The major steps in the sales process are generally Discovery (or information gathering), Presenting, Closing, and in some cases Implementation and Transition.
But there’s an additional step that most sales coaches don’t talk about, and 80% to 90% of sellers leave out, says Jeb Blount.
It’s the Confirmation step. Executed correctly, this one step will have a major impact on your closing ratio.
In Confirmation, which comes after Discovery and before your Presentation, you sit down with your prospect or customer and verify the information and problems you have uncovered.
Correct mistaken assumptions
In the Confirmation step you allow your prospect to correct any mistaken assumptions you’ve made and fill in any gaps. Most important, you allow him to prioritize the issues that are most important to him.
Usually this step only takes a 15- to 30-minute conversation over the phone or in person. You set it up like this:
“Hi, Bob, this is Joe Smith with Acme Widget. Thank you for taking so much time with me to help me understand your needs and issues. I can’t wait to present my solutions when we meet next week.
“Since I’ve identified a lot of possibilities that might help you, I was wondering if I might have 15 minutes of your time to review my assumptions just to be sure I’m on track to help you get what you want. Would 3 p.m. tomorrow work for you?”
This sets up an informal meeting during which Bob confirms your assumptions, prioritizes what’s important to him and tells you exactly what you need to do to close him. That lets you go into your presentation with no surprises, knowing which solutions to present and which hot buttons to push.
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