There are over 4,000 posts here at, a large percentage of them about selling, particularly B2B sales, a good many directed towards the complex sales using a consultative sales approach. If you read blogs about sales, you are likely getting a lot of nuanced ideas and strategies about selling, and maybe more than you need. Here is a straightforward explanation of how to sell effectively.

Make a List of Prospects: Some certain people or companies could benefit from what you sell. You start by making a list of those who would find value in what you offer, acquiring their names, emails, and phone numbers so you can reach out to them to ask them for a meeting.

Call Your Prospects: Let’s leave aside ideas like prospecting sequences and anything that would require you to spend a lot of time and energy before you can get started. You start by calling your prospects and asking them for a meeting so you can share some ideas about how they might get better results. The phone is the fastest way to acquire new meetings, and you can leave a voicemail and send a follow-up email, making yourself and intentions known.

Overcome any Objections: When you ask people for a meeting, many of them will say no, giving you objections to giving you their time. You need to be prepared to resolve the underlying concern, which is always they believe it is a waste of time. The easiest way to resolve this concern is to reduce the amount of time you are asking for and promising not to waste it, even if that doesn’t address the words they used when they objected.

The Discovery Meeting: When you sit down face-to-face with the contacts who agree to meet with them, you are going to ask them questions that help you understand their current state, as well as sharing your ideas about what they might do to get better results. If there are several people in the meeting, you have to ask all of them what they need, why they need it, and how things need to work for them. Of all the meetings you are going to have with your prospects, this early meeting tends to either confirm you are the right person to buy from, or that you are not.

Presentation and Proposal: When you have what you need to provide a proposal, you meet with your contacts to share with them what your solution looks like, how it delivers better results, and what they need to invest in acquiring your product or service. You can expect questions that you will need to answer for people to be comfortable choosing you as their supplier, and you may also be asked to provide proof. It’s not as crucial that you come across as a professional speaker as it is that you understand your prospect’s challenges and that you solve it in a way they believe will work for them. Caring enough to help them see how you customized the product or service for them will improve your chances of winning.

Acquisition: There are several things you still need to do to win a new customer, and it can be different for your company than someone else’s. You may need to get a credit application and other new client documentation. You may have to give them information or fill out supplier forms to be entered into their system. If what you sell requires any pilot or training before they can use what you sell, you have to do so at some point. It’s also likely you will have to negotiate the price, as well as terms and conditions. Of course, you are going to need to get a signature on a contract.

Execution: Once you have done all of these things, you can begin to execute for your new client. It’s good form to follow up to ensure your new customer is producing the results you promised them, being accountable for any challenges, and making any necessary adjustments.

This post is a very stripped down explanation of how to sell effectively in simple sales. What’s missing here is a more sophisticated sales process with a lot of stages, many of which tend to be over-engineered in the first place. It’s also missing the methodologies you would find in a modern sales approach directed at more complex sales.

As you follow some approach like what you find here, there is no end of the content to help you improve your effectiveness at all of these conversations. Improving your effectiveness in fundamental communications improves your sales results. But if you want a straightforward idea of how to get started in sales, the steps here are enough to get you started and on your way.

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Sales, 2020
Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
April 17, 2020
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