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Business Oracle

Four Step Strategy for More Sales

Nick Devine, founder of The Print Coach, opens up about a four-step strategy that can help you secure more sales through a simple, yet effective, approach, whilst reducing stress

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The PX12 Simple Selling System has been designed to help print companies win more sales, while reducing the stress of selling to customers

Four steps to simple selling

Customers are at the heart of every successful company. It is the customers who give you the money for the products and services you make and deliver. Simply put, no customers means no business.

This is where the sales department comes in; they are the people who are responsible for customer development. If you want to be successful in your sales endeavours, you need great salespeople using a predictable selling system. The purpose of this article is to give you an overview of the four core steps your selling system must incorporate.

If you want to be successful in your sales endeavours, you need great salespeople using a predictable selling system



Understand selling

Before we delve into the details of the ‘PX12 Simple Selling System’, let us come to a common understanding of what we mean when we use the word ‘selling’.

The best definition I have come up with is: helping clients achieve outcomes. While this may seem like a contrarian viewpoint, our goal is not to win the sale and get the order, but instead to understand what the customer is trying to achieve with our products and services. Only then can we put together a proposition—a package of products and services—which will help them achieve that outcome. When you genuinely sell with that perspective, you will achieve a lot more in your sales career with significantly less stress.

Our goal is not to win the sale and get the order, but instead to understand what the customer is trying to achieve with our products and services. Only then can we put together a proposition


The four steps in the sales process are represented by the four circles in the PX12 Simple Selling System framework diagram featured below.
 
Your initial conversation with your prospective customer will start on the right-hand side of the PX12 framework. This is where you uncover what the customer is trying to achieve and what issues they are trying to resolve. Once you gather that information, you are now in a position to discuss how you can help the client resolve the issues they are experiencing.

Print companies should investigate what their customer is trying to achieve in order to supply them with the relevant product or service



To phrase it differently, most salespeople put the product before the problem, which means they lead with the information about their company, product, and service. Great salespeople put the problem before the product, which means they seek first to understand the problem the customer is trying to solve, before then discussing the product that solves it.

Step by step

Let us explore the four steps in more detail....

Destination: Your customer is trying to achieve some desired result with your product or service. This is the ‘destination’ they are trying to get to. If a customer has a POS project, they probably have a goal to increase footfall in the store. Or maybe they want to sell more of a certain range of products during a specific promotion; you need to understand more about the business goal before talking about the product specs. You can ask questions such as: ‘what do you hope to accomplish in this area’; ‘in which specific areas of this project are you hoping to get a better result’; and ‘where would success show up first in a project like this?’

Discover: Next, you need to discover the issues they are encountering in pursuit of that goal. You can think of these as the pains or problems that are hindering their progress. To discover their primary issues, you can ask questions like: ‘what are your biggest concerns as they relate to X’; ‘what is stopping you from getting the results you currently want? and ‘what have you tried previously to solve this issue, and what happened?’

While most salespeople put the product before the problem, only the best salespeople put the problem before the product



Demonstrate: By this stage, you should have a good understanding of the client side of the equation. It is now time to connect the dots for your customer by explaining how you can help them achieve their outcome, and resolve their issues. You achieve this by connecting the dots between the client issues and your package of products and services.
 
For example, if you are proposing a crossmedia campaign to a B2C client, you might say something like, “Email response rates have been in decline recently because people have too much junk in their inbox. The personalised crossmedia campaign we are proposing should increase your response rates by 20 percent and lead to a significant increase in the lifetime value of your clients.”

Deliver: Now it is time to move on to the fourth and final step in your selling framework. Before we discuss this step in any detail, let us circle back to the definition of selling: helping clients achieve outcomes. If you are genuinely interested in helping your clients succeed with your products and services, you have to check back and see how close your client came to achieving their desired outcome—the ‘Destination’ and ‘Discover’ steps.

The ‘Deliver’ step is not about delivering your products and services; it is taken for granted that you are going to do that. In the PX12 sales framework, ‘Deliver’ is focused on the client to see if your proposition did in fact deliver the outcome for your client. When you use a sales process like the PX12 Simple Selling System, your customers will buy more, buy faster, and negotiate less.

If you would like to take a selling shortcut, you can request a free Sales Strategy Session with me. I am offering a number of free sessions to qualifying companies and you must apply within 28 days of the magazine publishing date. After the strategy session, you will know how to apply the PX12 Simple Selling System to your individual company situation, so you can sell more at higher margins.


Nick Devine is the founder of www.theprintcoach.com, helping print, packaging, and wide-format companies create predictable sales and profit growth.


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