There are six steps in what I call the “Away-Game” selling process:
Each of these steps addresses some aspect of being in the mind of the buyer – which is why it’s so successful. To understand how these steps play out, consider your experience at the doctor’s office. In this blog post and the next, I’ll walk you through how each of these steps can be likened to the relationship a doctor has with their patient.
What’s the first thing that happens when you walk into a doctor’s office?
They ask you a series of questions before taking your insurance card and copay. In doing so, they’re deciding if you’re qualified to do business with them. At the same time, you’re checking out the surroundings, the manner in which they treat you, and deciding if you want to do business with them. In this step of the sales process, you’re trying to get the buyer’s attention by communicating things that are important to them, things that will engage and advance a conversation. This is a point where the buyer is deciding whether they want to talk with you further.
After you have spent a little time in the waiting room of your doctor’s office, you head back to another part of the office, where a nurse or nurse practitioner or doctor’s assistant asks you questions about your health, weighs you, takes your temperature and blood pressure, maybe reviews your history. They’re evaluating you. They’re gathering information about your health based on age, weight, history, and all those other questions and the measurements they take. All while you’re evaluating them, judging their thoroughness and bedside manner. In sales, the purpose of the connect step is to turn the disinterest in the buyer’s mind into an interest in you and the selling process.
The doctor’s manner, the questions he or she asks, the level to which they seem to be listening to a patient’s questions and concerns, will all play into how a patient reacts to the doctor’s diagnosis. As with other steps in this process, the diagnosis cuts both ways. In sales, as you’re going through the questioning process of evaluation, you’re also starting to form your diagnosis. In this step, you’re starting to firm up some of your suggestions and talking about your products or services. All of that is geared toward getting a read on the buyer’s situation.
These initial steps are critical to the successful implementation of the next three which I’ll cover in my next post. In these first three steps, you’re laying the groundwork for your selling process, establishing confidence, expectations, and rapport. Both you and the buyer are determining if there’s a fit. In the next three steps, we’ll look at addressing the problems with a suitable solution and moving the sale forward to the end stage.