Last month we covered the first three steps in the Selling Cycle: prospecting, the initial contact, and qualifying. Here are the next two steps.

Presentation. With steps one through three, you have determined whether you have a good match with a client. The presentation is when you start selling your products and services. You need to know the many features and benefits of the products you sell and be able to articulate these to your client.

You have to convince the client that your products have unique values and then relay the features and the benefits. Features tell. Benefits sell. If your cabinets are factory made and they have a catalytic conversion varnish finish, then you need to tell your client this and what it means to them in terms of a superior, longer lasting finish. If you're selling Corian countertops, don't just say, “The color is all the way through and it is stain resistant.” Relate the benefits to their daily life.

You also need to sell the features and benefits of yourself and your company. Tell the client about your “value added” features and benefits. You can say, “I have X years of experience.” Or “I am a CKD and this is what that means for you.” Do the same thing with company features and benefits. When you add value to yourself, your company, and your products and services, price becomes less important.

Objections and concerns. Every prospect will have questions and concerns about your products and services. Your job is to anticipate these concerns by asking a lot of questions and by being a great listener. After you've identified a concern, you have to make it disappear by reassuring the client that you can and will provide what they are looking for. Here are some points to cover.

  • Ask why they are concerned about an issue
  • Repeat the concern to be sure that you have understood it
  • Respond to the concern
  • Ask them if they understand and if your explanation is satisfactory
  • Once you've reaffirmed that the concern has been eliminated, ask if you can proceed
  • —Hank Darlington is a sales consultant and instructor. Contact Darlington Consulting at 916.652.6855 or

    Part 3: The End of the Selling Cycle"