Sell stages

We focus on sales stages. When we know how the sales process works, it's easier for us to understand where we succeed and where we lose our client. There are different stages described in various sources, but here are the common ones: 

Sales stages
- Prospecting
- Make contact
- Qualify your prospect
- Present your offer
- Overcome objections
- Close the deal

The first stage is finding clients. We do it every possible way. E. g. offline events: exhibitions and other business gatherings. Online platforms also provide us with customers using contextual or targeted ads on websites or social networks. Sending out newsletters or writing industry-related blogs is also a way to go.  

It doesn't matter if you are looking for your clients or someone else does it for you. It's helpful to know where your client came from, what he typed in the search line to find you. This way, you will understand his knowledge of a product and his funnel stage. Based on this information, you can continue your conversation with him.

Make contact
During the second stage, you make contact. Now, you found a client that needs your services, and your primary task during this stage is not to sell but to building a good relationship. His company may not want to become your client today, but they may in the future. So it's vital to have customer's trust. Discuss the news of his industry. In complex sales involving a long process, you must communicate, so be ready to discuss personal topics.  

Important: don't regard yourself as a seller but a consultant and expert who makes the industry better, more favorable, and more prosperous together with the client. When you called the client, how was your talk? When do you call him back? Mark it down.  

Qualify your prospect 
The third stage is to qualify your prospect. Suppose you found your client as yours at the previous step. Don't make a mistake with presenting your offer before the qualification. Before building up the qualification questions, you must find out first: 

- Requirements
- Deadline
- Budget

During the conversation, try to understand if your product is beneficial to your client. If you can eliminate a customer's pain and speed up his business processes, it's a good sign. Even if the improvement is not more than one percent, some people are ready to pay for that. 

Find out from the client his commissioning deadlines. If he's planning to launch his idea, for example, in three months, keep it in mind. Send him news about your product or invite him to useful webinars monthly. Connect with a client during these months to make sure he doesn't cool off. If he becomes hot and ready to purchase, it's going to be even better. Remember that every contact with your client must be beneficial. 

The client must have enough budget to pay for your services. If not, call him at another time. 
These are some helpful questions that can provide you with essential information. Ask the client: "Why didn't you solve this problem earlier?" If he starts making excuses, the issue is real. He thought about it before, and it's a sign that you should continue this conversation. It's also a good sign If you hear a concrete answer to "What is your goal?" or "When do you want to launch your solution?" It's perfect if the client gives you numbers.  

So, if your client has the need, budget, and necessity to solve his problems shortly, ask him two final questions: 
1. Did I understand your task/problem correctly? 
2. Do you want to solve this task/problem?

If the client answers "yes" to both questions, you can present your offer. If he says "no," ask specifying questions. If your client isn't ready to fix these problems, you can call him back later. You can, because you keep your CRM, aren't you?  

Present your offer 
The fourth stage is presenting your offer. Here is a common presentation's plan: "a feature - a feature's benefits - a question." 
Feature - feature's benefits - question

Name the feature and explain how the client can benefit from it. Don't list all the features at once. Otherwise, your client may have a hard time concentrating. Provide presentation in the form of a dialogue. After a couple of "feature-benefit" statements, ask your client a question, for example: "Is it something you'd like?", "What do you think about it?" "Can it solve your problem?" Try arranging your questions wisely to have your client say "yes." It will take a good effect on your presentation results.  

Here's a trick: activate as many sense organs as possible. Give your client printed materials, testers, demonstrate the product's sound or smell. Most people are visual learners, but additional perception channels also won't be wasted. 

Overcome objections
The fifth stage is about overcoming objections. You will face protests during conversations, and it's normal - the client worries about the company's money and his reputation. The most common complaint is - it's expensive! Ask the client why he thinks it's costly? What does he mean by saying that? He may not understand the value of the product. Or perhaps it's expensive compared to the competitor's price? Then you can tell the client that your price includes more than just the product. It's also the service, launching assistance, technical support, more suitable delivery, payment installments, and other things. The client must understand the value of the product and the scope he's going to receive after investing in your product or service. And you have to know how to explain your "expensive" product.  

Another trick: you can agree with a client that the product is expensive but never focus on this factor, and continue the conversation. The client will see that you know the product is costly, yet you are not ashamed of it. In this way, he will understand it's worth the money.  
"I want to think about it" or "I need time." You know that thinking may take forever but remember that client may need to consult with someone. So mark the deadline. If you are interrupting the negotiations, summarize the meeting and arrange the follow-up conversation. If the situation allows it, mention the special offer. But it must look like a trick up your sleeve, which you show at the right moment, not the straw that you clutch to save yourself from drowning.  

If you see that your client isn't ready for the next step, ask: "Do you have any questions? Do you need more information? Does it suit you?" Ask questions and continue the conversation according to your plan. 

Here is an interesting question that may encourage your client to choose in your favor. Ask him what will happen if he doesn't accept your offer. How will it affect his company or his work? Also, ask him what is he going to do next after solving his problem? A b2b client builds his career, and it will be beneficial for him to add a successful launch of your product to his resume. It can inspire him for further achievements and encourage him to close the deal. 

Let's look at the plan of working with objections. 
Client: "This is not what we need." 
You: "What do you need?"
Client: "We need…"
Listen to him attentively.
You: "I see what you mean. 
Let's look at it in another way. 
Can I give you more information?"
Extend your presentation. 
You: "Do you have more questions?"

Close the deal 
The sixth stage is closing the deal. Have all the necessary documents prepared so that client can sign a contract on the spot. 

Whether you closed your deal or not, make a record of your negotiations. What did you say to the client to get rejected? What made the client agree and close the deal? Make a list of criteria that you need to analyze. 

Now see the stages once again
Sales stages:
- Prospecting
- Make contact
- Qualify your prospect
- Present your offer
- Overcome objections
- Close the deal

If the client came to you by himself, ask him how he found you.
First of all, you must be the consultant and the expert. Set your mind for a long-term relationship.
Ask questions, keep an involving dialogue. After all, it's easier to work with a return client than with new ones. 

Speaking of product's features, always mention their benefits. Then ask qualifying questions.
Be ready to explain why your product is "expensive." Don't be ashamed of it, be proud because you know why it's "costly." 

Be in the mood to close the deal or even several deals because you know what your client will do in the future. 
Keep records in CRM or a spreadsheet, note all negotiation details, analyze successful transactions and failures, find your perfect dialog and use it.