Sales process

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  • Marketing starts with segmentation and sales starts with prospecting.Sales can be seen as a 3 step process. The first step is identifying qualified prospects within the niche in which you have chosen to establish himself.The next step is “Getting in the Door”. This appears to be the biggest challenge for most sales people. At this stage you make your first contact with the prospect. Since the sales man is an unwanted intruder, the rejection rate is quite high at this stage. This undesired rejection makes a lot of sales people dislike this step.The last step and the most crucial step is “Staying in the door”. This determines the success or failure of the sales person. Successful sales people are able to stick around with their customers and get repeat business from them.
  • This has been discussed earlier in detail. Generate leads or database of suspects from within your segment. Create a criteria for qualifying suspects into prospects. Run your suspect list through this criteria and create a shortlisted names of prospects.
  • Now that you know your prospects, you have 2 means of contacting them.TelephoneWritten CommunicationYour first contact with the prospect is called a COLD Call. Remember that the purpose of a cold call is not make a sale. The only goal of this call should be to convert the prospect into a WARM call.It is advisable to first send a written communication to your contacts. This could be through EMAIL or Written letter. The agents should send a professional letter introducing themselves as NICHE Agent and explaining the special services that they offer.Later the prospect can be contacted through telephone. NEVER call the prospect and ask if he has received your email/letter. He might say NO and that could be the end of your conversation.A lot of success in cold calling depends on your OPENING STATEMENT. A thumb rule is that you should prepare and rehearse an opening statement that is no longer than 8 seconds. Start your call with an introduction of the person who picks up the phone. For example, Is it Mr Singh or can I speak to Mr Singh or Am I speaking to Mr Singh. Make it sound as conversational as possible. It should sound as some acquaintance is calling and not a telecaller.Exchange pleasantries like how are you doing? Or hope you are doing good.Follow it with a HOOK – A hook is a statement, that would startle the listener and generate his interest in the call. It can be something which attracts him with value that you can offer to him. For example, I am helping over 200 young couples in achieving financial independence or I am working top 30 industrialists of our city in financial risk planning, etc. The hook should get the person interested and the prospect should look forward to hearing more from you. Typically after the hook prospect would tell himself, this caller sounds different, let’s hear what can he do for me.Then introduce yourself and/or your company/profession. For example, My name is Rajeev Gupta & I’m a personal wealth manager.End your opening with a question. For example, will you like to discuss how you can achieve financial independence in just 3 steps or will you like to know learn more about how these industrialists use their money to become richer.Throughout these opening statements, you are looking forward to a favorable INTERRUPTION. Remember, the prospect who interrupts and asks you to repeat something or raises a counter question has been HOOKED in and has become a warm prospect.CONGRATULATIONS. You’ve successfully entered right through your prospects door.
  • Now the next challenge is STAYING INSIDE. This would require a series of steps.
  • Explain Probing.
  • When you explain “So What” refer to the FAB principle. i.e. agent should not explain the features of the product to customer. Rather he should tell the customer, how these features would translate into an advantage and what benefit would the advantage bring to the customer (in his specific situation). Testimonials are the favorable statements of your past customers, which you quote to your future prospect to get their trust and confidence.
  • Explain that objections are not bad. They are rather an opportunity the customer is offering himself, in order for you to convince him;
  • FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real
  • For example, if the client says – “Oh wow. I never thought that a simple investment of Rs 2000 per month would save Rs 20 lakh for my daughters education.” Tell him, “If you have other friends also who have kids of your age, you could help them too by the same advise. Do let me know if any of them could benefit from it.”Reward the client – You can create a reward system for your clients who give references... Formal or Informal.Example of Formal Rewards – For every 3 references that mature, we will give you a premium waiver or a complimentary domestic holiday.Example of Informal Rewards – A small gift/sovenir with a thank you letter.
  • Explain when and how to take testimonials.
  • All agents start their career selling insurance using the standard selling process. At some stage in your career you realise, that your time’s worth is more than the small policy that you sold at the last meeting. If you’re facing the same challenge, it is time you change your sales approach.Start selling to special customers. Selling to special customers, means you are taking a conscious decision by choosing to work with fewer customers. These fewer customers are likely to consume a lot of your time. But these fewer customers will give you bigger business.You know the customer is a special customer, if the emphasis on FINANCIAL GOALS makes the customer look up.Ranjan is a successful agent, who became CLIA. That day he took the decision to stop offering any discounts to his customers. It was a tough call, but he discovered the way forward. Now whenever someone asks him for a discount, he politely tells them he does not specialize in giving low cost solutions. Moreover, he offers them telephone numbers of some agents who might be able to give better prices. Every customer who hears this starts seeing Ranjan as a more respect worthy agent and responds in either of 2 ways:No discount is not my priority too, if you can give me a superior solution.Gladly accepts the alternative numbers of one of the agents from Ranjan’s team.Both ways Ranjan is able to attract, high value business directly and low value business by giving such references to his agents team.
  • Typically there can be 2 approaches of selling. The vendor approach or the consultants approach.The vendor would try to convince his customer to buy a particular product. Whereas the consultant will try to increase the profits of the customer a combination of his and other products.The vendor will propose a discount to beat the competition. A consultant will propose better results, higher profitability and hence increased RoI over the competitors.Vendor will insist on closing the sale as soon as possible. A consultant will allow the customer to choose when and how the sale should be closed.If you want to sell to special customers, then you need to change your approach from a vendor approach to a consultant approach. This would be possible only when you sacrifice you short term profits to create a FINANCIAL IMPACT on the customer.
  • The Process of Consultative SellingContact – Identify the Prospective customer and fix your first meeting as a simple discovery meeting.Qualify – From your first meeting identify the buyers buying influences (What will be his motivation to buy). On basis of this qualify the prospect.Uncover Needs – Do a detailed study of the prospect and possible solutions and then come up with a pencil solution. Share the pencil solution with the prospect and see if this is the kind of solution he is looking for.Present – Make a detailed proposal, presentation and a service level agreement (SLA) for the customer.Close – Get the customer to sign the agreement.Now treat the customer and protect his interests like a partner.
  • Everyone owns and uses some small appliances at home like a toaster. We use them every day, but rarely remember their brand. We all know what it looks like and how it operates, but generally can't remember who the manufacturer is... until it breaks. When it breaks, we check what brand it is. We now decide whether we want to purchase the same brand or try a different brand altogether. It takes a problem to draw our attention to the brand - and until that time, since we aren't really aware of the brand we're using, one brand is as good as another!Insurance agents are also like toasters. Policyholders don't think about them until something breaks - that is, until there's a claim. Once there's a claim, you have the ability to really shine. You're responsive and concerned. You to expedite things and look out for policyholder's interests. You end up creating more of a relationship with your clients. When there's a claim, you get the opportunity to really shine in the eyes of the policyholder. The problem arises when everything is going well!When all is well and there aren't any claims (which is most of the time), you aren't thought of. And when you aren't thought of, your clients are easily persuaded to consider using another agent or finding a better rate. The real challenge with keeping clients isn't mishandling a claim. It's being faceless. The danger lies in being a nameless toaster.
  • Sales process

    1. 1. Prospecting Getting In the Door Staying In the Door
    2. 2.  Initiate the Contact  Telephone  Written Communication  8 Seconds Opening  Introduction  Pleasantry  Hook  Name  Ending Question (Get a favorable Interruption)
    3. 3. Probing Sales Presentation Objection Handling ClosingThe Sale Follow Up
    4. 4.  Process of asking questions to uncover the prospect’s needs to be able to present a solution that addresses his problem.  Through open ended questions, try to uncover benefits important to your customer.  Don’t Be afraid of asking questions because probing helps in  Building rapport with the client  Identify his stated and hidden needs  Increase customer’s comfort zone
    5. 5.  Be on time & prepare. Have your visiting card, sales brochures, etc ready.  Impress the customer with your good grooming & etiquettes.  Be excited about what you’re offering.  Ask yourself, “SoWhat” before you explain each feature of your product.  Use testimonials of your past customers  Don’t confuse him by giving too many options.
    6. 6.  Objections indicate that the sale is progressing and the customer is considering your product.  Disguised as objection, is a hint on how he will buy.  Anticipate objections that are likely to be raised and rehearse the answers.  I want to think over it  I will discuss with the decision maker  Not ready to buy now  You’re too expensive
    7. 7. Found – Unless he tried and found otherwise Felt – Someone else also felt the same Feel -Tell you know how they feel Acknowledge -Their statement Clarify - Ask what do you mean.
    8. 8. Most Common Objection  What price can you afford?  What would you be willing to pay?  What did you have in mind?  How much “too expensive” is it?  If the price was not an issue would you go with this? You’re too expensive
    9. 9.  RecognizeThe Buying Signals • Verbal ▪ Starts asking questions of his concern like rates, guarantees, delivery ▪ Tells about the problems he is facing with his present or past vendor ▪ Asks you to repeat certain parameters • NonVerbal –Thinking or speaking fast  Don’t delay the closing for the FEAR of losing the sale  Sell onTangibles but close on Intangibles  The best way to formalize a new business relationship is to encourage the prospect to tell you what to do next
    10. 10.  Not all sales are closed on Day 1  Make the most of every prospect. Don’t throw away a single lead  Follow up never makes you sound Pushy, your tone of follow up might  Don’t make too many calls within a brief period of time  Make a follow up schedule and stick to it  Focus on value addition in each follow up  In your follow up get commitment to the next step  Follow up after closing the sale and delivering the product too.
    11. 11.  Seek references from your suspects , prospects & customers  The best time to seek a reference is when you’ve don’t something special for them or they have given you a compliment  Tell your client who could be a possible reference  Reward the client
    12. 12.  Seek a testimonial only if you have done a significant value addition to the customer.  If you see the customer praising you, your products or your organization, instantly request for a testimonial on a blanks sheet or his letter head.  Add the testimonial to your prospect letters, website, etc.
    13. 13. Let’s talk about your Financial Goals and here’s how we can help you meet your goals.
    14. 14. VENDOR  Supplies PRODUCTS  Offers a DISCOUNT  Tries to close the sale CONSULTANT  Supplies PROFITS  Offers Return on Investment  Allows the customer to close the sale STOP SELLING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AND START SELLINGTHE FINANCIAL IMPACTTHEY CAN MAKE.
    15. 15. Contact Prospect First Contact Qualify Buying Influences Uncover Needs Survey Pencil Solution Present Proposal Close Agreement P A R T N E R
    16. 16.  No body knows how good or bad is an agent unless there is a claim.  If everything is GOOD, the customer can be persuaded to consider other agents or better rates.  The real challenge in retaining the clients is BEING FACELESS.

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