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The Sales Buzz Issue 191 - Sales Steps – Why you should make them small
February 05, 2013

In this week's Sales Buzz:

Sales steps: If you lock your products away the customer will not ask you for the key. They will not take that next step in the selling process and you will lose the sale. Check out this example...

Sales Steps – Why you should make them small

If you put your products where your customers can’t get to them without taking big sales steps you will stop them buying.

In all types of selling I see people who give a great introductions.

Catch the attention of their prospect, and get them taking steps towards closing the deal.

Then they make the mistake of expecting the buyer to take a huge step to the next stage.

That’s where objections and rejections arise and they lose the sale.

In face to face selling such as direct or B2B selling this can be a smooth presentation followed by a big closing question before a trial close or any type of agreement has been gained. It’s just too big a step, the seller needs to add some smaller steps to keep the buyer moving forward.

In telesales it can be a nice introduction that gets the prospects attention followed by a leap into a presentation. No questioning, no rapport building, just a great long stride that stops the customer i their tracks. They are not willing to take that action.

Here’s an example from retail sales...

In a large antiques and collectibles showroom the display stalls are laid out in rows and are full of fabulous and interesting items. As you walk down each row and check out the fascinating items on display you just never know what you are going to find.

The variety of objects for sale, the colours, and the unusual items from a different age, all work to put customers on the first step of the retail sales path, they catch their attention.

Then the next step, customer takes a closer look and their interest has been taken.

They are moving closer to the buying state, the steps along the path that are close to the close.

The more valuable and smaller items are in glass cabinets that are locked.

The potential customer looks around for the owner of the stall.

They want to know more, they want to feel the object, smell the oldness of the antiques.

They want someone to present the benefits of the piece that has caught their attention and taken their interest.

But there are no stall owners, no sales people to assist them just a note on top of all the cabinets that says:

'If you want to take a closer look at the items in the cabinets please go to the security desk and they will be pleased to assist you.'

That step in the sales process is too big.

The security desk is back at the entrance of the main hall. There are sales rooms on different floors and along corridors. Do they really expect a customer to find their way back to security and ask someone to find the right key and follow them back to a stall to open a cabinet.

It’s not the security guy’s stall and he will know nothing about the items on display. He won’t be able to negotiate prices or show benefits.

The customer was half way along the buying path towards a buying state. Once they see the sign the objections arise in the form of reasons why they will not be going to look for someone with the key.

The system just doesn’t work. Sales will be rare. Selling opportunities will be missed, and customers will be put off coming back.

No matter what type of sales role you are in, make it easy for your customers to buy. Make the steps along the path to the close small and easy to take. Check out more sales tips at Sales Tips...

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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