Sales Tips Using Submarine Metaphor


This diagram hangs in my office as a solid representation of the submarine sales process. Using the imagery of a submarine to communicate the concept of when submarines were attacked to avoid flooding the crew moved through each compartment, closing the door of the previous compartment behind them. This Selling System requires the same procedure to avoid “disaster” on a sales call. Your goal is to move through each compartment, or step of the selling system, to arrive safely at a successful sale.

Establishing the Relationship

The first two compartments—Bonding & Rapport and Up-Front Contracts—represent essential concepts on which the selling relationship is built and sustained. You develop rapport and establish mutual ground rules for interaction—both of which continue throughout the selling process, creating a comfortable environment within which to do business.

Qualifying the Prospect

The Pain, Budget, and Decision compartments represent the qualifying activities of the selling process when you determine what prospects want and need, how much they are willing and able to invest to obtain it, and how they will go about making their buying decisions. With this information, you will be able to determine if your product or service represents a best-fit solution that will provide your prospects with the outcomes they desire. If it does, then the selling process progresses to the closing stage. If it doesn’t, the process stops and the opportunities are disqualified from further consideration.

Closing the Sale

The final two compartments—Fulfillment and Post-Sell—represent the closing activities of the process. In fulfillment, you present to your prospects, in a manner consistent with their decision-making processes, the products/services that address their needs and are consistent with the resources they are willing and able to invest. At the conclusion of the presentation, you will obtain their buying decision. Then in the Post-Sell, you address any issues that would cause them to back out, and open the door for referrals and future business.

The details and nuances of this Selling System provide the salesperson with the ability to facilitate an effective and efficient process for gathering the information needed to close the sale or close the file.