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5 Key Steps in the Sales Process: The Backbone of Your Business

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Ever tried to launch a business by sitting down to create the most stunning website you could imagine– convinced it’s what you need to be successful and stand out among the competition?


Or how about investing a healthy chunk of change on business cards and Facebook funnels… because that’s just “what you have to do,” right?


Whoa, hold up!!!


Time to shift gears.


Yes, those things MAY be important… down the road… depending on your marketing plan.


But first:

It is ESSENTIAL to master ONE thing. And it is usually the first thing many people avoid:


The sales process!


The sales process IS the backbone of your business. It IS the fuel that keeps your business alive.


Without sales, there is no cash flow, and without cash flow… no business. No marketing plan. No website. No funnel. Nada.


But with sales, comes freedom and endless possibility… words that ring magic in the ears of any die-hard entrepreneur.


By learning the steps in the sales process, you are setting a foundation upon which to do what you love, and steer your passion in the direction you choose.


But here’s the deal: You cannot wait for clients to come to you. That means you cannot wait for leads to swarm to your door, inbox or phone. And, you cannot wait for those leads to simply say “yes” just after a brief glance at your website. You have to initiate. That initiation is called the sales process.


Potential clients don’t know or understand how you can help them until you show them.

Yes, this can seem scary at first. But with a little practice, it can actually start to feel fun!


It is also super important to understand that the sales process is a 2-way conversation, and one of the most important parts is listening.


So, in this post, we are going to cover a brief overview of 5 key steps in the sales process. In our next post, we will start exploring each of these steps in more detail, so be sure to subscribe to get notified so you don’t miss these super helpful deep dives into each step.


Step 1) Client Discovery

What exactly is a client discovery?


A client discovery is the first step in the sales process conversation. During this step, you get to build connection and understanding with your potential client.


The client discovery builds:

  • Rapport

  • Clarity

  • Confidence

  • Connection

During a client discovery, you may ask your potential client:

  • What it is they want or need help with (uncover the pain point)

  • Why they feel they need help (you will want to dig beyond the surface why here)

  • What will change when they get help (the desired outcome & bigger picture results)

  • And why they need help with it now (understanding their timeline)

There are many different kinds of questions you can ask during the client discovery, which will be unique to your business and your client’s needs. The most important thing to remember is to be intentional with what you ask. With practice, you can learn to get to the heart of what your prospects most need and want in a succinct yet authentic manner.


Step 2) Recap

A re-cap allows you to let your prospect know you understand exactly what they need. It also allows your potential client to feel heard.


By doing this, the recap strengthens the trust and rapport between you and your prospect. A recap also helps to clarify your own understanding, so that you can prepare a value presentation that is relevant.


During the recap step, you will make statements and ask questions like,

“I hear you saying you are looking for help with xyz so that you can abc… is that correct?” (The ‘xyz’ is the pain that they need help with, and the ‘abc’ is the outcome they hope to achieve).
“Your goals sound really exciting! So the most important aspect of your business you’d like help with is xyz…so that you can abc? Did I hear that right? Is there anything that I might be missing?”

If possible, you will want to use their words, while keeping the question simple and succinct. By using their words, you are using a connecting tool called entrainment. We’ll dive more into that in a future post (don’t worry, it’s nothing dangerous or unethical! It is actually a really valuable part of building the rapport and trust with your prospects).


Step 3) Value Presentation

Before diving into this step, it is CRITICAL we do a quick self-check and ask:


  • Does the value and service I’m about to offer FIT with my client’s needs and wants?

  • Or, is it based on what I think they need or want?


It is key that the value and service we present fits with what we learned they want during the client discovery. At Proffit Coach, we teach a simple Need - Feature - Benefit approach to your Value Presentation.


During the value presentation, we have the opportunity to:


→ Show a prospect how we can help solve their biggest concern (using examples). * Need *

→ Directly relate our offer to something specific a potential client told you. * Feature *

→ Help our prospect feel excited and hopeful about reaching their goals! * Benefit *


And remember, speak clearly and confidently! Don’t be afraid to show excitement for the amazing ways in which you can help solve a problem with a value-packed solution!


Remember to keep it as simple as possible. When you over complicate your value presentation with ALL of the things you do it creates a slippery slope and not the fun Slip-N-Slide kind from the summer days of childhood! If you give your potential client too much to think about they may feel confused, overwhelmed and have so much to think about, which is not the experience you want to create.


Step 4) ASK!

Ok, yes, I know, it sounds obvious. But how many of you have gotten to that awkward moment in the conversation? Maybe it’s after you talk prices. Maybe your potential client even says, “That sounds great!” …and you say something like, “Great!”


Now what?!


It’s OK to ask for money. In fact, you need to. It’s a natural part of the conversation. If you felt an energetic buy-in, don’t skate around it. You’re leading the conversation. Now, ask!


Here are a couple ask-prompts:

“I’m so glad this feels like such a great fit for you! I know you’ll be really amazed at the results you’ll be able to create. Let’s get you signed up today. While I’m pulling up my payment system, can you confirm your email address that you want used for your receipt and ongoing communications?
“Let’s get you enrolled today. How would you like to pay? We can do….”

It is important to use strong, confident and heart-centered language here.


If you struggle with this step, you can also tie in a transition phrase, relating your ask with something important your prospect just shared with you. Here is an example:


“Since you mentioned you are struggling with____[mention their pain point], I know this will be exactly what you’ve been looking for…”

Notice how it is important to say I know this will be exactly what you’ve been looking for,” rather than, “I think you will really like this”.


The key is to take the lead, exhibit confidence, and let your potential client know that your offer will basically be the best decision ever for them!


Step 5) Objections, Recap, Ask, Repeat

So, now you’ve asked. If they say no, it is not a green light for you to nod your head and close the door with, “okey-dokey!” You’re going to encounter objections all the time, so learning to handle them is key.


And, objections are actually a fantastic tool we can use to more deeply clarify prospects’ needs, goals and struggles… so that we can offer more relevant value propositions. If you did a solid customer discovery, you likely already have solid information that you can use to mirror back to them in overcoming their objection.


Once you’ve clarified objections, guess what? Time to re-cap again, and present the value (while addressing the objection point of course) and ask again! This process repeats until all objections are clear.


Takeaways:

Whew, I know, that was a lot! But, it’s all so important. And it may feel like a lot now, but as you learn more about how each of the steps in the sales process flows, it really becomes quite simple. With some practice and support, it will even become second nature.


So, here are the 5 steps of the sales process, in review:


  • Client discovery

  • Recap

  • Value presentation

  • Ask

  • Objections, re-cap, value pres, ask, repeat (if needed)

Remember, listening is key to making sure your potential clients feel comfortable through the sales process.

Learn more about how you can transform your sales process to be more confident in your approach to sales for your business.


Stay tuned for our next post where we'll be diving deeper into the Customer Discovery. Subscribe so that you don't miss out on this


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© 2023 by Alison Proffit, DBA Proffit Coach