The Circle of Selling model provides guidance for a non-coercive way to generate and close sales. When done well, buyer and seller are both moved to a new level of inspiration and satisfaction. Each step may have somatic challenges for the seller, which then provide the basis for coaching. In addition to somatic awareness for the person selling, we also address the somatic responses of the potential buyer in order to help with listening, connecting, and paying attention to what the buyer may be experiencing but not saying.
In the Circle of Selling model, you as the seller always focus on the highest and best outcome for the buyer. You don't push any products or services on your clients. Nor do you allow them to push you into providing services or products in a way that conflicts with your own needs and integrity. (That's a challenge when you feel an urgent need for more business!)
Each step of the Circle of Selling requires openness and vulnerability, listening, and commitment to discover and meet the buyer's concerns. Equally important are care of yourself and your identity as the provider of services.
The Circle of Selling begins with the assumption that every conversation with a prospective buyer is intended to build a long-term relationship. It moves organically out of a process that begins with connecting.
Listening is the most important skill in selling. Listening begins with establishing a relationship, then producing trust by understanding and addressing the backgrounds and assumptions of the prospective client, without being attached to the outcome.
Remember that every client and prospective client continually assesses you. These assessments eventually build your identity in the marketplace, since a person's identity resides in the assessments of others.
Formulating possible offers to take care of the client's concerns is next. It takes practice to move the conversation from others' concerns, not your agenda. But if you are willing to listen carefully, you can hear the client's concerns and breakdowns even when they are not clear about them. Then you can offer services or products to address those concerns. Here it is important to provide grounding that your offer will take care of the client's concerns. Otherwise, there could be a breach of trust. For example, you may need to provide evidence that you are competent to fulfill the offer, or that you contract with other competent resources.
As you listen, pay attention to any clues that the person may feel manipulated by you. Ask them immediately if that is their perception. If so, clear the air. Start again. It may even be appropriate to withdraw and come back another time.
Assume that every conversation with a client is about building a long-term relationship. Never sacrifice the large potential down the road for the sake of a short-term sale.
Framing your offer well requires impeccable clarity. Your conditions for fulfilling must be clear and must match the client's understanding of the conditions for fulfillment. If you have any doubt, ask questions until a clear contract can be written and agreed upon. Include the time and resources needed to fulfill your offer and the process for changing the scope of the project or desired results.
When you and the client have clarified the possibilities that you will fulfill, your contract reflects your promise and the promise you are requesting (including payment, commitment to new practices, etc.). Having these conditions for fulfillment clear to both parties will avoid future breakdowns due to different understandings. Thus, you will take care of your identity as you take care of your client.
Closing then becomes the obvious next step. Once you have presented the possibilities for taking care of your client's concerns with clarity and a commitment to satisfy your client, the close should come naturally. If there is some impediment, find out what it is, and help the client design a way to move forward.
Delivering on your contract must be done with as much care as the selling part of the circle. When there are two mutual promises -- yours and the client's -- you have a contract. Now it's time to fulfill. If there are any breakdowns along the way, or you suspect there might be any, check them out and communicate with your client. If necessary, renegotiate the due date, or changes in scope, and take responsibility for any negative consequences as soon as possible. It's better to clear up any misunderstandings as early as you can. The longer unclarity persists, the greater damage consequences will bring.
After fulfilling the contract and declaring it complete, make sure the client agrees. This could be a simple, "Thank you! Here's your check -- great job!" If some condition has not been met satisfactorily, find out what needs to be done and do it, or take care of the consequences, including biting the bullet for additional costs incurred.
Re-Connecting with your client. Open a conversation about what's next. Now that you have built trust, you can speculate together, invent new possibilities, make and fulfill offers, and continue the game!