The most important thing to remember about sales is that it is both a process, with a definite start and a finish, and an art form with endless opportunities for expression.
Thanks to the popularity of the Internet; the flow and availability of information dramatically changed the way people buy (impacting both B2B and consumer purchases in the same manner). Isn’t it time we shifted our sales models to facilitate the purchase?
This post is the first part of 2 posts that explain the 5 Phases of Purchasing Journey
1. ATTENTION: concentration of mind, awareness, or consideration.
In the Attention stage; buyers are curiously seeking some form of information. They might not be able to pin exact wording to it; but there is a definite openness to ideas.
While yelling and screaming will often get you a lot of attention in the short run, this tactic is highly manipulative and rarely beneficial over time. For better results; make yourself attractive, easy to reach, and otherwise available in the places your ideal buyers are. Create opportunities for engagement – social media/blog posts, infographics, white papers, etc.
Study and apply the art of conversation. Discuss things directly relevant to business as well as slightly less relevant ones to build a genuine human relationship.
Your role at this phase is simply to help buyers to the next phase with you in mind – nothing more.
2. INTEREST: curiosity, concern, involved, engaged by something.
Attention spans tend to run short. It’s a good thing you started to build that relationship because that is the key to holding their Interest for longer than a few moments.
The best way to be interesting to someone is by being interested in them. Practice Steven Covey’s habit of “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Transparency and authenticity are key here. It often helps to start by simply stating your intentions to better understand their situation so you can best relate your experience, company strengths, and various products/solutions as they are relevant.
This is often done through direct conversations, but can also be conducted over a series of automated interactions like brief surveys, interesting correlations, client stories, videos, webinars, and/or tutorials.
The role of the sales professional is to gage buyers’ interest, strengthen the relationship, and help escort them to the next phase.
Part 2; the conclusion of this piece will be published in this same channel on Friday 15 May 2015
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david r frick is a business artist and founder of SuccessVentures – a consulting firm focused on helping owners and entrepreneurs through a holistic approach to building sustainably-growing companies that meet the needs of contemporary business environments. Please feel free to follow and share his regular postings here or on twitter (@drfrick)