically). and especially major accounts selling. generally have good motivational . develop and improve the supply arrangement need to be reviewed and acted upon. These days. which is altogether much more of a professional and civilised way of doing business. Good sales people build entire careers on this principle. most business is on-going. Sales management methods which are aimed at increasing a sales team's strategic business development responsibilities. so it needs looking after and protecting. and the customer will likely go elsewhere. the sale is never actually finally concluded . Even if a whole team of customer service people are responsible for after sales implementation and customer care. or future opportunities will be hard to identify. it's essential for the sales person to stay in touch with the customer. This must always ultimately be the sales person's responsibility .not to manage day to day issues.step 10 In many types of business. The rewards are well worth the effort though . Customers become disillusioned very quickly when sales people and selling organizations ceased to be interested.feedback/review/maintain ongoing relationship .open plan selling . Opportunities to amend. better than the potential competition and relevant to the customer's needs. but to ensure that the supply arrangement and relationship remain high quality. the sales person must keep a strategic 'weather eye' on the situation . with no ongoing service element. Arranging regular reviews are vital for all service-type arrangements. selling strategically . and the selling process becomes more of a co-operation and partnership.the sales person is seen more as an advisor.

extends the open plan selling or strategically-based selling approaches. effective and sustainable selling methodology today. oversee fulfilment/completion 10. aims and process. 1. make the appointment 3. attend appointment to build rapport and credibility. and creates a sustainable platform for supplier and customer to work together. facilitation and partnership selling Selling through true collaboration.particularly for large accounts and business-to-business . write product/service proposal 7. prospect. beyond skills and techniques. gather information about business needs. feedback/review/maintain ongoing relationship collaboration. Essential components of the new collaborative partnership selling model are: • The sales person and selling organization possesses huge strategic understanding customer's business priorities. needs and market-place. because they enable personal growth. This modern sales ideology .effects on the sales people. carry out survey/audit (normally applicable) 6. . and a million miles further on from the Seven Steps Of The Sale. and higher level achievements. and develop/agree a project/product/service specification 4. and to it adds organizational. negotiate/refine/adapt/conclude agreement 9. present proposal 8. and decide initial approach 2. facilitation and partnership enables the buying processes. facilitative and relationship elements that take selling to new heights of sophistication and competitive advantage. agree survey/audit proposal (normally applicable) 5. These new theories represent the most advanced. extra responsibility.market sector. and obviously how the product or service relates to these issues to produce or enable significant strategic benefit for the customer organization. research and plan . This is a selling philosophy.

You can also see and download three sample chapters from her Buying Facilitation® e-book free.pioneered by sales guru Sharon Drew Morgen . Morgen's 'Buying Facilitation®' methods dramatically change and improve key stages of the open plan selling and strategically-based selling methods. and with huge knowledge of. (Buying Facilitation® is a trademark of Sharon Drew Morgen. notably at qualifying stage (establishing early whether the opportunity is a real potential fit for customer and supplier). a chosen market sector. Facilitative methods can also be reintroduced (as is often necessary) at any time during the later selling processes if the situation begins to drift from the agreed purpose. the leading thinker and advocate of modern facilitative selling methods) in order to help the customer assess and react to the selling/buying process at all stages. The selling organization is able to offer and manage multiple peer-to-peer relationships between selling organization and customer. It must be noted however that Sharon Drew's Morgen's Buying Facilitation® is not a technique to add to conventional selling methods for the purpose of 'persuading' or 'influencing' the other person. .) The 'facilitative' process (notably that associated with Sharon Drew Morgen's methodology) typically occurs during the early stages of whatever organisational sales process that the sales person uses or the sales training conventionally teaches. as developed by Sharon Drew Morgen. or if communications or understanding are interrupted or obstacles are encountered. whose books on facilitative selling are essential reading for all modern professional sales people. at rapport-building stage (genuinely helping the customer to find vital answers for him/herself.are subtle and yet fundamental.• • • The sales person is likely to be a specialist in. See the super Buying Facilitation® resources available via Ms Morgen's Businessballs Space profile. managers and company directors. These techniques . however the principles can be revisited and used at any time necessary during the selling engagement. which becomes a massive competitive advantage). The sales person will be able to use modern facilitative skills (notably 'Buying Facilitation®'. and throughout the questioning phase (during which the sales person becomes a facilitator and enabler for the customer . vertical or horizontal. Learn more about Sharon Drew Morgen and buy her new book called Buying Facilitation® at her website. covering all relevant functions and levels.arguably an organizational development consultant helping the buying process). For more details about 'Buying Facilitation®' refer to the work of selling skills and sales training guru Sharon Drew Morgen.

. the traditional 'seven steps of the sale'. As such these modern ideas . and to align the relevant elements within their organisation or system or network.of facilitation especially . opportunities. they are instead a methodology or philosophy which can be woven into traditional processes. internal priorities. Please bear this in mind when considering the following.The integration of 'facilitative' methods within the traditional selling process must be accompanied by the appropriate change in philosophy and 'mind-set'. The 'facilitative' process can be re-introduced by the sales-person whenever the subsequent selling processes falters or threatens to go off track. so as to assess options. instead of being a course of action that results from influence or persuasion. etc. viability of proceeding further. outcomes. according to Morgen (and she is absolutely correct). It's a significant change of mind-set for the sales person. the sales person is acting as a 'trusted advisor'. updated for the 21st century. Modern selling should not focus on persuasion and influence.are not extra stages to be 'bolted-on' or added to traditional earlier selling or sales training structures. so as then to decide and implement the best way forward. which seeks to incorporate modern 'facilitative' selling ideas within traditional selling frameworks. etc. aimed mainly at helping the buyer to assess the situation. Modern selling should focus on helping the other person (and other people involved with the buying decision) to identify their decision-making criteria.particularly the preparation of carefully constructed 'facilitative questions'. understand the issues. rather than seeing the 'sale' as the priority. with facilitative methodology added. actions. The planning and preparation stage (step 1 in the 'seven steps) would then logically include planning and preparation of the facilitative approach . and for all those involved in sales training: genuinely helping people. might nowadays look like: the (seven) steps of the sale augmented with 'facilitative' methods: . The sale becomes an outcome of helping the other person. In this way. communications and decision-making aspects. For example.

for the good of the buyer. 7.good sales-people should continue to take responsibility for checking and ensuring proper sales follow-through The above sales process obviously entails a big investment on the part of the sales person.initially at preparation stage in understanding the depth and breadth and complexity and value of the opportunity.complex systems need help in arriving at good decisions after-sales follow-up . and also at the level of sales strategy in determining relevant prospect identification and qualification criteria. using facilitative questions questioning (obviously using facilitative questions . The amount of research conducted prior to contact with prospective customer should reflect the value of the opportunity. 3. 5. with particular reference to likelihood of success.if you are trying to overcome objections and persuade and influence at this stage then something's wrong close or closing .involves plenty of internal selling and ideally good project management skills . Deciding what opportunities warrant such investment is therefore an important part of the process .not old style persuasive 'closing' . planning and/or preparation including 2. 4. preparation of facilitative questions (research is also useful to avoid wasting time asking about things that can be researched first) introduction or opening.this should be modern collaborative cooperative agreement . and the prospect's ability (and the capability of prospect's organisation and systems) to assess.1.facilitating supplier fulfilment and client adoption of proposition or solution .helping to identify the buying criteria .using facilitative help where appropriate . agree and integrate the proposition . not the sales-person) presentation or proposition (only after prospect is ready for it) overcoming objections/negotiating . which is normally related to the size of the prospect organisation. and the selling organisation. 6.more appropriately these days using facilitative questioning and assistance to shape the proposition. and the .

especially largescale B2B selling. some aspects of these ideas and methods are certainly applicable to 'consumer' selling (B2C) and will be more so where order values are significant. It's useful therefore to incorporate this principle within sales training if you are seeking to build . the more research is warranted and necessary. Significantly. since much of the facilitative process involves shaping responses and communications and services from the supplier organisation. poet. However." (Edward Estlin Cummings. for example in selling property and large financial products. Research should be confined to the clear available facts and background information and should not lead the sales person to making assumptions.a truly effective and sustainable sales organisation. which defeats the point of using facilitative methods. 1894-1962.Cummings originally used the word 'who' instead of 'which'. Sales people who can do this possess the greatest selling ability of all. As implied in points 5 and 7 particularly.or help someone else build .) Again. written in 1938. . since these are all part of the system that needs to be able to assimilate the eventual solution.typical sales or contract order value. the sales-person's facilitative involvement and 'reach' must necessarily extend to partner organisations of the customer. In many situations. The integration of 'facilitative' methods within the traditional selling process must be accompanied by the appropriate change in philosophy and 'mind-set'. please remember . the sales person should possess strong 'internal selling' capabilities. adapted for modern times .Sharon Drew's Morgen's Buying Facilitation® is not a technique to add to conventional selling methods for the purpose of 'persuading' or 'influencing' the other person. The bigger the opportunity and complexity. as well as in the customer's organisation. The modern sales person's role is one of coordinating and facilitating an effective sustainable 'fit' between two very complex systems: the supplier's and the customer's. facilitative processes and methods can be used to excellent effect in achieving these things . This selling and sales training model is more appropriate for business-to-business selling (B2B) than consumer markets because of the higher values and greater complexities involved with B2B selling. and where buying decisions are more complex and protracted.inside the sales person's organisation. "Always the beautiful answer which asks a more beautiful question.

The aim is to help people. numbers and logic.because you are increasing your appreciation of how and why people prefer to make decisions and to buy. other people demonstrating sales and selling)? Do you prefer to experience it. The understanding of thinking and learning styles is also a very useful sales skill in its own right. lectures. here are some tips on how best to acquire and teach yourself selling skills. concepts and ideas? Understand your own personality and strengths. Much is free or very low cost. communicating and learning styles. and gain valuable sales experience that will help you in interviews for sales jobs. hands on? Do you prefer to read about it (books. or perhaps to start your own business. listen to audio-tapes or CD/DVD sales courses)? Do you prefer for example: system and process. online learning and training like the articles above)? Do you prefer to listen (attend talks. facts and figures. Then consider cost and feasibility of sales training and learning options that meet your most ideal method(s). Research what is available. videos. This will give you good indications as to your most effective selling style as well. First improve your understanding of which type(s) of learning and communications styles that you find most effective . This relates strongly to the style in which people prefer to receive sales information from a sales person. you will appreciate that other people each have their own preferred styles for learning and communicating and receiving information. you have already begun to increase your selling capability . By learning about this. especially if you want to start a career in selling. and the VAK learning styles and Kolb model to get an idea of your own preferred thinking.look at the Gardner's Multiple Intelligence theory. tips for gaining selling experience and learning sales skills (for people new to selling or seeking to teach themselves sales skills for a career in selling) If you want to learn selling skills for your own personal purposes. . people and feelings. Research is also a very important part of the selling skill set. Do you prefer to watch (films. In learning about your own style. instead of trying to persuade and influence them.

Attend talks and lectures or courses about selling . and especially when they call at your door. or call you on the phone. Read the newspapers and business supplements which contain articles about sales and selling. belief. business and marketing. Sales is not just about selling. psychology and communications. on the internet. Look out for free seminars which they use to promote their courses. and all of life. selling techniques and related theory information on the internet for free. Sales is about people and relationships.If you like to read about selling there is a wealth of sales training. Read all you can about behaviour and communications. Subscribe to sales and selling newsletters. Business and training exhibitions and magazines are very useful for identifying relevant providers and for adding your name to their mailing lists. Learning opportunities for improving your understanding of selling are all around you. Attending business and training exhibitions is a good way to meet people in the sales community. especially to the many good free enewsletters available from sales and selling websites. everywhere. quality. answer questions. equipment. business. overcome objections. build credibility. information. ethics and trust. at exhibitions. borrowed from friends or from a library.many are very low cost . magazines and articles. Learn from the good and less good things that you see other sales people exhibiting. self-confidence and attitude. Books are actually very inexpensive given all that they contain. It's easy to judge whether selling is good or not: did it result in a positive experience or a sale? Or did it result in a negative experience and a feeling that the prospective customer and the seller will never speak again? Get yourself onto the mailing lists of the sales training organisations. they demonstrate good and not so good sales techniques when they attempt to persuade. Give them time to show you how they sell. marketing and communications. to observe sales people a work. and to add your name to their mailing lists.some are free. especially if second-hand. Observe politicians and business people being interviewed on TV. . You will hear about them if you are on the mailings lists of organisations providing them. and other websites relating to behaviour. in books. etc. Also contact your local business chamber or local government business support unit for information about such events. If you like to listen and watch: observe sales people in selling roles in stores. processes.

Do it for yourself.many exist that exploit people's inexperience and people's desire to get into selling . and what market to sell to. process and systems.so be on your guard against these outrageous scams. and even then. equipment and ICT (information and communications technology). especially while driving. Start your own modest sales business . personal development and confidence. It doesn't matter what it is as long as you have an interest in it and enjoy it. buy or borrow sales training and communications audio-tapes and CDs and DVDs. marketing and business. anywhere that you can practice. schools. depending on your chosen product service. If you like to listen and learn. Give yourself experience in public speaking and debating.again you will be able to judge what is effective and what is not. And you do not need anyone to give you a sales job in order to start. and how. Sales and selling learning is not limited to sales techniques . ethics and philosophy.working from home.think carefully about what you want to sell. This comes from having done it.which I urge you to do if you cannot get the experience elsewhere . Start a home business and sell to local consumers and/or business people. Start simply and modestly. get advice from someone older and wiser. unless you are absolutely sure about what you are doing. relationships and psychology. Capability to speak and give sales presentations to groups is largely a question of experience and confidence. So start now. Offer to give presentations to local voluntary groups.listen to anything about communications and behaviour. You'll even make some money from the activity. and preferably that it has a reasonable demand and competitive advantage. learn and get experience of giving presentations.Join a debating society. Observe how people 'sell' their ideas and propositions . Aside from all this there is no substitute for experience . If you decide to start your own small sales business .. are also important parts of the selling .actually selling something. to whom. And it's free. This type of learning is the most valuable and well-respected (by future potential employers) of all. All these areas directly relate to and give depth to your sales and selling capabilities. Choice of what product/service to sell. Of course avoid ridiculous pyramid investment schemes . goals and aims. Do not be persuaded to part with money for stock or the purchase of a franchise or territory.

You must believe in what you are selling. Selling is about understanding how people and systems work. management. Start modestly. not just systems in the sense of tools and IT. and so this will also give you valuable experience in choosing good products or services that are worthy of your sales efforts and personal endorsement. people. Selling is after all mostly how you feel about yourself. products. You will soon develop skills. and confidence that will be desirable to many sales employers.beyond sales training alone . self-awareness. (By 'systems' I mean organisations and processes and relationships. etc. successful selling goes beyond 'sales training' Selling and sales training ideas.) Sales training of course addresses some of these issues. To be successful in selling does not necessarily require an employed sales position. and extend this principle to your people if you are a sales manager or coach. although you might quickly decide that you like the feeling of running your own sales business. Modern selling is about life. and from then on you will never need to find a sales job with an employer.capability. Develop your experience and understanding of organisations. are just part of the picture. Modern selling requires understanding and capabilities that extend way beyond traditional 'sales training' skills. and go make something happen. personality and psychology. programmes. start learning. and enabling good outcomes. Perhaps become an agent for a door to door sales organisation. and you will have started selling. and self-development that interest you. business (and increasingly ethical business and corporate responsibility). management and business . So feel good. and making things happen for yourself. Perhaps do some telesales work. attitude and belief.and you . behaviour. experience. since you have created one of your own. courses. Look at the marketing section to help you decide what to sell and to whom. You can do it for yourself if you want to. but not all of them.. communications. So consider and learn about other aspects of modern business.

selecting sales training providers and sales training programs There are many different ways to obtain sales training. When you select your sales training methods and providers it helps to follow a process . providers and programs available. the more effective you will be. (If you are a sales training provider you can create a profile and presence for yourself on the Space. tips and examples for training development. It's a highly valuable. which reflects the many different sales training methods. For example see the many interesting sales training providers featured on the free Space on Businessballs.and ideally to create a training specification rather than working purely from instinct. .) See also the theory. This is the role of the modern sales-person. if you are not already there. and motivation. See the many other concepts and materials on the main businessballs website. and to maximise the agreement and commitment among your team and others involved. and strive to become an enabler and a facilitator of good outcomes. how organisations work and how they are managed. methods and providers. for yourself. Here are some simple training selection guidelines. sales training programs. and to the organisational and business world generally. The more you understand about how people think. sought-after and transferable capability. The material above provides useful explanation about different methods of sales and selling. teambuilding. The template below will help you create a specification and selection process to find the right training methods and providers. in the form of a checklist template. Look beyond sales training and selling. for your sales team and for sales managers. courses. for specifying and choosing sales training courses.will greatly increase your value and effectiveness to employers and clients. It's free.

Get input from those with an interest in the sales training (stakeholders). Who are the stakeholders? 3. What are the timescales? 4. What will the sales training 'look like' and 'be like'? What difference will it make? How will you know if it has worked? Who is affected by the training? Who needs to have some input into what it aims to achieve and how? What do the trainees and other stakeholders want? For making the decision? For communicating it? For the training? For the follow-up? For the period of impact and assessment? Per head? Total? Cost breakdown: venue.You can of course adapt this template as a checklist and process for selecting any other training providers or support outside of sales training. training or support. What is your budget? . accommodation. sales training specification and selection and template main question issues and factors your answers or comments . 2. materials. What must your sales training achieve? Be able to write this down in the form of a specification using this template.cover all relevant points 1. design. Agree this specification with your boss and other stakeholders. These principles apply for selecting any sort of team development.

Preferably the cost must be understood in terms of the extra sales and profits that are expected to be derived from the investment. The Kirkpatrick model is a wonderfully simple. In light of the above. What are the preferred learning styles of the sale trainees? 8. how would you describe your ideal sales training provider and/or methods? Consider the values and philosophy right through to the materials. and type of service and contact you expect? Consider also how the providers will measure and report to you on the progress of the training. delivery and follow-up. media. size and scale. What are the characteristics that your sales training provider or method must possess? . If expectations are vague then you will not know that the training has been successful. easy and highly regarded method of identifying and evaluating training aims and effectiveness. and you will not be able to hold the provider or the sales training program responsible for clear deliverables and outcomes. It is especially useful for sales training.delivery. Use the free VAK and/or multiple intelligence tests. What flexibilities to change dates and numbers exist? What are your contractual 7. evaluation and assessment? Cost of people's time and travel? Cost as a percentage of improved performance? 6.ask the trainees involve them in finding out. Don't guess . How will you measure the success of your sales training? How will your boss measure it's success? How will your people measure it? This must be clear and truly measurable.

9.commitments? What are the payment arrangements? What certification or accreditations must apply to the provider.aim high many great people are actually very approachable and not as costly as you might fear. and also to the training outcomes. How much can the team itself provide? Everyone has something to teach . Can your shortlisted providers meet your people to see what they make of each other? 12. How can you assess the quality and suitability of potential sales training providers? 11.and people enjoy being given the chance to teach and inspire others.and this of course helps develop great relationships too. Other sister companies and divisions? Your customers? Buyers and Directors of your customers are potentially very enthusiastic and very capable teachers of your sales people .seek out the leadingedge? Writers and gurus . and helping to ensure there is a good fit? Ask the potential providers and 10. Where can you find suitable sales training providers? Referrals? Directories and listings? Past providers who have been successful and well-liked? Suggestions from your team? Universities . Other points? . Referrals and recommendations? Case-studies? Demonstration or guarantees of return on investment? Try to achieve buy-in from your team and offer involvement to them in the selection and decision process? Is the provider happy to speculate time getting to know your people.

SPIN® Selling. Heiman. Tuleja .Neil Rackham's best-selling book on selling.Successful Large Account Management Miller Heiman's 1991 LAMP® large account management and selling methodology classic. updated for the 21st century as The New Strategic Selling®. Heiman. Neil Rackham .and communicate with people. you'll benefit by augmenting the thinking within it with modern facilitative ideas. again.Selling with Integrity (1997) . updated for the modern age.Dale Carnegie's 1937 classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People is still a best-selling book on sales and persuasion. You'll benefit by augmenting the thinking within it with the modern ideas about facilitative communications and methods. There are different editions and prices (1988 and 1995) and audio books.your team to suggest any other important considerations before selecting your methods and providers. selling books and authors referenced on this page Sharon Drew Morgen . Again. which first announced the SPIN® Selling process. Sharon Drew Morgen . Miller.powerful ideas for the modern age. Dale Carnegie . Sanchez. you'll benefit by augmenting the thinking within it with modern facilitative ideas. selling books and authors referenced on this page .Buying Facilitation® (ebook .The 1985 classic selling book (Strategic Selling) 'introduced' the win-win concept of selling. Again.Sales on the Line (1993) . Sharon Drew Morgen .the best book ever on telephone selling? Probably.The New Strategic Selling .will fundamentally change the way you sell .SPIN Selling® .How to Win Friends and Influence People .2003) . Tuleja .

It will take you 90 minutes to absorb it and could change the way you think about sales for ever. Available as an e-book. .direct from her website.Sharon Drew Morgen's Buying Facilitation . paperback book or audio book.

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