Developing a Sales Process for the Solopreneur

Building Rapport in the Sales Process

Many solo business owners don’t want to think about selling nor do they want a prospect to think that they are selling.  This has much to do with their view of selling, because selling is an inside job.  The fact is selling is at the center of every business transaction.  It is important solo business owners develop their own sales process so that you have a process to measure and tweak to get better results.
Developing and practicing a personal sales process will give the business owner confidence when they are speaking with a prospect.
Any system of selling will be easy if you follow this process.
1.  Gain Rapport
2.  Identify Needs
3.  Explain how features and benefits will satisfy those needs
4.  Validate – Prove your claims
5.  Negotiation – work out any concerns
6.  Ask for the business
While in the gaining rapport, part of the sales process, be mindful that listening must be 80% of the time and talking only 20%.  Find common ground to connect emotionally.  Using the acronym F.O.R.D. helps in finding the common ground.  Ask questions around Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams.
Practice the following and watch the impact it has on prospects.
1.  Tune out the world and tune into them.
2.  Put them at ease and make them feel important.
3.  Get them talking about themselves.
4.  Maintain eye contact and listen to how they feel.
Do not begin telling, selling or demonstrating until rapport is developed.  Stay present.
Every business owner must have a sales process that can be practiced until internalized so that it can then be personalized for anyone they are speaking with.
Next post I will focus on Engaging through identifying their needs.

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(2) comments

Nicole Fende

Great tips! So many solopreneurs did NOT start their business to be in sales, myself included. Yet by the very nature of being solo we must bring in the business.
I particularly appreciate that you highlighted staying present and engaged. If I sense someone who is pitching me is tuning out I’m turned off.

Rachel Blaufeld

Donna – I think the hardest part for many – is what you say –> do not sell until you have established a rapport.
For me – hardest part is asking for the sale….I always want it to happen organically, but it does not always happen that way.
Cannot wait for the rest of your tips! Rachel

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