Open. Probe. Support. Close.

Open. Probe. Support. Close.

SalesCycle_FeaturedA successful sales call is one in which you and the customer make an informed, mutually beneficial decision. As a sales professional, it’s your job to direct and manage the meeting so this outcome is achieved. You reach mutually beneficial decisions through an open exchange of information that focuses on the customer’s needs. Not YOUR needs…remember, it’s all about the customer! This is why the process is called Need Satisfaction Selling.

Based on the title above, I’m confident you’ve deducted that there are four parts to a successful sales call:

Open – You open the conversation by sharing what information you’d like to cover and what you’d like to accomplish during the meeting.

Probe – You gather information about a customer’s needs by asking open and closed ended questions.

Support – You provide information about how you can satisfy a customer’s needs (features and benefits.)

Close – You exchange information about the next steps for working together with your customer.

It’s important to remember that since customers usually have multiple needs to address when making advertising and media buying decisions, you may need to probe and support repeatedly during the meeting. Once you’ve opened the conversation, gathered information about one customer need (probe) and provided information about how you can satisfy that need (support), you can circle back around and repeat the process until all of the customer’s needs have been adequately addressed. Then, when the time is appropriate, you can close the meeting.

Open. Probe. Support. Close. -> Before your next meeting with a customer recall these steps in your head and I assure you you’ll have one of your best sales calls yet! Remember, I’ve said this many times in the past BUT it is crucial to keep in mind as you develop and hone your sales skills: Selling is a systematic series of repeatable events intended to achieve a desired result. Your approach to each and every meeting with a customer should be exactly the same, and based on your successful execution of repeating these steps you’ll start to notice a measurable increase in the amount of mutually beneficial decisions that are made with your customers – ie. MORE SALES and MORE MONEY!

Have a terrific week,

If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or