The Steps of the Sale-Think of a number

1.    Think of a number from 1 to 10

2.    Multiply that number by 9

3.    If the number is a 2-digit number, add the digits together

4.    Now subtract 5

5.    Determine which letter in the alphabet corresponds to the number you ended up with (example: 1=a, 2=b, 3=c, etc.)

6.    Think of a country that starts with that letter

7.    Remember the last letter of the name of that country

8.    Think of the name of an animal that starts with that letter

9.    Remember the last letter in the name of that animal

10. Think of the name of a fruit that starts with that letter


Wait, don't scroll down until you have an answer...




















Are you thinking of a Kangaroo in Denmark eating an Orange?




So what just happened here? If you are like the 98% of people that tried this, you thought of a Kangaroo in Denmark with an Orange.

The reason this worked so effectively is that I knew in advance exactly where I wanted you to go. I had a plan in mind that would take you to the desired result and then I simply worked backwards with the end in mind.


Successful selling is exactly the same process. I have a goal that I need to reach, namely having the prospect in front of me purchase my product. Just how we make that happen is much easier if you have a map. That map is called ‘the steps of the sale’.


The steps of the sale are the essential building blocks to move your prospect towards making a buying decision. By understanding and applying the different steps of the sale and how to transition from one to the next, they will help you lead your sales discussion towards a successful sales outcome.



The steps to every successful sale should include:


Be friendly and inviting. Lead the way for your prospects to talk about themselves by asking them a few questions. This is the warm-up part of your presentation where you are building very important rapport with your prospect.

Establishing credibility

The prospect in front of you may genuinely have never heard of your store or the brands you carry, which is why you need to establish that you are a credible business with a proven history. Show them the area of your store that physically demonstrates your credibility as a company – the credibility wall.


Understand the needs and wants of your prospect. When you truly listen to your prospect, you will understand their needs, wants, concerns and motivators. If you are sincerely interested in fulfilling their needs, the discovery phase will provide you with all the information you need to sell to them as well as how to not sell to them.

Product presentation

Your time to shine is during your presentation. By now your prospects should have warmed up to you; your own credibility and the store’s credibility have been established, and your discovery has provided you with all the information that is important to your prospect. Throughout this you will have been building a great rapport with your prospect by genuinely listening to what they need.

Creating urgency

A key component in any sales strategy, in addition to a great discovery, establishing solid credibility and a bullet proof product presentation, is to create a sense of urgency for your prospect to buy now. The more effective you are at creating urgency, the more sales you will make.

Closing the sale

Nothing happens until a sale is made. Closing the sale is merely the continuation and completion of the terrific sales presentation you have already made. It is also the biggest area of concern most sales people have because they are afraid to hear 'No, or We want to think about it'. It is the logical end why your prospects entered the store. Closing is the final process that brings your prospect to a final decision, be it a yes or a no.

Overcoming objections

Overcoming objections is crucial for successful selling, no matter what product or service you provide. Only when you master the skills, and gain the confidence to ask your prospect the right questions to fully understand and counter their objections, will you be closer to closing the sale. Know what questions to ask that will address common objections and commit your prospect to purchase.


Do you take the time after every missed sale to analyze what went well and what didn’t? There are only two possible outcomes following your presentation: your prospect purchased your products or they didn’t purchase your products.  Following up with both successful sales and unsuccessful sales will help you to understand your strengths and areas that still need improving.

Always look for ways to improve your presentation and remember the ABC ‘s


Always Be Closing.

Discussion: In addition to the steps of the sale, what other methods to you use to move your prospects through the sales cycle?

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  • Marco, 

    As always, you have shone the light on some basic sales tactics that often get left out of the sales process! I love the idea of planning your process by working backwards, I think that is a very effective way to do just about anything. For many projects, this type of system can eliminate procrastination and, for the sales process, I find that mapping steps out like this makes each step seem more achievable and less intimidating. 


    I try to follow all of the steps you have outline here, but I find that adding one more step is also important: Qualification. You talk about establishing your credibility, but I think you also need to establish the credibility of your potential customer as well. Sometimes a "customer" will walk into your store simply to pass the time, or for some other reason that will NEVER lead to a sale and, if that is the case, it is better to find out early and move on. 


    Thanks for the great post!


    Thank you Scott and Pooldraw.


    Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Don't confuse asking for the business as being overly aggressive. The prospect standing in front of you is in your store for a purchase your products or services if you present them properly. I have a free eBook on Overcoming Objections, it is available on my website . In it you will find both 'aggressive' and 'non-aggressive' techniques to overcome most objections and close more sales. Check back later today for my latest blog. 






    Sophisticated Selling Strategies....Simplified

  • Thoroughly enjoy your posts!
  • fun !! I was thinking of a Koala in Denmark eating an apple!

    Very good description of the phases of the sales process - I generally use 1-4; I'm not an aggressive closer as I only want customers who decide they want my product once they have explored their options .... I have enjoyed your postings - thanks for taking the time. 

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