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Monday 29th May 2017

Virtual Ashridge

Global perspectives » Leadership » CEO Blog - Time Leadership » The simple 42 steps to making a sale

The simple 42 steps to making a sale

Many companies know who their target customers are.  In many cases their targets are limited.  For example - at Danby Appliance, we might target appliance stores.  There are only so many of them.  So the key is persistence.

One suggested process:

1 - call them and introduce yourself, get an email address.

2 - follow up with snail mail with a hand written note.

3 - stop in for tea.

4 - Connect with your main contact on Linkedin (I love Linkedin).  

5 - Send Daily or every other day Linkedin updates.  Not directed at just one contact.

6 - Call them again.

7 - email a follow up.

8 - send than a link to an article that might interest them.

9 - Send them something physical - some tea, chocolates, a pen, a hat, a mug.  Always with a personal note.  Physical things get noticed since they are not very common.

10 - Connect to everyone else in their company on Linkedin that you can.

11 - repeat steps 3, 6, 8 and 9 a couple of times. 

12 - refer them a customer.  People who you help succeed will help you succeed.

13 - Visit them with a product.  Nothing like showing them real products to build excitement.

14 - Take them to a hockey game, a play, an outing.

15 - Send them a baby gift (assuming they have a baby).

16 - Repeat steps 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, and 14.

17 - Visit their store opening.

18 - Have your CEO, COO, Product people etc meet with them.

19 - Do anything you can to help them.

20 - take them to lunch (I generally do not like this one - takes too long)

21 - play golf with them (again - too long for me)

Mostly - be genuine.  Be who you are.  People buy sincerity.

And keep doing this until you sell.  Why do I say 42 steps?  Just to emphasize it takes time and persistence.  Nothing beats having a relationship and being there when someone needs what you are selling, when an existing supplier messes up, when things are changing.

I have found many sales people just give up.  They take a few steps and are rarely heard of again.  Those who persist politely win.

The sales trick I am using here is sitting on my grandson Daniel so he does not get into things.  Like all happy customers, he does not even know he is trapped.

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