Sales Cycle vs. Buying Cycle

Sales Cycle vs. Buying Cycle

SalesCycle_FeaturedAs professional newspaper salespeople, we should all live by the seven step “Sales Cycle” that I’ve preached about week in and week out since my column first appeared in early 2011. Each step is designed to keep you on track and increase the likelihood that you’ll close the sale.

I hope by now that you can recite these steps forwards and backwards. Remember that there are no shortcuts. Embrace each step, knowing that your prospect will feel confident in your ability to understand their business, make solid advertising recommendations, and help them to fulfill their business objectives.

The Sales Cycle
1.  Uncover prospects
2.  Initiate contact
3.  Conduct a thorough needs analysis
4.  Make a recommendation
5.  Overcome objections
6.  Close the sale
7.  Follow up

At the same time, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of your prospect’s “Buying Cycle.” Unless you know how advertising decisions are made, it’s nearly impossible to fulfill each step of your Sales Cycle. You can make a solid recommendation, but it’ll be difficult to hold your prospect (or yourself) to a deadline without knowing what steps need to take place before the prospect says “yes” or “no.” Ideally, you want to ask probing questions during the Needs Analysis step so that you can construct a soft timeline for the buying cycle that should resemble something like this:

The Buying Cycle
1.  Need Awareness – a prospect identifies a need and realizes that you can potentially fulfill it
2.  Consideration
– a prospect evaluates of how your product meets this need and the financial feasibility of moving forward
3.  Preference/Intent – a prospect’s logical and emotional inclination towards one solution or another, ultimately leading to a purchasing decision
4.  Purchase
– the action of accepting your customized advertising recommendation
5.  Repurchase
– the emotional and logical process leading to a repeat purchase

Have a great 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