In his best-selling book, Silver Bullet Selling: Six Critical Steps to Opening More Relationships and Closing More Sales, G.A. Bartick details the steps that make up the Bullet Selling process.  Although these suggestions are designed for salespeople, the process can be applied to many situations – from asking that special someone to go on a date, to meeting with your boss to ask for a raise.  Here is a brief summary of Bartick’s process:

Step 1: Pre-call Planning

Taking 15 to 30 minutes to prepare for your sales call will make you more confident and relaxed, which will increase your probability of success.  Pre-call planning includes researching the buyer’s company, preparing your materials, rehearsing your presentation, and many other factors.

Step 2: Building Rapport

It’s important to build rapport and trust quickly to reduce resistance and increase receptivity.  Make sure you have a concise way of introducing yourself and your company, and explaining how people can benefit from using your product or service.  Practice it until it comes naturally.  Focus completely on the person you are meeting and “listen to understand, not to respond.”

Step 3: Discovery

You need to discover your buyer’s current situation, his desired situation and what he expects from you and from your product or service.  Listen, listen, and then listen some more!  Resist the impulse to give solutions until you fully understand your buyer’s situation.

Step 4: Present a Tailored Solution

Take what you learned from your buyer and use it to build a solution that bridges his current situation with his desired situation.

Step 5: Addressing Concerns

Address concerns in a non-confrontational way to bring the buyer’s objections into the open.  Only then can you respond to his concerns in a way that increases the likelihood of his doing business with you.

Step 6: Closing the Sale

Bartick suggests starting with a soft close that asks an easy question – for example, “Are these terms and conditions what you’re looking for?”  After a positive response, move on to the hard close: “Great, then should I draw up the contract?”  When done properly, closing actually opens the door to satisfied buyers who will want to do more business with you and refer business to you as well.


G.A. Bartick, President of OutSell Consulting, is a nationally-recognized sales expert, consultant to 10 Fortune 50 companies and author of Silver Bullet Selling: Six Critical Steps to Opening More Relationships and Closing More Sales.

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC