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July 10, 2009
The Selling Cycle

Anyone in sales knows explicitly or implicitly about the Selling Cycle.

The Selling Cycle goes something like this:

Prospects  →  Customers  →  Clients  →  Prospects

It all starts with targeting Prospects.  Some of the best places to find Prospects are 

Internal to your Industry

  • Vendor and/or Rep referrals
  • Trade shows
  • Trade journals and magazines
  • Other happy clients
  • People within your own organization
  • Professional trade organizations (NEDA or AAIA for example)
  • Create a newsletter or blog

External to your Industry

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Local Newspapers
  • Friends and neighbors
  • Parents of your children’s friends
  • Volunteer within the community
  • Service organizations (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc)
  • Fraternal organizations (Elks, Masons, etc)
  • College organizations
  • Take a class and meet your fellow classmates (who knows...you might also learn something as well)

These are just a few of literally hundreds of different ways to meet new people and build your prospect list.

The next step is to convert a prospect to a customer.  This is a bit trickier with Voice Mail and E-mail acting as a blocker to the sales efforts.  The most important thing to remember is that you’re wasting your prospect’s time and your time if you don’t have anything of value to offer your prospect!  Time is the single-most valuable commodity to a prospect so don’t waste it. 

Have a definite purpose when meeting with a prospect and your purpose should solve one of these problems for your prospect:

  • Better - Offer up a better way of doing something
  • Faster - In this go-go world faster is better
  • Less-expensive - not to be confused with "cheaper"

If you can’t figure out how to help your prospect achieve one of the above goals...then stay at home and don’t waste your prospect’s time.  If you’re able to help a prospect solve a problem, then it’s a good chance that they will give you a single opportunity and the prospect turns into a customer.

A customer is a one-time buyer.  They may have bought from you because you helped them out of a jam or given you a one-time order to test you and/or your company.  The transfer of trust is not complete.  In order for a customer to become a client, you and your company must have their complete trust.  Trust comes from integrity and integrity comes from saying what you’ll do and doing what you say

Once a customer becomes a client, then and only then will they consider you to solve other problems with other products.  Thus the happy client becomes a natural prospect for other products and/or services completing the Sales Cycle.

Thank you very much for your continued support of OptiFuse where is it my sincere hope, desire and goal to make you a happy OptiFuse client.

Jim Kalb

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