The Sequential Model visually presents the ten steps of selling and helps clarify the selling sequence. This is what selling looks like. Each step of the model, when learned and applied, endows you with the capacity to advance to the next step. Each step is related to all the others. The final outcome of the sales interview is determined not by your ability to perform one step, but by your ability to perform all steps throughout the execution of the sale. Once again, selling today requires a sophisticated set of skills.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the model as 1) a standard or example for imitation or comparison; 2) a pattern on which something not yet produced will be based. That is exactly my objective: to provide an example, a pattern to be imitated throughout the sales call. The Sequential Model provides the minimum acceptable standards on which to base your performance. Anything less compromises your success. The model gives you the confidence to effectively navigate through the entire sales call. It is a guideline, a blueprint that can be tailored to your specific selling arena. Don’t view the model as a rigid, ten-step strategic engagement with your customer. Each sales call must be situational, guided by the spirit of the model. It becomes a seamless interaction with the customer—a very fluid dialogue.
Beginning with Step #1, each step of the model must be successfully completed prior to advancing to the next step. When I say successfully completed, I am referring to success as defined by your customer. To earn the right to advance the sale, the customer must be satisfied with your performance at every step. He or she is the ultimate referee of your performance. Every successfully completed step sets up the next one, steadily moving the potential customer toward a buying decision without pressure. Consider your progress as a series of graduations—complete the required curriculum of each step, graduating to the next one. Bypass a step or leap-frog a step and you seriously jeopardize the end result, which is a win-win. Sorry, no shortcuts. No missing pieces allowed.
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