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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

The nine steps to failsafe selling

Nothing gets done in this world without selling. Here is my failsafe nine-step process that gets sales every time.
Dr John Demartini
Follow this method step-by-step and you will get a yes, but if you miss a step, you'll get a no.
  1. Greet and introduce

    The first step in sales is to introduce yourself properly. Let people know who you are and briefly what you do.

    Then, always ask a question. Sales are about what clients or customers need, not what you can sell them. The key throughout this process is to ask questions. To sell is not to tell.

    If you start by telling a client about your product, you're trying to make him or her do something that you want. This does not plug into the client's motivation, which is to gratify his or her own values.

  2. Create rapport

    The next step is to establish common ground. People tend to forget the elementary stuff. Ask questions until you find common threads.

    The point of this exercise is not to hurry a sale, but rather to establish a platform on which to build a relationship. People tend to be sceptical until you find commonalities. If you can find something that connects the two of you, you stop being a stranger.

    Ask them about their interests, try and find people you know in common, places you have both been to, what they do, their goals and needs. If you can establish similarities, they will open to you. That's when people see that you care. You can't effectively sell to people who don't feel cared about.

    Remember this tip: if you go in high and arrogant, your client will bring you down. If you go in low and humble, they'll lift you up.

  3. Establish needs

    Next, find out what the client's needs are. This is the most important component of the process. It's all about data collecting. The more needs you can establish, the easier the selling process will be. If what you are trying to sell to them does not speak to one of their needs, why would they buy from you?

    Where people blow it in sales is they want to talk about the product. Again, ask, don't tell. You need to find out what is going to make a client buy. Ask the right questions and they will tell you about their voids or concerns.

    One of my mentors, Walter Haley of K-Mart, referred to a "dominant buying motive", but he calls it the clients' highest value. He says that you need to establish as many needs as possible. Don't stop until you have a minimum of five to seven needs, motives or voids that they want to fill. Haley said that until they are asking you to help them, you haven't established enough needs.

    The aim is to get to the point at which the client wants to know more about what you can offer them.

  4. Confirm needs

    He points out that, up until this stage, all you have done so far is ask questions - you still haven't made a single statement, making it feel like the client is doing all the talking, is in control of the conversation and making all the decisions.

    However, it is you, the sales person, who is actually directing the conversation by probing.

    Now summarise your client's needs as it's vital to show that you have properly understood them. When you have their confirmation, then you can make an offer.

  5. Now offer a solution

    First, a warning: if what you are offering doesn't match the client's need, you'd be a fool to offer it. You'd be better off not trying to make that sale and finding someone who does match the offer.

    At this point you have to consider the long-term, rather than about your immediate goal to make a sale. The short-terms costs, the long-term pays. If you go for the sale and the product you are offering doesn't solve the client's needs, you will undermine the potential referrals that the client might still give you. Don't make them resent you.

    Either find a way to give them a product that matches or you can simply loop back to step three and establish a new or different set of needs. I often say to clients who want to come to a particular programme of mine that the course I'm running at this time may have less value for them than another I am doing in a few weeks. Their needs must be congruent with the product or service or they will not be satisfied.

    At this point, to make a sale, you have to be clear about your intentions. Admit that you want to do business. Let them see that you're interested. The solution, as always, must be a win-win. Help them to get what they want, and you'll get what you want. Either they'll come back to you or they'll refer you to someone who needs what you're offering.

  6. Handle objections

    This stage is inversely proportional to how well you established their needs. Objections are symptoms that you have not established enough needs and are not offering the service that matches their needs.

    Once again, listening to the client is central and your preparation and product knowledge will be key to your success. If and when objections come up, you may need to skip back to step three and four, establishing and confirming needs, as well as identifying new needs.

    This is also an opportunity to try step five again. Once all objections are taken care of, it's time to close the deal.

  7. Close

    Be clear and direct about your intention to close - don't make it ambiguous.

    Ask: When would you like to fulfil your needs or objectives? Remember, this is once again a question.

    You're not imposing terms on the client, but allowing the client to direct you - the decision is in the client's hands and he or she is made to feel in control of the decision.

  8. Referral

    Once you have the paperwork done, you have served your client. Then ask them if they would mind if you asking one or two more questions. Do they know other people with the same needs as theirs?

    At this stage of the process, remember that you still have to keep in mind what is in it for the client. If it's of no benefit to them, why would they do it? The client always wants to know what's in it for them.

    Generally, when clients feel good about a product or service, they'll give you references.

  9. Continued service and follow-up.

    Keep your follow-ups informative and friendly, but don't become friends - it's important to always s keep it professional.

    And if the referrals didn't come the first time, get them now.

About the author

Dr John Demartini ( is regarded as the world's foremost authority on human behaviour and one of the greatest teachers of our time. The author of countless books, he travels the world 360 days a year, teaching his unique programmes. Out of his 39 years of research and study, he founded The Demartini Institute (tel +27 (0)11 011 9093), the home of his various courses and programmes, including The Breakthrough Experience. Get daily teachings from Dr Demartini on Twitter (@DrJohnDemartini) and Facebook.
Peter Gilbert
This guy is living in a time warp. This guff was relevant in 1960.
Posted on 6 Jun 2011 15:49