Perfect Selling

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IN THIS SUMMARY
A successful sales call takes talent and effort. Marketing, sales strategy, preparation, technical expertise, business knowledge, keeping pace with technology, fast access to accurate information, drive, and the ability to tap into all available company resources are all critical factors for success. In Perfect Selling, Linda Richardson presents a five step plan for success and suggests that nothing can have a greater impact on increasing sales results than improving what happens when a salesperson and customer are “in the moment” during the sales call. Throughout her book, she explores the five steps in great detail that will serve as a road map for all future sales calls.

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Perfect Selling

  1. 2. PERFECT SELLING Open The Door. Close The Deal. AUTHORS: Linda Richardson PUBLISHER: The McGraw-Hill Companies DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2008 174 pages
  2. 3. FEATURES OF THE BOOK In Perfect Selling , Linda Richardson provides a primer that can be used by new salespeople to gain insights into the anatomy of a sales call, as well as by experienced salespeople who are looking for tips and pointers to help move them to the next phase of their career. With step-by-step instructions and worksheets and planners at the end of every chapter, this book can become a personal guide through the sales process.
  3. 4. THE BIG IDEA In order to turn a sales call into perfect selling, there are five steps to take during the call that should be second nature to any member of a sales team. A salesperson should follow these five steps for sales success .
  4. 5. INTRODUCTION A successful sales call takes talent and effort. Marketing, sales strategy, preparation, technical expertise, business knowledge, keeping pace with technology, fast access to accurate information, drive, and the ability to tap into all available company resources are all critical factors for success. In Perfect Selling , Linda Richardson presents a five step plan for success and suggests that nothing can have a greater impact on increasing sales results than improving what happens when a salesperson and customer are “in the moment” during the sales call.
  5. 6. WHY THIS BOOK? During a sales call, it is imperative that decisions about where to go and what to say next are made quickly. These decisions often occur under pressure, as well. The key to success in these situations is to make wise but fast decisions even when a customer throws a curveball . Understanding the five steps provides a basis for improvisation when necessary and the opportunity to remain composed and control - even when improvising.
  6. 7. STEP ONE: CONNECT The opening portion of the call is the time to connect by building rapport , previewing the content of the call, setting the tone, and reading and being read by the customer. How this time is used sends a clear message about the salesperson and what the customer can expect from the rest of the call. Unfortunately, too many salespeople go through this part of the call with little rhyme or reason, allowing the opening to take its own course versus accomplishing a few key things to help get the call off to a good start.
  7. 8. STEP TWO: EXPLORE Questioning a customer is harder than it sounds since it takes patience to listen and an awareness to resist the urge to jump in with an answer or point of view. Good questions can help unearth needs and, when used skillfully, can also help the salesperson direct the customer’s thinking. Quality questions will also add value to the conversation and help further establish rapport .
  8. 9. STEP TWO: EXPLORE <ul><li>Salespeople often get into trouble with questions in one or more of the following ways: </li></ul><ul><li>Presenting too early </li></ul><ul><li>Asking too few questions </li></ul><ul><li>Asking questions without a logical flow </li></ul><ul><li>Skimming the surface </li></ul><ul><li>Good questioning requires discipline. It requires having a structure to the flow of the questioning that is organized and builds on itself. </li></ul>
  9. 10. STEP THREE: LEVERAGE By thoroughly probing customers’ wants and needs and taking the time to understand their goals and objectives, salespeople place themselves in a position to leverage that knowledge to personalize the product discussion. Leveraging is the step in the sales call where the salesperson will do most, but not all, of the talking. Because of all the information gathered, this discussion can be framed using the customer’s language.
  10. 11. STEP THREE: LEVERAGE Many salespeople make the mistake of describing their products as if none of their previous conversations with the customer had taken place. Richardson believes that product description is not a conversation , but a translation . It is the salesperson translating or leveraging those previous conversations to present the product in a way that will best showcase how it fits the customer’s needs.
  11. 12. STEP FOUR: RESOLVE Many salespeople view objections as road blocks, but in actuality customer objectives can present the perfect opportunity to move the sale forward. To be fair, customer resistance can be a wild card because it can occur at any point in the sales call. In the ideal world, these objections are raised about midway through the sales call, because then there is ample time to resolve them. When customers object, “ there is a human dynamic going on .” Therefore, it is not just the content of the answer but how the answer is positioned and delivered that persuades customers.
  12. 13. STEP FIVE: ACT With so much at stake, many salespeople are reluctant to close. They do not want to risk shutting off the dialogue and do not want to be viewed as too aggressive or pushy. However, the objective for any sales call “ is to nail down a much more specific next step for the salesperson and customer such as a date and time to move forward in the next phase or milestone in the sales cycle .”
  13. 14. EXTRAORDINARY BUT FAST PREPARATION When probing questions are asked and the answers are internalized, the sales call can be a goldmine for identifying needs. But what is known before going into the sales call is essential in order to leverage the five steps of the sales call . Comb through traditional reports and databases as well as the Web to learn more about the customer. Look at the customer’s website and learn about the organization and its key executives. Look for key phrases and words that they use over and over.
  14. 15. EXTRAORDINARY BUT FAST PREPARATION Use the five steps to prepare . Walk through each of the steps and the associated actions prior to walking through the customer’s door. If part of a sales team, debrief after the call by using this same process.
  15. 16. Business Book Summaries is a product of EBSCO Publishing. The website is updated weekly with 4 to 5 new summaries chosen from among the top business books printed in the United States. For more information or to sign up for the weekly newsletter, please visit http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BIZSUM.COM

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