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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The 5 P's of Selling (Don't Skip #3!)

5 p's of sellingProper preparation prevents poor performance! 

Take these five P's for a test drive, and your sale performance will improve. 

1. Prospecting (always be) 

Before choosing which prospects to target, it’s best to generate a long list of leads, so you can narrow to the best leads. Using the categories you’ve identified as a good fit your business, decide which sources on this list are right for you to generate your list of leads: 

  • Referrals
  • Former Clients
  • Competitors
  • Business & Sales Intelligence Tools
  • Google Resources
  • Google Alerts
  • Google Maps
  • LinkedIn
  • Relationship Marketing

2. Persistence (to set the first appointment) 

To break through and connect with a prospect, be persistent. There is no magic approach or number of attempts that will work for all prospects; however, research shows most sellers give up before they make enough attempts to set an appointment. It usually takes 7-10 points of contact over a couple of weeks to stand out enough to get a prospects attention. When you know you have an ideal prospect, don't give up after one or two attempts.

3. Punt (if you can’t set an appointment)

If you have followed a Don’t Give Up process (7-10 points of contact over two weeks) to set the initial meeting and nothing happens, it is okay to punt! Move the prospect off your list and select another.

4. Preparation (before a needs analysis meeting)

 Some things you can do to prepare yourself:

  • Research the person you are meeting with on LinkedIn and with a Google search.
  • Research the company, visit their website, read their blog, and follow them on social media.
  • Research their industry online to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges for the prospect.
  • Identify their competitors and research them to gain further category knowledge and insight.
  • Sample the product or take a walk through their physical location, if possible.
  • Develop needs analysis topics and questions.
  • Determine which topics and questions are essential and which are just desirable.
  • Get familiar with terminology from your prospect’s industry and how to use it appropriately.

   Don’t forget to prepare the client as well:

  • Position yourself as a business peer by sharing insights you have uncovered.
  • Ensure you focus on your process and not your product.
  • Share content that demonstrates your expertise.
  • Ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  • Send an email before the meeting and restate the date, time, location, and duration.
  • Determine who should attend and who will attend the meeting.
  • Reconfirm the purpose of meeting, in other words your Valid Business Reason.
  • Discuss the desired outcomes of the meeting and what success would look like.
  • Partner with your prospect–invite them to respond to your details and expectations. 

5. Proposal (include the right information and minimize surprises)

Building a proposal with the customer or prospect is an important part of the sales process. Here’s a template that is worth its weight in gold. Be sure to build in some mini-closes along the way!

  • Cover Page
  • Desired Business Result
  • Measures of Success
  • Tailored Solution
  • Critical Path
  • Commitment
  • Appendix

View the full template with details here.

The Formula

Prospecting + Persistence + Punt + Preparation + Proposal = Perfection!

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Topics: sales process sales performance Proposal prospecting