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  2. THE SELLING PROCESS • Prospecting (identify & qualifying) • Pre-approach • Approach • Presentation • Demonstration • Handling Objections • Closing The Sale • Follow Up (Post Sale Action)
  3. PROSPECTING AND QUALIFYING Prospecting Prospecting refers to identifying the potential customer. A prospect is a qualified person or organization that has the potential to buy the good or service, provided he has the money to buy, authority to buy, and desire to buy.
  4. IMPORTANCE OF PROSPECTING  Its important to locate a prospective buyer to sell a Product.  Demographics of customers have evolved and hence sales people should also keep track.  It helps to focus only on important and selected group of customers.  It helps sales person to align his efforts and bring order in sales process.  Some special products require continous prospecting
  5. A GOOD PROSPECT A good prospect is someone who :  Has a problem that the product can solve efficiently and cost-effectively.  Has a goal, purpose or need that the company’s product can help to achieve.  Has the power to make the buying decision.  Someone who is eligible to buy. For E.g hold a license  Is a center of influence; someone who can open doors for other prospects.  Is easy to sell to and service.
  6. WAYS TO LOOK FOR PROSPECTS  Cold Calling: In this method a sales person makes calls to potential customers without any reference. He makes unsolicited sales calls. This method is very random and time consuming.  Referrals from Customers: Customers who are satisfied give the names of those who are interested in similar products. They are the most credible source to new leads.  Mailing List: Prospective buyers can be contacted through mail and telephone. Information about the product can be send and reply card can be attached to facilitate response.  Personal Observation Method: Experienced salesmen are appointed to look-out for information which can lead to a prospect. They make use of opportunities like interacting with people, social functions, travelling, to get leads.  Endless chain method: In this, the salesman try to get details of two or three other prospects from the main prospect thereby maintaining the chain of prospects. This method has proved effective in case of services such as insurance, investments, educational courses, etc.
  7.  Centre of Influence Method: This is modification of endless chain method. Here the sales person identifies a person of influence such as local politicians, poets, journalists, bankers, teachers etc and obtains leads from them.  Leads from Junior Sales Force: Junior salesmen are employed to call and inquire about the product. They try to get an appointment so that an experienced salesmen can take the sale forward.  Present Customers: Existing customers could be the best prospect for repeat sales or additional products. Its easier to sell to someone who already knows you.  Former Customers: People who were customers of a product in the past could be contacted again so that they can become a prospect again.  Personal Contacts: A keen sales person can always use his contacts to find prospects to sell his products.  Directories: There are a lot of directories like trade directories or directory of residents which could be a good source of leads.
  8.  Advertising: Advertising helps generate enquiries for product. These enquiries must be quickly followed up to start a sale.  Trade Shows and Exhibition: Participation in trade fairs and exhibitions can generate prospects economically as there are a lot of interested people who visit such events.  Spotters: In some situation, salespersons use spotters to identify prospects. Sales trainees are often used as spotters. They help to save the time of salespersons. Spotters are also known as “bird dogs”.
  9. QUALIFYING PROSPECTS Once the sales person has identified potential customers, he or she must qualify them to determine, if they are valid prospects. Unless this is done, time and energy is wasted in trying to sell to people who cannot or will not purchase the product or service. MAN( money, authority and need) approach is used to qualify  Money: Does the prospect have the money or resources to purchase a product or service?  Authority: Does the prospect have the authority to make commitment?  Need: Does the prospect need the product or service?
  10. PRE-APPROACH The pre-approach step includes all the information gathering activities necessary to learn relevant facts about the prospect. It is an effort to get details regarding the prospect such as his ability, need, authority, accessibility to buy. It is a closer look of prospects’ likes and dislikes, tastes, habits, financial status, social esteem, material status, family background, etc.
  11. IMPORTANCE OF PRE-APPROACH  Pre-approach helps in saving valuable time, effort and energy of the salesperson in the best interest of the organization in which he works.  Pre-approach makes the salesperson more confident and enthusiastic while meeting the prospects and putting forth the sales proposition before them. The confidence and enthusiasm is the cumulative result of the detailed background information about the prospects collected during pre-approach.  Pre-approach enables the salesperson to know beforehand about the needs and requirements of the prospects in the most detailed manner possible.  By pre-approach, the salesperson’s knowledge about the prospects is considerably enhanced. As the salesman has prior information about the financial status, likes, dislikes, tastes. He is likely to commit least number of mistakes at the subsequent stages of sales presentation.
  12. PRE- APPROACH STAGES  Knowing the Prospect: The salesman gathers information about the age, needs, income and other relevant aspects relating to the prospects. Information can be obtained from both internal and external sources.  Planning the Call: The objective of the particular call is defined. On the basis of customer research the salesman can arrive at a tentative judgement as to which of his products best meets the needs of the prospect and present the features and benefits accordingly.
  13. THE APPROACH It means to come in direct contact with the prospects. It involves meeting the prospect for the first time by the salesperson. Salesperson makes face-to-face contact with the prospect to understand him/her better. • Prospects often judge the quality of a salesman by the way in which the sales person approach. With this stand, the prospects form their estimation that the salesperson has really something to offer. • Salespersons who posses courage, courtesy and also the ability to gain trust, Wins. So it is the most important stage in sale process. The salesperson who approaches the prospect confidently, makes a good impact.
  14. IMPORTANCE OF APPROACH  Approach is one of the important stages in the selling process. It is correct to say that a sale is won or lost during the approach.  During the first few minutes of the approach, the prospect decides whether he will buy or not. Similarly, the salesperson is also likely to know whether the prospect is really interested in the product or not.  The importance of the approach varies with the type of selling. For example, while selling cheap and necessary articles, the importance of the approach is comparatively less whereas for selling costly and luxurious goods and services, the importance of the approach is very high.
  15. METHODS OF APPROACH  Company’s Reputation/Brand Name: Salesperson introduces company’s name and uses the influence of brand to draw attention of the prospect.  Referral Approach: Furnishing the name of a satisfied customer or a friend of the prospect can be the beginning of a sales call by salespersons.  Customer Benefit Approach: The salesperson could start the conversation by telling about specific benefit, something the prospect can actually realize of his advantage.  The Premium Method: This method uses small gifts to impress the customer upon approach.  The Shock Method: The sales person introduces the prospects with the risks, thereby, making prospect think of product as remedy e.g. insurance, health and fitness items, etc.
  16. SALES PRESENTATION  A good presentation is as important as a good product.  The significance of a good presentation of the product can be gauged from the fact that many a time an attractively packed presentation is sufficient to sell the product.
  17. ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD PRESENTATION  salesman should explain the product with its features and price advantage to the customer in simple and easy terms.  Presentation must create a good impression in the mind of the customer that he feels that he is being dealt with care and understanding.  The presentation can also be given through models, slides, pictures and videos to make the presentation interesting.  An intelligent salesman should stress on high points of his offering rather than pointing out the negatives of the rivals.  It is very important that the customer be shown the kind of quality that he is looking for. Too many varieties will only confuse the customer, while too little does not help him make a choice.  Half the battle is won, if the salesman is able to make the product appeal to the customer’s senses.
  18.  Product related information
  19. DEMONSTRATION  Demonstration is an exercise to prove the characteristics of the product. It highlights various attributes of the product such as utility, performance, service and quality.  Demonstration can be done mostly when the product is tangible.  During a sales presentation, the salesman describes the product to the prospect but it is only during the demonstration that the customer gets an opportunity to verify the facts about the product.  Hence, demonstration is imperative and essential for a prospect to make a buying decision.
  20. SIGNIFICANCE OF DEMONSTRATION  Demonstration gives the salesman a chance to show specific features of the product or service clearly, For example, in case of a vegetable chopper, demonstration is more effective than the description.  It creates a lasting impression in the minds of the prospective customers as they see the functions of the product or handle them personally.  The salesman can provide proof for the claim through a series of tests, experiments and operations. Thus, increasing the confidence of the prospective buyers.  By proper demonstration, the customer’s sense of curiosity about the product is considerably satisfied.  It helps in focusing attention of customers on the satisfaction and utility that they will be deriving out of the ownership of such products.  It also provides a chance to the prospects for making comparisons with the competitor s products.
  21. ESSENTIAL OF A GOOD DEMONSTRATION  The demonstration should be easy and clear to understand,not leaving any doubts.  The demonstration must be comprehensive and cover all relevant aspects.  The sales person should give the prospect an opportunity to try and handle the product.  Demonstration must be in a manner that provide a chance to the customer to compare the product with the product of competitors.  Description and demonstration must be the same.  It should win the prospects’ confidence.
  22. HANDLING OBJECTIONS AND COMPLAINTS  Prospects usually show resistance against buying products by pointing out real or imaginary hurdles and by voicing objections.  Objections are also a sign that prospect is interested in the product.  It has been rightly pointed out that without handling objections the salesman cannot sell anything to the prospects.  Therefore, the success of a salesman depends on how he handles objections. It should be done efficiently and tactfully.
  23. REASONS FOR OBJECTION  Prospect display resistance to new and unfamiliar ideas and goods.  As they are not 100% sure about the product or service offered.  They are waiting for more explanation, classifications, additional features about the sales proposition.  To test the salesman’s knowledge and patience.  To postpone buying or because the prospects lack the required purchasing power.  Prospects raise objections if the salesman is unable to identify their need.  When the salesman pressurizing them or using unfair means to sell the product.  As a means to avoid salesman.  When they find rival product compelling.  When the prospects’ has been unpleasant.
  24. TYPES OF OBJECTIONS AND WAYS TO DEAL objections Meaning Way to deal Quality Objections Question about durability, packaging, design, color and so on. Highlight superior points in contrast to rival products. Product/service Objections Whether the product/service would satisfy prospects’ need. Provide case histories, testimonials, expert opinions. Price/value Objections Prospect thinks the price is not worth the value he derives. Show superiority of a product over rivals, provide alternate cheaper options, offer discounts. Hidden Objections Prospects mention phony reasons instead of actual. Ask questions, talk to prospect to get to hidden objections. Procrastinating Objections “Let me talk with my boss” or ”I will think over” are such examples. Find out reason to delay and list advantages. Competition Objective Customer unwilling to shift product, likes other product. Point out additional benefit. Describe new features.
  25. METHODS OF HANDLING OBJECTIONS  The Direct Denial Method: When the prospect makes false statement, the salesman can submit a proof politely.  The Indirect Method: Most buyers do not like a flat contradiction. Therefore, the salesman may stoop to conquer.  The Boomerang Method: The objection hurled by the prospect returns to him in the form of a reason why he should buy.  The Compensation Method: The salesman admits the validity of the objection but points out some benefits that will compensate for it.
  26.  The Question Method: The question form of handling objections may make the prospect answer his own objection.  The Pass-up Method: Mostly in case of flimsy objections, the salesman may either just smile or pretend not have heard the objection, further pass on to the next point.  The Yes Method: The salesperson agrees with the prospect’s objection but then makes a statement that offsets the objection.  The Comparison Method: The salesperson compares it with something that is acceptable.  The Case History Method: In this method, an Example of a satisfied buyer is stated to offset the objection.
  27. CLOSING THE SALE  After going through all the presentation & demonstration and handling any objection, the sales person is ready to ask for order.  This is the last stage and the most crucial stage for a salesman. The whole exercise becomes useless if the sale does not take place.  The main aim of the close is to convince the prospect to sign the order form or to place an order immediately rather than in the future.
  28. IMPORTANCE OF CLOSING  It is a proof of sales persons’ ability to sell.  It brings revenue for company.  Improves self confidence in sales person. DIFFICULTIES OF CLOSING  Salesman fear that prospect will say no.  Inadequate presentation by sales person.  Over excitement.  Interruption by third party.
  29. WHEN TO CLOSE A SALE An alert sales person should know when to close a sale. Too early or too late call might lead to a lost sale. It should be close when the interest of prospect is at peak. Sales person must learn from the signals and body language of the prospect.
  30. SALE CLOSING TECHNIQUES  The assumption method: Assuming the prospect will buy, the salesmen asks questions like “how much” or “what size”?  Build-up method: Here closing is just an affirmation from the prospect and the prospect have agreed to most of the arguments by the sales person.  Special offer/gift closing: A special offer concludes the argument like if you buy now you will get a discount.  Narrow the choice: Out of a number of choices, the sales person suggests the best suitable for prospect and literally sells one of the product.  The SRO method: ‘Standing Room Only’ to secure a sale of prospect who is vacillating. Saying things like this is the last piece or the price will increase from tomorrow, etc.
  31. REQUISITE FOR SUCCESSFUL CLOSING  Have confidence, look optimistic, don’t fear.  Try to be in control. Make the prospect raise query and give information, keep initiating.  Adjust according to mental condition of prospect.  Keep the important points for the last.  Compliment for the choice made by prospect.
  32. FOLLOW-UP/ POST SALE ACTION  Post-purchase follow up is very important in building customer confidence and long-term relationship with the company.  The moment the salesman closes the sale, he should not think that relationship is closed. Rather a close is just the beginning of such relationship.  The salesperson contacts customer to learn if there are any problems and answers any questions that the customer does.  He also contacts customers regularly to ascertain that they are happy with their purchase and offered services.
  33. STEPS IN AFTER SALES SERVICE TECHNIQUES  Connect with the customers: Sales professionals need to remain in touch with the customers even after the deal. They should not ignore their calls.  Provide necessary Support: The sales personnel can help them install, maintain or operate a particular product.  Replacement of the product: Any product found broken or in a damaged condition must be replaced immediately by the sales professional. Their grievances should be addressed and make them feel comfortable.  Frequent Feedback: Feedback of the products and services from the customers should be taken periodically. It helps the organization to know the customers better and incorporate the necessary changes for better customer satisfaction.  Annual Maintenance Cost: AMC is an agreement signed between the organization and the customer where the organization promises to provide after sales services to the second party for certain duration at nominal costs.  Exchange Policies: The exchange policies must be transparent and in favour of the customer. The customer who comes for an exchange should be given the same treatment as was given to him when he came for the first time.