I love systems. Systems allow us to go step by step through how to do something and make sure that every time we do it, that we do it in a way that ensures the most efficient route to our final result. It allows us to get the best possible outcome each time we do it.
Michael Gerber, who wrote the bestselling business book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, talks a lot in that book about systems. His ideas have helped thousands of businesses all over the world, and systemization is one of the most important factors that he discusses.
“Things need to be sold. And it’s usually people who have to sell them. Everyone in business has heard the old saw: 80% of our sales are produced by 20% of our people. Unfortunately, few seem to know what the 20% are doing that the 80% are not. Well, let me tell you. The 20% are using a system and the 80% are not. A selling system is a soft system. And I’ve seen such systems produce 100% to 500% increases in sales in almost no time! What is a selling system? It’s a fully orchestrated interaction between you and your customer” – Michael Gerber
Systemizing your business is not just about making sure that you have the proper processes and procedures in place to deliver your product or services in an easy manner to your customers; you must also systemize your sales process. It’s actually critical to the success of your business, especially because, considering the limited amount of selling time that you have as a business owner, one of the ways that you can get the biggest and quickest increases in your business is to go through systematizing your sales process.
Now, I have a very easy-to-use sales system that I, personally, and hundreds of those that I’ve coached, have used to generate tens of millions of dollars of sales. It consists of four-and-a-half steps.
Step one is to prepare. Set yourself up for success properly. Just like an iceberg has much of its mass below the surface – it’s something that you never see – the same is true of your sales. Your customers, your prospects, will likely never see much of what you need to do to ensure your success in the start of the sales process.
You also need to position and attract yourself. This is where you’ll position yourself as an expert and as someone that they want to do business with. You’ll position your business, attract clients to you and set appointments with them to go into in-depth discussions of how you can help them or their businesses.
Then in that appointment, in that meeting or that phone call, you’ll move onto asking powerful questions. This is so critical to the success of your business and of your sales that it is its own step within the process. Believe it or not, more sales are won or lost in this step of the sales cycle than any other part of the system. There are a lot of things that you can do, or cannot do, that may cause you to lose a sale, but questioning is undoubtedly one of the biggest impacts that you can have on your sales processes; simply by learning to ask the right questions and the powerful questions.
Then the next step is to pitch, handle objections, and close the sale. That’s all one step of the cycle: pitching, handling the objection and closing the sale, because they’re all so integrated. It’s one of the areas that many people are fearful of and think that they’re not good at. But when you’re following a system, and you’re asking powerful questions that lead to insightful conversations with your customers, you’ll find that those conversations will naturally lead into pitching your solution, answering their questions, and ultimately asking for the business.
Then the fourth-and-a-half step is to follow up… and this doesn’t come last; it’s actually integrated throughout the whole process. Following up is not really a step of its own, but it’s something that you need to do every step of the way throughout the sales process, even well after the sale. It’s so important that I wanted to list it out as a separate part of the process.
Overall, the system has 4.5 steps.
- Position and Attract
- Ask Powerful Questions
- Pitch, Overcome Objections, and Close
- Follow Up
I’ve laid out how to implement this system and each step of it in my #1 Best Selling Sales & Marketing Book, Team of One – Get the Sales Results of a Full Time Sales Team without Actually Having One. You can get a FREE PDF copy of the book by entering your name and email below.