General sales process #
Your habits are forming your execution
Each time when I do sales I try to divide my process in 3 major steps which are the follow back of good customer development process (discovering who's my target client :))
Gather information - in this step I imagine that I'm a CIA agent and try to make some useful research about my target. I try to pick up his habits, his good/bad sides, I try to plan whats his mission, vision, culture. I often plan my strategy on the information I have but I don't have all day, that's why I don't over-extend in my researches (2-3 pomodoros seems enough for cold-emails). Most of the time I can have all the information I need from the target website - they have links to their social networks (I use them to gather customer feedback about them - often people share their pain out loud on the fb timeline/twitter stream), I try to gather some domain specific knowledge (often my targets have blogs which are easy to pick up and speed read)
Brainstorm - after I have enough information about the target I focus my energy on building a reasonable sentences. Sentences that I may use when the actual sale will begin. Most of the time these sentences try to answer some basic questions starting with why
- Why should I sale my target something? Can I help him? Do we have something in common (i.e. I know him)? Do I have some specific know-how that can contribute to his cause? Almost all of the time I try to remember that everyone in the world has his agenda and If I want to be visible I want to become part of their agenda.
- What should I sale? Is it a service/product/know-how/etc.? Often these questions are easily answerable because I over-focus on the Why.
- How should I sale it? - this is my planning phase.
The actual sale is based on my experience. Often I find it more easier to do it asynchronous (email, chat) than synchronous (on site, on the phone) because I can plan and collaborate with other sales people to fine tune my communication with the target. When I do sales meetings in person I find it more productive to be in a team of 2 in order to support each other when we need to answer difficult questions. The more I spend on my brainstorm and information gathering habits it becomes easier and I feel more relaxed with my abilities.
This whole process may deviate from its origins per target. Often I need to do 5-10 sales in a specific domain in order to acquire enough knowledge about the specifics. They're all that matters because the pattern is the same but each target has its own uniqueness which I must understand.