Simple & Proven 8 Step Sales Process
Today we’re going to talk about the Simple & Proven 8 Step Sales Process. When we’re talking about a professional sales process this is really the whole cycle from choosing who our client is all the way to selling to them, marketing to them, servicing them, collecting, and having them stay with us and promote us ongoing. When I use the term sales process and specifically an intentional sales process for professional services what I’m referring to is the whole process.
We’re going to use this as a model. If you think of a staircase and I just meet somebody, I bump into them in a restaurant and I say, “Hey, how are you? Would you like to get married?” That’s ridiculous, yet oftentimes that’s what I see people doing in their professional services practice when they’re trying to get business.
They might be at a networking function, they might bump into somebody, they were referred to them and all of a sudden they just want to jump in and do some business with them and they really haven’t developed any sort of rapport with them, any understanding of what that person needs. This eight step process is really just to give you kind of an overview of the things that you should be considering all the way through your relationship with a prospect or with a client.
Step Number 1: Choose
I know it seems kind of simple. Kind of odd, but the first step in a professional sales process is to actually choose who you want to have as a client. There are some people that maybe need what you do but they aren’t a good fit for you or for your organization or for your philosophy on how you do what you do. Obviously those aren’t your clients, but who is your client? Who’s your ideal client? Who do you want to go after? Where are you going to go? If you want to have a great client five, seven, eight, ten, twenty years down the line it all starts by choosing who you want right now.
Step Number 2: Connect
Once you’ve chosen, step number two is connect. If you know who you want to have as a client then the very next step is actually go connect with them. Introduce, don’t sell, but just connect with them. Maybe that’s an email. Maybe that’s face-to-face visit. Maybe that’s a phone call. Maybe that’s through social media or online, but ultimately that’s the next step is you just connect with them, with no agenda, but just start actually having a relationship and that starts with a connect.
Step Number 3: Conversation
Once you’ve made a connection with someone ultimately then we just start a conversation. In a later video I’m actually going to talk about four sort of strategic questions that you can use to actually find out if you can serve that person and direct it to an opportunity, whether it’s with you or maybe somebody else.
Step Number 4: Clarity
Number four is kind of a logical progression for somebody having a conversation that if there’s kind of a fit, you’ve verified that, yeah, maybe what they’re looking for is something that you can help them with, then the next step I suggest is actually have a clarifying discussion or a clarifying meeting. All we’re talking about there is, is that what that person has told you as something that they need, is it in fact something you can help with and is it something that they’re looking to solve now? Instead of trying to jump in, waste a bunch of time doing a proposal, doing a quote, trying to push them into buying with you, let’s just have a meeting or a conversation that clarifies what they want, why they want it, when they want it, and what the value is.
Step Number 5: Compel
Once we’ve clarified that what they want is in fact something that we can help them with then the next logical step is to go a little bit more in-depth, and actually dive into it, figure out how you’re going to do it, not if you can and ultimately compel some sort of action. Whether that is to book another call, to book another meeting, but ultimately nothing changes, nothing improves, nothing happens until somebody takes some action. That fifth step I describe as a compel to take action meeting. Maybe that’s action right now, maybe it’s action later, but ultimately we want to have something happen and that’s what that meeting’s for.
Step Number 6: Client
Ultimately while we’re going through these steps we’re hopefully looking to try and find a good fit. Somebody that we can help with, somebody that’s looking for what we do and to have them become a client. Becoming a client doesn’t have to be everything all overnight. It could be just simply starting an engagement with us, buying something but ultimately having them engage with us in some facet to start the client relationship.
Step Number 7: Continue
Once we’ve got a client, as Peter Drucker said, the whole purpose of a business is to get and to keep clients. Number seven is continue. Once we’ve got them as a client we’ve kind of done the hard part. Up to that point we’d done six steps just to get to them to a client. We really want to focus on keeping them and developing them, so step seven is continue.
Step Number 8: Champion
Step Number 8 is the holy grail, it’s really what I refer to as the champion. We don’t want to just have average clients that just stick with us, we want them to be a little bit more. That’s different in every type of business but ultimately by setting it as a goal we can kind of define well what’s a champion look like in our business. Do they buy a certain type of services? Do they spend certain dollars with us annually? Do they give us referrals? Do they give us better than average reviews? Are they promoting us to other people? Again, those are just some sample things that you might measure what a champion is for you, but ultimately without defining it, probably aren’t going to be able to build it into your process to take just a client that continues with us to the heights of becoming a champion. So, step eight is actually having a client turn into a champion.
Today we covered the Simple & Proven 8 Step Sales Process for professional services.
- Right off the top, number one that we identified is you got to choose who you are going to go after. It is actually part of the sales process.
- You got to connect with them. Have some strategies to connect with the people that you’ve chosen to be your ideal clients. That whole purpose is just to connect with them.
- Once we’ve connected is we can actually start a conversation. It’s not about business, it’s just about who they are. In a later video we’ll talk about the four questions that maybe bring up opportunities you can serve.
- Clarify. If there is an opportunity you can serve let’s have a conversation specifically to clarify what that is and how you can help.
- Compel to action meeting. That could be a proposal, a presentation, but ultimately if nothing changes, if they don’t take action; nothing changes.
- They become a client, big or small.
- We actually have a strategy and it’s part of our process to make sure that they continue with us. That they buy something, they continue to buy. We keep them happy and we keep them for a long period of time. Everyone knows the lifetime value of a client is pretty substantial.
- Ultimately the holy grail, we get them to turn into a champion where they’re buying multiple services, they’re flying our flag, they’re a hero of ours and they’re promoting people to us. That’s kind of the way that I look at champions.
Hopefully that was helpful. I would love your feedback on this. Tell me how you maybe see this fitting into your business. Some things that maybe work for you, some questions you might have or some areas that you have some concerns or where you might be stuck. I would love to answer and continue the conversation below.
Until next time I’m Rich Scott