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Sales Cycle

(Nikolay Rysyov, Active Sales 3.1: Start, Publishing House Recont, 2013

[in Russian. Николай Юрьевич Рысёв. “Активные продажи 3.1: Начало”, изд-во Recont, 2013])

1. It all starts with an ideology, with a sales philosophy, with the internal concept that guides salespeople in sales. Such a concept may be completely conscious, it may be semi-conscious, or the owner of this concept may not understand what exactly controls him, shows what to do and what not, how to talk to the buyer and what goals to achieve.

...our attitudes largely determine our behavior. The ideology of sales – these are the settings that lead the seller, his every word and movement.


2. The next stage is the search for buyers and “cold contacts” by phone. ...Many companies are permanently looking for new customers. And here the matter is not limited to advertising. The seller’s activity in many respects provides for the company’s income, especially at the stage of its development. By the search for buyers, we understand a number of special measures aimed at extracting from the whole world the information that daily bumps into us, from all those countless directories and databases, those companies that we really need to call, that we really need to spend our energy for. This stage of the sales cycle is at the intersection of marketing and intuition. It is important to correctly determine who the target segment is and how to position the product for them.

What are the cold contacts? At this stage, we make the first acquaintance with the buyer. For many, this is the most difficult moment in sales...

How to break through the assistants, how to capture the attention of the decision maker on the other side of the telephone wire, how to create his interest in the conversation and the desire to meet?


What should be in the letter so that the person who received it wants to read it, secondly, take note, and thirdly, answer it?


How to prepare a buyer for a personal meeting? After all, it is through personal contact that you can achieve the maximum result.


3. Establishing the contact in person. Personal contact includes three components: the first non-verbal impression when meeting with the buyer, the effective verbal beginning of the meeting and ensuring a positive mood of the buyer. One way or another, everything affects the first impression: compliance with negotiation ethics, appearance, compliance with customer standards and expectations, our gestures, facial expressions, movements, maintaining a comfortable psychological distance, the characteristics of our voice, its volume, tempo, timbre, small-talk, skillful compliments. Ensuring an effective start to the conversation is a verbal approach to the buyer in wholesale and corporate sales. Ensuring a positive mood of the buyer is maintaining him in a positive emotional state and creating the buyer’s willingness to continue negotiations.


4. Orientation in the buyer, which, in its turn, is divided into:

  • ability to ask questions;

  • active listening;

  • scanning the type of buyer.


The needs, concerns, desires, powers of the buyer can be identified by observing non-verbal manifestations, using active listening techniques and question-building technologies. Orientation in the buyer is the understanding what the person who is sitting in front of you really wants, what words will attract his attention, which arguments most strongly affect the buyer. What is the buyer most afraid of, and, perhaps, why?

5. Offer.


There are three main blocks of this stage of sales: positioning, influence technologies, presentation.

Positioning of goods / services / company. ...understanding of how your company stands out in the minds of the customers among competitors positioning. The correct presentation of competitive and distinctive advantages is the key to a true presentation.


Argumentation, persuasion and other ways of exerting influence. Here we focus on the rules of argumentation and influence on the buyer...


Ability to make a presentation. I must emphasize right away that by presentation we mean any story to the buyer. ...We will concentrate on 5 “S” of presentations: substance, structure, style, supplement, situations.


6. Objections of the buyer.


The buyer is distinguished by one feature: he objects very often. He objects in every possible way. ... Experience shows that the average transaction with professional sellers is completed after handling the fifth or sixth objection. Experience also shows that an unprofessional or insecure seller gives up and refuses contact after the buyer’s first objection. The whole issue is the ability to remove objections, overcome obstacles.


7. Negotiations about the price.


Some buyers consider your price to be too high, the same customers consider the price of another product or service to be low, and this causes them to suspect low quality or “lack of branding.” ...How to argue the price of your products, how to communicate the value, so that it is perceived as an objective characteristic of the goods, and not as a desire to get into a customer’s pocket?


8. Closing of the transaction.


On my way there were great sellers in terms of presentation and handling the objections, but there was one “but” that discounted their entire work. They experienced great difficulty in closing the negotiations. Everything is going fine, the buyer is vividly discussing a product or service, he even understands his own benefits, but ... he does not make decision. The closing is an active way to incentivize the buyer to make a decision through using the special techniques.


9. Work with unplanned receivables.


.. you have to either argue the prepayment or the payment after the fact, or work with the unplanned debt of the buyer. And who likes to repay debts? Someone said: “When you borrow, you take someone else’s for a while, and when you repay the debt, you give yours and forever.”


10. Customer support and relationship maintenance.


According to Peter Doyle, a marketing titan, “attracting a new consumer costs the company 3-5 times more than retaining an existing one. These costs are associated with conducting marketing research, advertising, selling and negotiating with potential buyers.” The numbers are impressive! ...there is a certain part of sellers who is so passionate about the sales process that after the transaction is closed and money is received from buyer, the indisputable fact literally flies out of the head that the buyer who once used the services of your company can use them again, then again, and then many more times. There is no need to spend a huge amount of time, money and energy for searching and convincing this buyer. All you need is to create a feeling of permanent attention to the buyer.

PART III. Win-Win Sales | 13 Dialogues on Win-Win Sales

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