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Five Steps to Landing a Sale

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Step 1: Identify Your Target Market

Who are you trying to sell to? Precisely who is your target market? Failing to answer this question will undoubtedly lead to a poor conversion rate. You don’t want to waste your time marketing a swimming pool to people who live in a high-rise apartment complex!

Not only does narrowing down your target help you focus on your most likely prospects, but it also allows you to speak in a way that your prospects can relate to. Using terms and phrases that are commonly used by your prospects will greatly increase the effectiveness of your sales pitch.

Get as specific as possible about your target market. Who are the people most likely to be interested in your product or service? Try to narrow down:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Income
  • Location
  • Education

Step 2: Develop Your Sales Process

Above anything else, you need to develop a system for winning the job. For example, there should be a set procedure for handling quotes. “Freestyling” every time will backfire in the long run, because you’ll never be able to employ people to take your place.

You also need to test and measure your system until you’re 100 percent confident that it works, and that you can predict the results every month. The value of testing and measuring is being able to accurately predict your cash flow months in advance.

At a minimum, your process should include the following elements:

  • Lead Generation: Your leads should be driven by a combination of marketing activities that you have proven are reliable through the process of testing and measuring.
  • Information: This is the standard “call-for-a-brochure” idea. Once you have people disclose that they are interested in your product or service, you can collect their details and follow up with them later.
  • Initial Consultation: This is where you actually have contact with prospective customers. You get to discuss their situation and how you can meet their needs. This is also where you get the opportunity to build rapport with the prospects and show how them nice you are. Remember: about 80 percent of a person’s buying decision is based on emotion (whether or not they like you) and only 20 percent on logic. Businesses with higher prices often win jobs because they seem “friendly.”
  • Plan of Action: This is the actual quote form you either give to or mail the prospective customer.
  • Follow-up Phone Call/Letter: If you don’t follow up with a prospect after giving them a quote, then a poor conversion rate will be inevitable.
  • Close/Final Interaction: You should assume the prospects are ready to buy. If you’ve done everything right up to this point, it should be as simple as saying, “Well, it’s clear this is the right thing for you. How will you be paying for it?”

Step 3: Present a Strong Offer to Your Prospect

It’s human nature for people to want the most they can get for the least amount of money. But this doesn’t mean you have to give away your goods or services for below cost just to make a sale. However, you do have to be seen to be providing a good deal. People want to feel like they’ve “won.”

It’s clear that people will pay more if you give them more benefit. If your car looks better and will be more reliable, you can probably charge more. This is the whole price-issue argument in a nutshell. If you fulfill a customer’s main motivations for buying and then sweeten the deal, you’ll win the job almost every time.

Step 4: Win the Job

This should be abundantly clear: If you want to win the job, you must give people what they want and make them feel like they’re getting a great deal. If you just offer a price, people will always find someone to beat it. If you offer them no reasons to buy from you, they won’t.

There are multiple sales processes you could use, but at a minimum, make sure you ask open-ended questions, acknowledge and turn around objections, and then close and take the next step.

Many people stumble at the point of closing the sale because they either don’t ask for the sale or don’t ask for it in the right way. If you keep getting the “I’ll think about it,” or the “I’ll call you back,” replies, then you need to be asking more questions. Follow-up with “Ok, I thought you were pretty positive about the proposal. What is it that’s preventing you from making this decision?” Or, “You seem unsure about it—what don’t you like about our proposal?” Once you’ve dealt with the objections, you can finish with the assumptive close: “So, which credit card Is it easiest to process that on?”; “Would you like to pay that off over six months, or will you pay in full today?”; “Ok, I’ll get that out to you today. What’s the best address to deliver it to?” Always assume that they’ve decided, and you’re now just clarifying the details.

Step 5: Final Checklist
Once you’ve developed a new, systemized sales process, there are a couple more things to keep in mind:

  • Team training: Do your team members fully understand the new sales process?
  • Check stock and team levels: Be prepared for a sizeable response to your new sales process. There would be nothing worse than having a rush of new sales, only to find you have no stock or are too busy to fill the orders.

The sales process is a critical component of the overall scheme of business. No matter what your product or service, you have to sell to stay in business. By having a defined target market, a proven and detailed sales process, and a strong offer that customers can’t refuse, your conversion rate will start to become predictable and you will become a winner at the sales game.     


Heather Yakes is an internationally recognized business coach and employee engagement expert ranking in the Top 10 in the U.S. & Top 100 worldwide. Heather is the recipient of the 2016 Business Excellence Awards Coach of the Year, the 2018 ActionMan Award for the Best Client Impact, and the 2018 Franchisee of the Year Award. She has 20+ years of experience working with Fortune 500 Companies and Big 4 Consulting.