Are your sales where you want them to be?

For most organizations, the answer is no.  Including if you are at a high level already.  Do you know why they are not where you want them to be?  As a matter of fact, for most people the answer is no, even though you may have an idea.

The question should be: “Where is the constraint in your sales process?”  This is what is holding you back.

It is with awareness that you can make productive changes.  Therefore, let’s heighten your awareness of your sales process.

An effective sales process can be looked at as an assembly line.  Inventory  is input at the start. It works its way through the process. Finally, out the other end comes the finished product.

Take an automotive assembly line.  It starts with the frame.  Next, other parts flow in and are attached; the wheels, engine, transmission, seats, interior, etc.   Everything happens in a certain order.  Certain events or series of events depend on the ones before it.  The car coming off of the assembly line is dependent on a whole series of events leading up to that outcome.

Your sale depends on a series of events as well.

It starts with prospects.  This is your inventory.

Accordingly there are a series of actions in your sales assembly line to proceed through:

  • Introduction,
  • Gaining Favorable Attention,
  • Discovering Needs and Wants,
  • Presenting Benefits and Consequences, and
  • Gaining Commitment.

This is your sales process.  Each station has a specific job or goal to be accomplished before moving to the next station in line.

A malfunction of a single assembly station shuts down the whole line.  Output stalls and there are no finished products coming through the other end.

Where is your process backing up or stalling?  Let’s take a look at the flow:

To start, do you have enough inventory or prospects? You can have the best assembly line or process in the world.  However, without the material to build with, it doesn’t matter.  Is the number of prospects you have an issue for you? If so, this falls under marketing and prospecting.  These are what create your inventory to be put into your sales process.  It represents a separate supply issue.

If you have enough prospects  but aren’t getting the sales you want, then you have constraints.  The good news is that you can tune up or fine tune your process and boost your production.

You will find each station of the sales assembly line listed below, in order, with the goal of that station listed.

In addition, your assembly line has a self analysis feature.  All you have to do is activate it by answering the questions associated with each step.

Take some time here.  If you think you do some things well, then think in terms of how you could do it better.

These questions highlight what you need to be aware of.  And what you need to doing to make sure your prospects are flowing through your process with maximum efficiency.


Introduction– The goal is to make a favorable first impression.

Self analysis:

Who are you as a seller in terms of what you believe you provide of value and solutions to people’s problems?  You need to think in these terms and not about making a sale.

How is your self image and self confidence?  These are like cruise control.  They can speed you up or slow you down. What we think is exuded in what we do.  That belief will leak through.

Do you have a mindset of “helping” or “making a sale”?  People can sense someone just out for themselves and a sale a mile away.  A sincere interest in helping goes a long way towards building trust.

What type of first impression do you make?  You never get a second chance for a first impression.  Watch your posture, grooming, clothing, and attitude.

Gaining Favorable Attention–  The goals are to build trust and rapport, establish two way communications, and sell the prospect on you.

Self Analysis:

How friendly and likeable are you?  If people like you and trust you than they MAY buy from you.  If they don’t like you or trust you, they will NEVER buy from you.

Do you keep your focus on your prospect?

Are you on your agenda or your prospects agenda?  Get on your prospects agenda early.  It’s the only way to earn their business.  Remember, it’s not about you.

Do you show sincere interest in your prospect?  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care- Zig Ziglar  Showing interest builds on your likability.

How effective are you at questioning?   Effective questioning techniques are skills that the most successful sales professionals practice and master.  These skills are applied starting in the introduction and continue through the entire buying/selling process.

Do you build trust and rapport?  Don’t sell. Do make a friend.  And make sure they feel comfortable in forging an alliance with you.

Do you create a comfortable dialogue?  It is only when dialogue exists that you can start to explore their needs and wants.

Discovering Needs and Wants–  The goal is to discover what the prospect needs and or wants and WHY.

Self Analysis:

How prepared are you to ask questions?  They need to be internalized.  This allows you to stay on your prospects agenda.

Do you have a mental model for collecting information?   SPIN is one example. Likewise, goals, benefits, consequences, obstacles is another.

Do you ask the right questions?

Do you listen?  Good listening creates a positive environment.  Bad listening creates a negative environment.

Do you show genuine concern for their situation?

Do you understand the WHY behind what they tell you is important?

Presenting Benefits and Consequences– The goal is to present your product or service in terms of solutions and benefits to your prospect.

Self analysis:

Do you talk about only what is of value to your prospect in terms of issues, features, and benefits?   Doing this makes it easier for them to do business with you.

Do you continue to clarify that you are on the right track?   This is not just presenting!

Do you keep your prospect engaged and talking?  See above

Gaining Commitment -The goal is to ask for the order and to get it.

Self Analysis:

Do you think of this as the close or a process you have gone through to earn the client’s business?   Gaining commitment is a process and it begins with the very first meeting with a prospect.

Do you think in terms of long term relationships with clients or transactions?

Is this a natural conclusion for your prospects or do you find yourself using techniques?

To be sure, if your sales process is a smoothly oiled machine then you will find that your inventory or prospects will flow through with a minimum number being stuck in the process.  You will end up with more finished products: SALES!

Do you want the advanced self analysis feature?  Click here for a tool that will ask you all the right questions for you to self discover where you can be better!

If you’ve identified your constraints and need some help increasing the flow through that bottleneck, please don’t hesitate to contact me.