Many service industry niches, home security for example, have always been a stable business environment in which to operate. Demand for consumer services has remained consistent over the years as consumers look to add convenience and the newest technology solutions to their lives.
7 Steps in the Sales Process
In reality, many new players have learned the potential of the service industry and are ready to offer what you’re offering — plus so much more. The main challenge, therefore, is how to retain existing customers while attracting new ones amidst increased competition. The following steps will help you do just that:
1) Generate leads
In this step, focus mainly on attracting as many quality leads as possible. These leads will be individuals mostly in the "awareness" stage of the buying process, so they'll be looking for additional information about your solution and will need time to consider your option and others. There are several lead generation techniques to implement, including digital marketing strategies offering e-books, newsletters and social media engagement as well as traditional activities like networking events, to name just a few.
2) Qualify leads
Qualified leads can be defined differently by different companies. Decide as an organization which steps will be appropriate for leads in your funnel at each stage. In qualifying a lead, one approach is to answer these 4 BANT questions about the lead:
- Budget – do they have the money to buy the product?
- Authority – do they make purchase decisions?
- Need – are they in need of your products or services?
- Timeframe – can they make the purchase within a specific time period?
3) Capturing Leads in a CRM system
Once you’ve qualified your leads, it’s time to track interactions and work to get an appointment. One of the key benefits of a CRM system is that it allows you to easily capture and manage the leads. All dealings involving servicing, marketing and selling are carried out in a very organized manner by using a CRM. Both up-selling and cross-selling become easier. With little effort, you should be able to set up a meeting with the prospect.
4) Confirming an Appointment
The sales appointment is more likely to bear fruit if you stay in communication with the lead at appropriate stages and prepare well for the appointment. Capture the name, address, city, state, zip, and other personal and business information regarding the prospect. Prior to the appointment, send at least two e-mails educating the prospect about your company and the particular product. Finally, confirm the appointment with an e-mail or phone call the day before.
5) Preparing for the Sales Call / Appointment
Once you’ve gathered what you need to know, get mentally prepared. You know that the prospect knows that you’re calling to make a sale, but be sure you are personable during the appointment and you are as educated on your company and products as possible. Be ready to answer any question they may bring up. Then, place some command in your voice, and kill those fears in the first 10 seconds.
6) Delivering a Sales Presentation
Sales presentation involves explaining the benefits of the product to the customer. Start by familiarizing yourself with the buyer; you want to impress them with knowledge about their company and how the product fits in their structure. Then, prove that your company is equipped to meet the demands of their problem or product needs. Finally, prepare a counterproposal so that if the first proposal is rejected, you have another one to put on the negotiation table.
7) Closing the Sale / Follow Up
One research found that 80% of sales are lost because sales persons fail to close appropriately. Basically, closing refers to the collection of activities that ultimately lead to an order. The timing should be perfect; not hurried and not delayed. These tips for closing sales can help you use the right tone and approach when it comes time to ask for the sale.
The last of the steps in the sales process is follow up. Interestingly, follow-up never ends — you must remain in contact as appropriate and be ready to offer information or service at any time. Staying at the forefront of your customer's mind ensures that whenever they talk about your service, they also mention your company or product.
By following these seven steps systematically and in the order in which they are listed, you will give yourself an edge over your competition, regardless of the service industry sector you are in. Increased leads and sales will be the result of your organization and consistency. To learn how to take advantage of opportunities in the service industry, download our free e-book, "Grow Your Business Using the Franchise Model," below.
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