Annals of Business Administrative Science
Five Steps in Sales and Its Skills
The Importance of Preparing before an Interview with Customers
This study presents detailed sales actions through continuous unstructured interviews of practitioners. The results of the study demonstrate that there are five steps in sales: 1) preparation; 2) approaching customers; 3) interview; 4) presentation; and 5) closing. In addition, a questionnaire comprising 142 items for measuring these sales actions was developed based on these five steps, and the questionnaire was given to 107 individuals in eight companies. The results of the questionnaire revealed variances between top and bottom performers, with these variances in the steps prior to the interview, particularly in the preparation stage. This suggests the importance of preparation in sales. The sales skills scale of Rentz, Shepherd, Tashchian, Dabholkar, and Ladd (2002) measured aspects that have no direct relationship with sales and is problematic considering that it may fall into a tautology. The research approach taken herein, where the focus is on these sales actions and the five steps, may resolve the problems inherent to Rentz et al. (2002).