Monday, May 18, 2009

What is Selling? How to Sell Effectively?

Any effective sales organization needs a team of pro-active sales professionals.

In order to sell effectively and close more sales, we need to understand the buying process in our customers' heads first. There are 4 steps in the Buy-Learning process: Need, Learn, Buy, Value. Once we understand the Buy-Learning process, we will know what role we will need to play.

First, sales professionals need to understand that customers will only buy when they feel the "Need". What changes are occurring? How serious is the problem? During "Needs" discovery, sales professionals should be students - Study the customer, his competition, change and approach high probability prospects. When the customers are discontent, sales professionals need to be the doctors - diagnose the discontent and uncover important needs.

Secondly, customers are moving to the Learn step. They may do research, what will fix my problem? Then compare - Who offers the best solution? During this step, sales professionals need to be the architects and coaches. The architects design customer-focused solutions that set the ground rules in your favor. The coaches apply competitive sales strategies and present compelling solutions.

Thirdly, customers will move to the Buying stage. They may have fear. What are the risks of buying? During this stage, sales professionals need to put on their therapists' hats, in order to understand and resolve the buyers' fears. Next, put on the Negotiators' hats to prepare and apply win/win strategies to reach an agreement.

Lastly, the customers will see the value - Where are my results? Am I satisfied? Sales professionals need to be the teachers, set customer expectations and teach the customers to achieve maximum value. Finally, put the farmers' hats - nourish the customers' satisfaction in order to grow the accounts.


I have been in sales for over 15 years across various industries. This is what I have learned from Kevin Davis. When you apply these tools and really focus on customers, you will close more sales while balancing customer's satisfaction.

To hire sales professionals more effectively, we need to hire someone with the drive, someone with the "can-do" attitude, who won't take "no" for an answer. In the meantime, they need to be customer-oriented, with superior customer service, resulting in more referrals and stronger customer retention. Product knowledge is also important, but it can be trained far more easily.