One of my numerous pet peeves relates to someone putting a definitive number on a process. Really, if there were only three steps to success why wouldn't everyone perform those steps and enjoy success with every sales encounter? The answer to the above is what I will share in this article, which is a gross oversimplification of the process; however, when you analyze this information you'll realize these steps are worth considering. More importantly, these steps transcend product and/or service, thereby, not being exclusive to any one industry.

The first step in sales success is to "Find someone interested in your product and/or service." How simple is that?

Next, "convince this prospect that you should be the person to provide this product and/or service." It doesn't get much simpler than that.

Lastly, "Ensure that the transaction closes and funds." That's all folks! Now, you too can become a raging success in any sales position. Let's examine each of these three steps in a little more depth.

Finding someone interested in what you're selling can entail multiple disciplines and is also referred to as lead generation or sourcing business.

Some salespeople generate their own leads while others prefer to purchase leads. Even this is more complicated than it sounds because purchased leads come in a variety of shapes and sizes; from exclusive access, to shared access, from fresh to stale and so on.

The other option is go create your own leads through an equally complex approach; social media, search engine optimization, referrals, to name just a few. All of which brings me to another topic (to only be discussed briefly), which is lead conversion ratios and analysis. Which approach or source works best for your product and/or service? The answer might not be as simple to grasp as it sounds — but that too is for another discussion.

The second step in the selling process requires addressing after a prospect is identified, more specifically, "convincing the prospect that you should be the person to provide this product or service." Knowledge of your competition is critical at this juncture. What are your similarities (if any) and more importantly, what do you have or do that differs from other resources available to your prospect? To succeed in this scenario requires market knowledge, product knowledge and selling skills. For those of you who like to keep things simple — go on to step No. 3 — for all others with realistic expectations, you might want to look at this step with greater concern. Knowledge of all your competition is usually impossible, but with the proper sales technique you can easily overcome this challenge.

The final step is to "ensure the transaction closes and funds." For those seasoned sales associates, this step is never taken for granted. As a sales person, you always need to be engaged in every aspect of your transaction (regardless of your job description) and although you may not be doing the actual mechanics of this step, you certainly need to be monitoring the process. A prudent sales person will never entrust their paycheck to a third party, irrespective of their employer or function within the transaction. No one cares more about your paycheck than you. Naturally, during the entire course of the transaction every salesperson should be monitoring the progress of their efforts — this will decrease the possibility of unpleasant surprises.

There is something decidedly missing from the discussion of these three easy steps to the selling process (if you hadn’t noticed).  What are the most effective sales techniques that will accomplish a successful outcome in each of these three steps? Well my friends, these missing ingredients have not been omitted in error — but rather by design. You see (as is often stated in these articles) I coach, train, consult and do seminars that outline the most effective sales techniques for a successful outcome in various stages of interaction with prospects. Sadly, there's not enough space in this medium to elaborate.   

Stephen Greenberg is the founder and chief executive officer of Synergistic Associates Inc. Steve can be contacted by email at steveg@synergisticassoc.com or by phone at 954-757-6585.