Sales Process Learned From Chiefs

Selling and Culinary Arts are very different trades, but sales representatives can learn something from great chiefs. A chief relies upon recipes to consistently and predictable make quality food.  A sales rep should rely on their own selling recipe for gathering new customers to their organization.
creating a sales recipe
There are four general steps or stages in the semi complex selling process.  Understanding the elements of these four stages will give you a recipe you can follow when helping prospective customers become loyal clients.

The Marketing Process

The first step is your company’s overall marketing process.  Smart sales people will use at least three of four different promotional strategies at the same time to generate leads.  Examples of different promotional strategies might be event marketing, direct, social, internet, mobile, print, mass media marketing, etc.  Marketing efforts either produce “instant gratification” or “delayed gratification” results.  Smart sales people will use a little of both types.  The end result of the marketing process happens when you have your fist conversation with the prospect.

The 30 Second Introduction

The second step is the 30 second Introduction. This is the first major contact you have with prospects, whether over the phone or in person. This should be a brief conversation that involves identifying the core emotional reason a prospect might do business with you.  It does not involve the sales person pitching the features and benefits of their product or service. This is simply an introduction and inquiry to determine if your companies can potentially work together.

The Discovery Conversation

The Third step is the Discovery conversation. This meeting should be roughly 30 minutes to an hour. This is one of the most crucial points in the selling process; this is when you pitch your product, and potentially make or lose a sale. In this meeting you give the prospect all necessary information to make a decision about your product. One of the purposes of the discover conversation is to qualify the prospect.  Answering the four questions below will help quality the prospect.

  • Do they have a need or problem that your company can help them fill?
  • What is their level of urgency of that problem?
  • Do they have the budget to work with your company?
  • Are you talking with a company decision maker or decision influencer? Make sure you are talking to the decision makers, and those who influence them.

At the end of this step you should know if the prospect is someone you want to work with. Set up a second meeting giving them time to review the bid or proposal you have given them.

The Review Conversation

The fourth step is the review conversation. At this point the prospect can ask any clarifying questions about the proposal or bid.  You will review the core issues and problems they are trying to fix.  Your will share the particular features and benefits of your product that match the needs of your prospect.  You will not share more than is necessary.  Talking to much about things the prospect does not care about will ruin a deal.  If you have done each step correctly, closing will happen naturally. If there is something you have left out in previous steps it should be clear to you in this meeting as it will be something the prospect does not completely understand. At the end of this meeting if everything has been done correctly, a deal will happen naturally, or your negotiations are over.


This model is based on a semi-complex selling process. The more complex your selling process or product is the more the customer usually relies on the sales person. While you may need to adjust some of these steps to fit your selling process, these steps are a good recipe to follow when creating a consistent structure to work with prospective clients.

For more details about the 30 second and discovery conversations, give Hansen Group Company a call at 208-346-1005 or email us at