October 31, 2014

What’s Your Ideal Sales Process?

I write quite frequently about sales and how important it is for everyone to be able to articulate what they do and sell.  Isn’t it unfortunate that the  image of a hyped-up, intrusive, snarky, used car salesman still permeates our perceptions? Why is this image still so prevalent? Because of that “predatory” salesperson, the one who just sells something to someone for the sport of it, many people lack adequate respect for the sales profession.

Sleezy Salesman

And profession it is. In fact, professional sales is becoming part of the degree curriculum of more and more colleges and universities. I have great respect for high-level professional salespeople. I was one for 24 years in broadcast radio. In many ways, sales today is very different than it was even five years ago!

Developing the Process That Works for You

When was the last time you had someone ring your doorbell to sell you something, or just stroll into your office or place of business to sell anything other than flowers?

I found a great article from Business News Daily, “How to Conquer the Fear of Selling,” by Dave Mattson, CEO of Sandler Training. In it, he talks about selling as a science in developing an “ideal sales process” and says anyone can be trained to have one.

I believe that. Over the years I have hired, trained and worked with salespeople from many walks of life. The ones that believe in what they sell, love sales and work on their own unique process are the ones that do the best long term.

Today’s entrepreneur and small business owner must embrace a “sales mentality” to succeed. The sales process has changed very little over the years. It’s still fundamentally about building that  “like, know and trust” with people so that you can move your goods and services, to help them, for a fair price.

Don’t get intimidated by this. Rather, get empowered by the opportunities there are to:

  • find a prospect
  • qualify the prospect
  • analyze their needs
  • match their needs with your solutions
  • negotiate
  • consummate  (close) the sale
  • provide customer service and retention

When you think about it, today offers us all so many more ways to accelerate this.

Passion has power

If you love what you do, love what you sell, and love how it can benefit and has benefited others,  then simply focus on that “selling approach” and make it your ideal sales process. There is power in that passion!

To help you, here are the  Top 50 Sales Blogs from BlogRank. Some awesome resources for today’s new face and language of sales!

14 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a past staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

14 Reactions

  1. Great article. I would love to see universities start teaching sales as an official degree program. Even if you are not in a sales position, you are always selling, whether it’s your ideas or your influence. I always thought sales and communication skills go hand in hand and we should be educating our youth with these skills so they can remain competitive.

  2. I love sales, but then again there is sales and then there is sales. Pushy sales people in the finance and communication industry don’t offer any distinct value to change. Social media soft sales and education is where it’s at and people just can’t get enough. I agree with Gary, they should definately teach these skills to our youth as so many careers chosen depend on it.

  3. Deborah, I love that you emphasize ‘Passion’ at the end of your post. It’s important to believe in what you’re selling to make other people believe in it as well. But, when it comes to selling online, it takes more than just that – and content rules these days. If you’ve got something valuable to offer, then, people will flock to your brand like moths to a flame. Thanks for the inspiration, by the way!

  4. Gary,
    Back in the late 90’s I thought the same thing. How can Sales not be an actual degree by now. I totally agree that sales/communication skills do hand and hand, and more so that sales are the ultimate communication skills! Thanks for your thoughts!

  5. Aaron, indeed it takes more than passion to sell online. When content is the vehicle and passion delivers it that’s the ‘driver’. People know when content has no personal passion behind it. Content can be informative and informational, but when there’s an underlying “this is my experience and wisdom’ is there it is much more compelling and authentic. Thanks for your comment.

  6. This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with additional resource links, Deborah!

  7. Yolande, direct selling is still a very important process. We still have to move those goods and services, but the HOW, our approach has changed due in great part to social media’s softer sell. I think that’s a good thing. Still gotta identify a great prospect, make your case, offer solutions and ASK for the business! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Brenda, you are so welcome. Check them out and use them!

  9. I love the section about passion. You can always tell whether or not a salesperson has passion for what they are selling. A passionate one can’t stop talking about the product or service and gives you all the answers to your questions before you ask them. Now and days it seem like people have a job just to pay the bills, and lack passion for what they are doing, which is why they hate their job or don’t sell as much as they should.

  10. Lionel, without really believing in what you are ‘selling” and how it can benefit someone, it’s impossible to achieve a sustainability of sales. Great salesmanship is a blend of listening and testimonial. Thanks for your comment.

  11. BTW Lionel, I am a proud veteran of two nephews who had long train cycles! Love your niche and I can see why you value passion!

  12. good post…! As a sales person one should speak of the product features, advantages, difference from existing ones….but now a days this is not sufficient, he must also speak about the post selling customer services provided to the customer…as it’s a need of the day…what do you say… deborah shane

  13. Hi all, I really liked all the comments you guys posted and i m pretty impressed you all take sales so passionately and are well educated about u. Back here in India, people have changed the definition of a salesperson. They are hyped that this person will force me into buying something which i cannot afford or do not need for the moment. Result, the do not entertain such professionals. Your blog has made me realize its all about ur skill or ur way of selling rather than taking up a contemporary one. hats off!! thanks for the beautiful lesson! cheers!

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