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The art of selling in six simple steps

There is no finer talent for a business owner to possess than the skill of making a sale. As the business grows you may decide to outsource the sales function but at the beginning, making a sale is on your ‘to do’ list. Here are six simple steps that will turn prospects into clients and leads into revenue.

1. Listen – the King of the Jungle and the first rule in the sales book. Start the meeting with light banter but as soon as you can, encourage your potential client to talk. Ask questions. Then ask more questions. Listen as if listening was going out of fashion. The more you know about your potential client, the more you’ll know about their needs and how your product/service can help. Only once you understand their position are you ready to talk about what you do.

2. Mirror – not in movement, but in manner. I’m not suggesting you copy the other person’s every move (this can seem contrived), it’s more a case of taking into account their manner and reflecting this in your own. If the person you’re meeting is softly spoken, best not to shout. If they are gregarious, let your own personality shine.

3. Affirm – play back what your potential client has said. This will ensure you have properly understood their needs and will demonstrate that you have listened.

4. Confirm – with a clear understanding of requirements, confirm how you are able to help. Do this with clarity and confidence. Show how your offer will plug gaps, deliver return and meet objectives.

5. Depart – if the client is happy with what you’re suggesting and signs up to a sale, then bring the meeting to an end. Resist the temptation to outstay your welcome!

6. Deliver – now it’s time to deliver on what’s been promised. Send a courtesy note to thank the new client for their time, confirm in writing what was agreed and start work.

With a solid first contract under your belt, there will be time to develop the relationship; building chemistry and finding common connections. This will encourage customer loyalty and you’ll ideally be in the position of never having to feel like you’re ‘selling’ to that client again!

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About the Author:

About the Author: Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home

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About Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire. Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch. Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [www.enterprisenation.com], the home business website, in January 2006. The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast. Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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One comment

  1. Great Post,

    nothing is more important than the art of selling in a business and it can seem very daunting if you have just set up and are not used to this aspect of running a business.

    Those are some great tips and I’ve found something else which helps when talking to a prospective client – talk with passion about their business and how your work benefits the services they offer.

    Show a genuine interest in what they do, not just about your work and they are more likely to trust you with their business

    Thanks for the tips!

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