As we discuss in our tutorial on The Selling Process, selling can be viewed as a series of activities salespeople undertake as they work to build relationships with customers. Of the eight activities we highlight, two were particularly critical and often separate highly successful salespeople from average salespeople.
The first of these important activities is Generating Sales Leads, where the salesperson must work to locate potential sales prospects. As we note in the tutorial, there are several approaches to lead generation. However, for most salespeople, no matter which method they use, this aspect of their job is often the most time consuming. Additionally, it is common for success to come only after a significant amount of rejection.
The other critical activity is Closing the Sale, where a seller attempts to get the buyer to commit to a purchase. This is often cited as being the most challenging sales activity to master. Closing requires the salesperson be skilled in verbal persuasion and in the ability to interpret customer behavior to determine when a closing attempt should be made.
To help address these critical selling activities, Inc. Magazine has two useful articles. One article deals with cold calling, a particularly challenging, though often highly effective, form of lead generation. The other article discusses techniques and philosophies for closing the sale. These relatively in-depth articles should be especially useful for anyone who is not comfortable with these essential tasks.