Professional Sales Process

A Step-By-Step Series of Communications.

Timing is everything. If you attempt to close a sale before the prospect is ready, you blow it . . . and you may not get a second chance.

Most professional sales are made after the 7th, even the 12th contact. That doesn’t mean that you have to have seven or more face-to-face meetings. Far from it. The series of communications can take various forms and proceed quickly.

The objective of each contact is to secure the next step.

First we need to be clear that the real objective in each contact is to secure another, follow-on communication . . . the next step in the Sales Process.

These contacts can be:

  • A prospect reads a news report or talks to an associate who makes a recommendation
  • Prospective client responds to an ad or a published interview
  • Consultant makes, or takes, a telephone call resulting from a referral
  • Prospect receives Letter of inquiry
  •  eMail confirms a meeting, follows-up to a meeting or asks for more information
  • Face-to-face meeting to explore issues
  • In-person meeting to present proposed solution

Are there things you can do to move the sale along? Yes, and certainly “giving away” time makes your time appear less valuable.

But keep in mind that the decision to hire you rests 100% with the Prospect. Again, “jumping the gun” or “asking for the order” too soon can kill the deal. No matter how much you want the assignment and how convinced you are that you can solve the problem and satisfy the prospect, you will increase your chances of getting the assignment by not appearing hungry for work or too anxious to get the job.

Follow the step-by-step process, making sure you’re asking relevant questions along the way.

How Much is The Assignment Likely to Be Worth?

You will do well to institutionalize your Sales Process. Document it and practice it. Any stumbling or fumbling on your process will be interpreted as weakness. And, this is worth repeating: whenever you have a genuine prospect you need to as quickly as possible quantify the problem . . . determine how much the solution is likely to be worth to the client. If you set your prices based on value, and not on an hourly rate, this solution will determine in large part how much you should charge.

You may wish to revisit our article about how the charge: The Consultant’s Fee Schedule.


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