How Professionals Sell – Action Selling in action

Scott opened his briefcase and fished out two things. One was an ordinary notepad. The other was a colorful laminated card. One side of the card illustrated “The Action Selling Process.” The other side showed something called the “Ask the Best Questions Map.” Take note, Christine, he thought. I not only saved this card from the training program, I carry it with me wherever I go.

He laid the card on the table and picked up the notepad. “You want me to explain this as if you don’t know it?” he asked.

“Just walk me through the process quickly,” Christine said.

“All right,” Scott began, happy to demonstrate that he understood and appreciated the system that Christine herself had introduced to Partner Dental. “Action Selling is a step-by-step system for managing a sales call — actually, for managing the entire sales process, from the planning stage to following up after a sale. It’s based on the documented fact that every customer makes five crucial buying decisions in the course of any major sale. And whether the customer realizes it or not, these decisions are always made in the same order.”

On his notepad Scott drew a large question mark, divided it into sections, and labeled each section.

“First,” he said, “the customer decides whether to ‘buy’ the salesperson. This means that I can’t sell my product until I have first sold myself. Does the customer like me? More importantly, does he trust me? Does he believe that I understand his needs and that I want to help him instead of just taking his money?”

Scott ran briefly through the four remaining buying decisions. After customers have ‘bought’ the salesperson, they consider the company the salesperson represents (Is it reputable? Is it a good match for the customer’s company?). Then they make a decision about the product (Is it the right solution for me? How does it compare with competitive offerings?). Then they consider the price (Is the product worth the money?). Finally, they consider the “time to buy” (How urgent is the need for the product and when must I decide?)…

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).