A submarine has individual compartments to protect itself from disaster. When attacked, the crew moves through each compartment, closing the hatch of the previous compartment behind them. Selling requires the same procedure: moving completely through each compartment, or step of the sales process, to arrive safely at a successful sale. We all know salespeople who skip steps to get to the close faster, without shutting the other hatches behind them. And chances are, their sale ended up dead in the water.
Each step of the sales process - introduction, qualify, demo, write-up, and closing - should be completed fully and in order before moving forward. Jumping from the introduction stage to the demo stage may seem fine, but if you don't ask the right questions to find out what the customer really wants, you may just be wasting both of your guys' time. Likewise, if you skip straight to the numbers without establishing the trust and rapport built in the earlier stages, you're likely to alienate the customer and lose control of the deal.
While each dealership's sales process is different (yours may be three steps or ten), the principles behind them are the same. Complete each step one at a time before moving on to the next one. If you don't shortcut the sales process, you won't sink the sub.
Parts of this article were adapted from the Sandler Sales Institute.