The Five Phases Of the Sales Process

So, I got to thinking about my old sales jobs. I’ve worked in retail sales, outside sales (home services) and advertising g sales (radio).

Since most of you probably need to know what an automated sales funnel is.

Back in the day, I was taught that there are five basic phases of a sales relationship and three main “temperatures” of prospects.

Today, I’ll help you understand the five phases and how they apply to an online sales funnel.

The five phases are

INTRODUCTION

SURVEY

RESEARCH

PROPOSAL

CLOSE

INTRODUCTORY PHASE OF SALES

During these five phases, you move a prospect closer to the sale of your product or service. The closer they are to buying what you’re selling, the “warmer” your prospect is.

That’s how the practice of “cold calling” got its name. When you’re making cold calls, you are calling people who are so far away from buying from you that they’re considered “cold.”

Your task in cold calling is to introduce yourself, get to know the prospect a little, and see if you can introduce a solution for a problem they may not have even thought they had.

This is the introduction phase. But, it helps if you’ve done a little bit of work before you get fully into this phase.

When I was working in a hone services sales position, it was a huge benefit that most of the people I cold called knew the name and reputation of the company I worked for.

This was due to a lot of things this company did before I ever picked up the phone.

They publicized their company well.

They built a good reputation.

They did their research into the ideal customer.

They had their entire sales process built into a system of forms and an easy to replicate system.

So, I include some of this as the Introductory phase of the sales process.

You’ve probably seen one of Tai Lopez’ videos on YouTube. He’s all over the place. He’s building his name recognition. He’s building a brand.

You watch him at first because of the flashy, expensive cars and houses he “owns.” Maybe even the bikini-clad women in those cars and cribs.

But, those are just the shortcuts he uses to get you to watch his videos.

Once you start watching, he starts introducing you to his business system that has helped him “buy” all these cars and houses. (They’re really props rented for the videos)

So. Tai is entertaining (gets your attention) and informative (has a message of positive change).

This is your primary task in the introductory phase of sales. Get the prospects attention and teach them something they don’t know that could change their life. Even if it’s something SMALL (it should be) the result should be noticeable, positive change.

SURVEY PHASE OF SALES

The next phase, after you’ve got their attention and demonstrated you know what you’re talking about, is the survey.

This isn’t an actual series of questions, but it could be.

The survey is an evaluation of the prospects struggles and reasons why they may. Red your solution.

Doctors run blood tests, x-rays, and ask the patient questions to help them diagnose the patient. This is how they conduct their survey phase of the sales process

Figure out what it is you need to know to properly diagnose the problem. Ask questions, evaluate the financials, experience their customer service… just get the proper diagnosis. This is what they’re paying you for with their attention and time.

RESEARCH PHASE OF SALES

This next phase can almost be just as demanding as both SURVEY and INTRODUCTION combined.

Using the previous two phases, you’ve qualified your customer by answering the following questions for you:

  • Do you understand their problem?
  • Can you (honestly) help solve their problem?
  • Can you help them in a way they can afford your solution?

Use your understanding of the problem to report that problem back to the prospect.

The termite treatment specialist would explain how dead tree roots under the foundation makes it easier for termites to make it into their home and let them destroy the wood products and eventually their entire home.

Or, it could be the moisture level inside the crawlspace.

Or, it might even be the previous existence of termites in the home.

By properly surveying the property and knowing what to look for, the termite treatment salesperson will know if any existing damage is previous or current. And, he’ll know if it is caused by termites or by sone other pest, like powder post beetles or carpenter ants among other house destroying pests.

Now. Once the problem has been identified, the research phase quickly follows.

RESEARCH PHASE OF SALES

For the termite prevention salesperson, he needs to know the different types of treatments available. He needs to know the strengths and weaknesses of each treatment that is available. He needs to be able to understand each treatment’s strengths and weaknesses when applied to the prospects situation.

And, once all of those questions are answered, he’s able to move into the presentation, or the PROPOSAL PHASE

PROPOSAL PHASE OF SALES

Just like the young suitor understands. If you handle the previous phases properly, the proposal phase is the easiest phase of the five

You’ve already determined what your customer NEEDS. You’ve already heard the customer TELL you what they WANT. You’ve already collected all of the solutions available to the customer. You’ve already discovered the best solution you can offer.

All you have to do now, is set the stage, make your pitch and hope for the best.

This phase relay totally on your presentation skills. Practice your sales presentation over and over again. Or, standardize the presentation. If you only have one product that solves one problem, your proposal and presentation becomes simple.

It just makes the survey phase more difficult and frustrating because you’ve limited your collection of prospects significantly.

In your proposal phase you want to do the following:

Restate the customers WANTS

Report the customers PROBLEMS

Respond with the customers SOLUTIONS

React to the customers QUESTIONS

Request a course of action by the customer

If you need some help preparing your proposal, let me recommend that you study the six components of a plot.

You must follow this form and be a good story teller to keep the customer involved.

(I’ll write an article on this soon. If you don’t see it, ask me for it in the comments below. )

Anyway, always be thinking about how you can follow this form in your presentation:

Exposition

Conflict introduction

Building Conflict

Climactic Conflict

Decompression of Conflict

Conclusion

Set the stage for your customer. Introduce them to their problems and their needs. Show them how bad their situation really could be if the antagonist (their problems) take over. Introduce the protagonist (solution). Show how they’ll lose if they don’t choose your solution and how they’ll succeed if they do.

This is when you spin the elements of plot to your benefit.

Just stop the story right here.

Stop. Wait. Let them ask a question. Let them make the next move. Let them take the next action. Let them say the next word.

Just stop.

Think of this as the “cliff hanger” in your favorite tv series episode.

You’ve just entered into the most important game of stare down you’ve ever played. Don’t lose. Just. Be. Patient.

When they move. The sale is done. You’ll know if you’ll make it through to the next phase of the sell – the close.

CLOSING PHASE OF SALES

I used to HATE this phase of the selling process. It always frightened me.

That’s because I used to think of the sales process as a “pass/fail” situation. And, I didn’t have a full understanding of these phases, how they worked together and depended on each other.

Today, I can’t WAIT to get to the close. Why?

Because this is REALLY where I get to HELP people!!! Even if they say “no,” I’ve helped them gain a good understanding of their true problem and how they can fix it. And, I know they’ll remember that I could’ve fixed it for them.

The close IS a test. But, it’s rigged! You really win. EVERY TINE!!!

As you enter the closing phase, you briefly remind them of the two options available to them. And, you ask them which one they will choose.

When you make it here, you’ve won!

You’ve taught them something they didn’t know.

You’ve kept their attention all the way through.

You will learn how to be even better next time.

You’ve won! You’ve used your brain to make the world a better place for someone!

And, if they buy, you’ve made sone money on the side. Well then, you ROCKED it!!!!!!!