g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Small Office/Home Office Site

BellaOnline's Small Office/Home Office Editor


The Sales Cycle

Guest Author - Deborah Crawford

There are typically seven steps in the sales process or sales cycle. There may be slight variances, but usually professional salespeople follow a method based on these seven steps. This process works for almost anything you have to sell, whether it is a service you provide or a product you sell. There are parts of this process involved in many ordinary interactions both inside and outside the business world, too.

Here are the basic steps of the sales cycle:

1—Prospecting or finding potential buyers. This is where many people waste the most time and make the most mistakes. Everyone thinks the entire world is their prospective customer base. This is almost never true. It is much easier to prospect for the right client if you have a marketing plan which defines your target markets. There are various ways to prospect or find potential buyers, including using the phone book, networking, buying leads lists, referrals, and so on.

2—Original Contact, which may be via phone, internet, direct mail, signage, direct contact (a sales call), referral, or other methods is the introduction stage. Setting up an appointment is something you would do in this step.

3—Qualification means determining if the contact has the need for your product or service and if they can afford your product or service. Sometimes you will find no need or no means (able to pay) or sometimes one or the other. Before you move to step 4, you need to make sure you are talking to someone who both needs and can afford what you are selling. This is another step where it is easy to waste precious time, and money, so take time on qualifying your prospects.

4—Presentation is step four and this is where you tell your prospect about your product or service. Entire books and even companies exist to help you with your presentation skills! Big companies spend a lot of money training their sales staff on presenting, and even the sole proprietor should educate herself and learn these skills. The better you know your product or service and the better you know your prospect, the better you will be at presenting, but learning and practicing specific presentation skills will be a big advantage to anyone.

5—Addressing Concerns or Objections is next. Sometimes included with step four, this means being able to find out what is preventing your prospect from buying and proposing solutions to those objections or concerns.

6—Closing the Sale, or the Moneymaker. This is when you get the contract signed or a handshake or start ringing up the order—whatever signifies a deal to you. If you can skip all of the above and go straight to closing, do so. ABC means Always Be Closing and it means that closing is the goal and the previous steps are just means to get you here. If you can close after step 2, close after step 2.

7—Getting Referrals. This is the “future” moneymaker. If you did your job right and your client is happy, they can refer you to others who will be great prospects. You can save time, money and effort in sales by having a good referral program.

Again, some sales cycles differ and the steps are called by many different names. But, if you think about dating or interviewing for a job in these steps you will see how they all relate to everyday life as well. Which is why some people say that everyone is a salesperson in one way or another!

One of my favorite sales authors is Jeffrey Gitomer. His book Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness is excellent.

Another sales great (guru to many) is Zig Ziglar. I recommend everyone in business read Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale

Happy Selling!
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add The+Sales+Cycle to Twitter Add The+Sales+Cycle to Facebook Add The+Sales+Cycle to MySpace Add The+Sales+Cycle to Digg The+Sales+Cycle Add The+Sales+Cycle to Yahoo My Web Add The+Sales+Cycle to Google Bookmarks Add The+Sales+Cycle to Stumbleupon Add The+Sales+Cycle to Reddit

Marketing and Sales Info
Five Tips to Getting Things Done Every Day
Guerrilla Marketing for Free
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Small Office/Home Office Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2018 by Deborah Crawford. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Deborah Crawford. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Finding and Keeping Your Motivation

Importance of Your Business Structure

Writing a Feasibility Plan

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor