Steps in the Selling Process
Step 1. Prospecting and
Step 2. Pre-approach
Step 3. Approach
Step 4. Presentation/
Identifying and Screening
For Qualified Potential
Learning As Much As Possible
About a Prospective Customer
Before Making a Sales Call.
Knowing How to Meet the Buyer
to Get the Relationship Off
to a Good Start.
Telling the Product “Story”
to the Buyer, and Showing the
Steps in the Selling Process
Step 5. Handling
Seeking Out, Clarifying,
Customer Objections to
Step 6. Closing
Asking the Customer
for the Order.
Step 7. Follow-Up
Following Up After the Sale to
Ensure Customer Satisfaction
and Repeat Business.
Identify and Qualifying
likely new customers
Qualifying: Evaluating a
The process of collecting customer
data and checking lead parameters
to make them qualify as prospects is
referred as Prospecting.
Prospecting is the first in selling process and
involves the search and identification of potential
customers who may be willing to buy a product
and have the ability to do so.
Information about prospects can be obtained
form four different sources - external, internal,
personal and miscellaneous contacts.
The salespersons use different techniques to get
information form external, internal, personal and
PROCESS OF PROSPECTING
A successful salesperson effectively
utilizes the selling time by distinguishing
the prospects from the suspects.
A salesperson identifies three sets of
customers at the stage of prospecting –
lead customer, prospect customer and
Lead customers – Customers with a desire
and a need to purchase the product but
no or inadequate purchasing power.
Prospect customers – are the buying units
who have a current demand for the
product and can get substantial benefit
through the acquisition of the product.
Qualified customers – are those who have
a need for the product or services in offer
and have the ability to buy them, but
need further persuasion.
Prospecting involves a series of steps.
The salesperson searches for customers with
unmet needs or needs that are not fully met by
the existing product consumption habits.
In the process of prospecting the salesperson
can save his time and effort by differentiating
‘leads’ from ‘prospects’ so that optimum efforts
can be put for realizing sales.
Process of prospecting
Identify and define prospects
Search for sources of potential
Qualify the prospects from the
Step 1 - He has to identify the attributes and
features of the prospects, which may include the
urgency of the need for the product, availability
to make payments, expectations and practices of
credit payments etc,.
Step 2 – The sources can be primary or
Step 3 - The next task is to distinguish the
prospects from the suspects and then to
determine the probable requirement of the
By an effective prospecting process, the
sales person can build his sales strategies
and methods to handle customer
objections and satisfy their needs.
The salesperson can ask three questions
To determine whether the individual or
organization is a qualified prospect.
M-money to buy?
A-authority to buy?
D- desire to buy?
Methods of prospecting
Endless chain customer referral
Prospect pool- Leads- Referrals- OrphansCustomers
Centers of influence
Non competing sales force
Observation- Bird Dog
Friends and acquaintances
Lists and directories
Trade shows and demonstrations
Pre – Approach
Before the sales person approaches the
customers for a sale, it is necessary to develop a
sales strategy by collecting customer data and
combining them with the product attributes as a
fit for satisfying the individual and organizational
A pre approach selling strategy for each prospect
requires a clear understanding of his personal
characteristics and needs.
The need - benefit match is the most essential
process of developing a sales strategy.
The product in the last stage and introductory
stage of product life stage needs to be treated
The major benefits of doing pre – sale planning
are to build up a high level of self confidence
before meeting the customer, develop an
atmosphere of goodwill and trust, help create an
image of professionalism, and to increase the
scope of achieving higher sales.
Approach to the
In this stage the salesperson tries to get
customer attention and generates interest in
It is necessary to fix an appointment with the
The goals of sales approach can be summarized
as – getting prospects attention, removing any
inhibitions, gaining prospects attention and
confidence, probing for benefits and arousing
their interest for hearing the presentation.
The various approaches used for
this purpose are
company and himself.
Hands over the
product to the
Here the salesperson presents his products and
services before the prospect and makes effort to
create and modify their interest into sales
The presentation should always be made keeping
in mind the interest level of the customer, nature
of product and the time available.
In a typical presentation a customer accepts,
objects, counters, demands an explanation,
stays indifferent, doubts the product or gives no
- approach to sales presentation
- attracting customer attention
- creating interest
- arousing desire and building
•Use FAB approach: Features, Advantages,
Handling Customer Objections
Objections are many times excuses for not
Objection normally pause the sales process
because the customer either has not fully
understood the product and its benefits, or is
not fully in agreement with the sales person.
An objection is always interrupted as ‘I am not
yet ready for the real buying.’
Objections may take the form of doubts, minor
objections and major objections.
The major complaint from customers is
often a disadvantage in the product when
applied to the prospects mind.
Objections provide valuable feedback.
An objection is the prospects way of
asking more reasons of buying.
It also helps to reclassify the customers
from the point of view of ability to
buy, needs(stated and latent) and
authority to buy.
Salesperson should concede
strategically as follows
• Start with your highest expectations
• Avoid conceding first
• Be sure the customer understands the value
of a concession
• Make concessions in small amounts
• Admit mistakes and make corrections
• BE prepared to withdraw a concession
• Do not advertise willingness to concede
Methods of handling customer
Superior feature method
Reverse English method
Indirect denial method
Pass out method
Direct denial method
Another angle method
Question or WHY method
Closing the Sale
Closing the sale is the goal of any selling
How many benefits are sufficient to close a sale?
Customers do not come out positively to offer a
Hence it is important to use closing techniques.
Methods of Closing the Sale
Assumptive close – assumes that the sale
Negative close – occurs when the
salesperson urges the customer to buy
Special concession close – is common in
Caution method – the salesperson first
makes the customer cautious about the
availability of the product and then
suggests the close.
Implied consent method – the salesperson
believes that the customer is satisfied
with the presentation and may place the
Special induced method – the salesperson
reminds the customer about the about the
Direct order method – the customer will come
forward to place the order without any further
Choice narrowing method – the salesperson
presents the a product with its various
Ownership suggestion method – the salesperson
suggests the customer to buy the product to
impress upon social standing.
Advantages and Disadvantages comparison
method – the salesperson asks the customer to
compare his own products with that of the
competitors on objective basis.
Emotional method – the salesperson creates
emotions on matters of social interest.
This helps the salesperson to evaluate the
competitive sales moves, generate additional
leads from satisfied customers and also help the
company in the idea of cross selling and
A follow up generally begins by thanking the
customer and helps in maintaining goodwill and
taking corrective actions for the promises made
during the sales presentation and discrepancy
The salesperson should also do a post call self
evaluation to identify personal strength and
weakness in the product and company
knowledge and selling skills that need attention
After-sales service is an important part of the
selling process and ensures that it paves the
way for building confidence and establishing
relationship with customers for future revenues.
Issues in different types of selling
1) Understanding customer types
through different Selling Styles;
Trade selling – the role of the salesperson is to
improve company’s sales volume by providing
They help retailers who are the customers of the
manufacturers in their promotional efforts.
Missionary selling – the prime responsibility of a
missionary sales person is to promote the
product to the indirect customers of the
manufacturer and encourage them to buy from
the manufacturers direct customers.
Eg – Medical representatives
Technical selling – Technical salesperson have
specialized knowledge in their field, which helps
them provide technical assistance to customers.
These salesperson cater to the needs of existing
customers and advice them on the
characteristics of the product.
Eg: Elevators and Escalators, Otis, Kone
New Business selling – the company
salesperson makes cold calls on prospects
and try to convert them into customers.
2) Finding Customers – Prospecting, that is
searching for new customers is the most
important and difficult task in personal selling.
In organizational sales, salespersons also have
additional challenge of identifying the people who
influence the purchasing process in the
3) Searching customers – After identifying
prospects the salesperson has to research
prospects to learn their tastes, preference and
Conducting detailed research of customers
attitudes and buying habits helps the company to
develop products that will appeal to potential
4) Communicating Effectively – Personal
selling is an effective form of two way
The intended message can be customized
according to customers requirement.
The effectiveness of company’s communication
to its customers depends on the communication
skills of its sales force.
5) Providing Customer Service – With the
advancement of internet and other technologies,
the customers are now more demanding than
ever. They can dictate terms to the sellers.
Companies are now using software tools such as
CRM to establish and maintain better
relationships with the customers.
The main strategy is to maximize long term
customer value and concentrate on serving them
6) Creating Customer Satisfaction –
Maintaining high level of customer satisfaction is
very essential if a company wants to sustain
itself in the market for a longer time.
Customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty.
Usually, companies have three types of
customers – Distress, Just satisfied & Delighted