12 Things You Need To Know About The Sales Process – It’s a Dance!

Dave Marciniak Marketing

In any sales dialog, there will be some back and forth, give and take, and negotiation. When you ask someone if they would like to buy something from you, you are essentially saying, “Do you want to dance?” or even better “¿Quieres bailar?” (spanish). Really what you need to know about the sales process, are these 12 points.

There are 4 main pieces of information that you need to get from your prospect:

  • Pain – What problem do they have, and how big is it?
  • Budget – How much are they willing to invest to take care of the problem?
  • Time Frame – When do they need this done? Expectations for a start and end date?
  • Decision Maker – Who is making the decision. Is it one person or two? A committee or CEO?  husband and wife? etc.

There are 4 main questions that your prospect needs you to answer:

  • Will this solve my problem?
  • Can I trust you?
  • Will you complete this on time and on budget?
  • Do I understand what I am purchasing?

There are a couple of problems with this:

  1. Your prospect doesn’t want to offer up any of the information that you need
  2. You want your actions to answer all of their questions, without having to verbalize or spell it out for them in words

(Why this is, I don’t know, but it just is!)

Let’s take budget for example. It feels like whoever says a price first loses!

  • Contractor: What’s your budget?”
  • Prospect: “How much will it cost?”
  • Contractor: “It depends on the work and how much you are willing to invest” (most sales people will ask you how much do you want to spend.)
  • Prospect: “I don’t know.”

And so we dance…

The conversation comes to a halt until one of you finally offers up the first number. Then the dance continues as you try to negotiate up or down based on which position you are in, but it never seems like a win-win situation. The way to get around all of this is to close the deal BEFORE you get to these questions.

There are 4 main things you can do to address all of this:

  • Figure out the pain points, the need you are filling, and focus as much as you can on how this will help them.
  • Ask when they would like the work to start and end, and make sure you affirm what they say (if it is realistic)
  • Make sure you are selling to the right people. If you are talking to just a husband, but he and his wife are both making the decision about replacing the kitchen, you need to make sure she is on board. You can sell her better than her husband can, so try to meet with both of them.
  • Make sure they understand exactly what they are buying.

This does not have to be a long process. You can sometimes gather this information and establish the relationship in one or two meetings. If you can communicate all of this upfront, when you finally get to the question of budget and proposal, your prospect will be much more comfortable closing the deal.

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About the Author

Dave Marciniak

I started in the industry in high school and then moved to San Diego which was the source of two revelations. I worked for a firm doing amazing estates on the coast learning a little about everything from masonry to irrigation to electrical. I later ran the grounds crew for the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, which is where I discovered how amazing modern architecture can be. I later moved to Virginia and worked for an amazing landscape design-build firm for three years before hanging out a shingle and starting my own firm.

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