Sales Process to Make a Sale
Sales process involves a series of value-added and ordered phases towards a pre-determined objective, which is a sale. Every business has its process of selling that dictates the manner in which sales operations are managed. The sales process is usually planned through marketing, sales, and support. Estate agents specialize in sales of commercial and residential properties, land, and businesses. Selling skills have become vital in organizations due to the increased level of competition. Negotiator skills are essential in selling and promoting properties to customers while at the same time maintaining a good relationship with them. Customer needs to be based on the general cost, broad desires, and requirements that help the buyer to narrow down his/her choices. Customers evaluate conditions for products and choose the most appropriate need before buying. Negotiators should be bold and persistent when selling and promoting commercial or residential properties. Therefore, skills of sale are an important part of estate agents. This paper seeks to establish the sales and selling process, and the skills required by estate agents to become an effective negotiator.
The Approach of the Sales Process
The selling process usually flows in the same direction no matter what one is selling. To succeed in sales, one needs to master the approaches of the sales cycle. A sales person who is weak in one stage may not thrive if they do not identify the weak areas and improve on them to improve the sales results. Therefore, most selling process includes the following approaches of the sales cycle, which is critical in advancing the process of sale.
i. Prospecting and qualifying
Prospecting involves looking for new buyers. The key to effective prospecting is having knowledge on the type of customers one is searching for. The main aspect in this step involves creating an outline of existing customers and adjusting marketing strategies appropriately. Good salespersons research ton their prospect’s background and familiarize with customer’s needs. For example when selling a property, one can create their buyer’s profile by approximating their age, income, marital status and whether they have a house or not (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). The lead (customer) qualifies to be a prospect if he/she has a need, a will, and the ability to make a purchasing decision.
ii. Building rapport
This step involves intelligence gathering and building a relationship and securing an appointment with the buyer (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). It is important to get their attention as quickly as possible and tell them more about the services you offer. First impressions are crucial. How a salesperson approaches, a buyer is very crucial to sales accomplishment since it either identifies him/her as a compelling salesperson with a valuable offer or a bothersome one.
iii. Needs assessment
This step allows one to determine how they can be of service and it is, therefore, important to understand the customer’s needs and if it is possible to solve them (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). This can be achieved by asking him/her some questions like what they already have and how comfortable they feel with their current product. With such information, a salesperson identifies customer’s preferences and if they are willing to switch to a new product. At this stage, it is important to showcase features of the product and convince the prospect why it is better than other products.
After grasping prospect’s interest, a sales presentation follows, and it involves plausible verbal and visual explanation of a product. For example, when selling a house, it is important to display its salient benefits and features (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). An excellent presentation begins with a brief summary of what will be discussed and ensuring it is about the customer. It should be done in a relaxed manner to encourage customers to share information and establish requirements.
v. Answering objections
Objections show that a prospect is interested in the service being offered. It is, therefore, important for a salesperson to explore prospect’s reasoning before addressing the question. An objection is an opportunity for a salesperson to give more features of the product and convince his/her customer (Skok, 2010). It is important to ensure that the prospect does not feel pressured or manipulated.
vi. Closing the sale
Closing involves a set of activities that eventually lead to making an order. Salespersons loose more than 80% of their sales due to the failure of closing appropriately (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). Closing is about discovering and overcoming obstacles. At this point, the salesperson should try convincing his prospect on price and how good the product is compared to what the prospect is using.
Once contact has been established, it is important to nurture it by maintaining a good follow up that is not bothersome and being ready to offer service or information anytime. Follow up helps ensure customer satisfaction, prospecting for new customers and retaining them.
The capability to build a good relationship with their clients, convince them to purchase and create repeat business depends on the selling skills. Sales are an essential element of an organization’s marketing, and the ability to persuade prospects to purchase is the primary objective of sales (Eriksson, 2013). Effective communication skills (verbal and written) and negotiation skills are therefore essential because they determine one’s chances of sale (Skok, 2010). Developing conversational, vocal, and questioning skills help to establish credibility and gain trust, which builds a strong first impression.
Using the AIDAs theory, this part looks into the range of skill that salespeople require and how these skills can be achieved. AIDAs theory maintains that there are five processes that a prospect undergo before reaching and responding to the product (Bhasin, 2016).
a. Attention: Attaining attention is an essential skill that a god sales negotiator can improve through practice. When approaching a customer first impression is critical, and it should remain as the last impression. The first thing that the sales person must do is putting the customer at ease. The best way to gain customer attention is through casual conversation that leads in the direction of sales.
b. Interest: Once the sales person has gained the attention of the customer, he has to maintain interest. Some salespersons are always uncomfortable the moment technicalities take over during the negotiation process. However, others who are strong may begin the conversation bluntly and create interest later. Maintaining interest is an important skill during the selling process, which must be part of the AIDAS theory.
c. Desire: There are commercials that prompt people to get the product. Sales persons should use the same skill during the selling process. The sales person has to have the desire in customers who might buy the product immediately. The product should be highlighted in a manner that leaves the customer thinking, “Why didn’t I buy this product before.” Triggering such desires in customers is essential during the process of selling (Bhasin, 2016).
d. Action: Though the customer might have a desire the on a product and might want to purchase, he might not end up purchasing. During such instances, the sales person has to induce the needs of the customer to buy the product. The sales person can influence these needs by pushing subtle reminders that allow the customer to buy. Although such techniques may work, it is important to know the kind of customers you are dealing with.
e. Satisfaction: When the customer gives you an order and parted with some money for the good service, he needs reassurance that he made the right decision to buy the product. Such cues are critical in giving the customer confidence, which might enable him to purchase the product in future (Bhasin, 2016). Therefore, disappointment or a sense of consummation will influence buyer’s future decisions and behavior.
The sales process is essential in dictating the manner in which sales operations are managed. Negotiator skills are indispensable in selling and promoting properties to customers. The capability to build a good relationship with their clients, convince them to purchase and create repeat business depends on the selling skills. Customers must first evaluate conditions for products and choose the most appropriate need before buying. Developing conversational, vocal, and questioning skills help to establish credibility and gain trust, which builds a strong first impression. The approaches of the sales cycle also remain important in advancing the selling process. Negotiators should give customers excellent service and reassurance that he made the right decision after the deal is closed. This gives the client's confidence and may influence buyer’s future decisions.
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