Advancing sales. In simple sales we get the order or don’t. In more complex sales we want to help our customer advance the sale through their buying cycle.
it’s useful to consider four possible outcome after any sales call:
Close: The client commits to buy. There may or may not be a negotiation phase as part of the close. Good buyers know that they are in the strongest negotiation position when they are in the position to actually place an order.
Advance: An agreed action by the client that moves towards the sale towards a close. In addition to be an advance the customer must commit to an action that requires effort on his or her part. (For example set up a presentation for the final decision maker, call a satisfied customers as a reference. )
Continuance: The client hasn’t neither agreed any action that requires effort on their part or confirmed that they are not buying from you.
No Sale: The client has confirmed either that they are not going ahead or else that they’re buying elsewhere.
We’ve highlighted the Advance as often the most productive action we can take to help the customer move the sale through their buying cycle.
It’s useful brainstorm all the possible advances and and explore with your client where in the buying cycle they would be the most useful and which would be the most helpful.
Other examples of advances include a) the customer arranges for you to present to a workshop of decision makers b) the customer introduces you to the most important people in the decision making process c) the customer lets you add your information on to their company intranet d) you get agreement and commitment to a trial.
(NB The Spin Selling Fieldbook by Neil Rackham gives further information on advances)
The next section equally applies to advances as well as closing sales.
NLP Sales Section Index
Recommended Sales Books
2: Customer’s buying cycle
3: Questions to identify your initial problem and value statements
4: Getting appointments (framework script)
5: Handling classic and specific objections when getting appointments
6: Handling other objections when getting appointments
7: Advancing the sale (This page)
9: Value, proposals and negotiation
10: Implementation, case studies, referrals and testimonials
11: New Media
12: NLP approaches that make the difference.