Sales is the ultimate rollercoasterEver been to an amusement park? What’s the best ride? The biggest and baddest rollercoaster in the park! Whether it be the world’s tallest Kingda Ka at Six Flags New Jersey, the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point in Ohio, or the world’s fastest Formula Rossa at Ferrari World in Dhabi, the rollercoasters are the scariest and most thrilling rides there. They're not for the faint of heart.

If you’re a sales professional, you probably won’t disagree that sales has its ups and downs. As I’ve started my sales consulting and recruiting career, I’ve quickly come to learn that a career in sales is like being on the ultimate rollercoaster. Just like rollercoasters, sales is not for everyone. You will experience some really great highs, some not-so-great lows, and some twists and turns along the way. The highs will be an exhilarating rush. There’s no feeling like closing a deal. On the flip side, losing a deal can make you feel like you’re continuously spinning and looping upside down (pause for a moment, until you stop spinning please.) Luckily, over time, with training and practice, you learn how to consistently get to the highs, while anticipating and bracing for the lows.

{Related Article: How to Lose a Deal}

As a sales professional, you signed yourself up for a front row seat on the most daring and coolest rollercoaster out there.

Let’s map this out. Please buckle up:

Prospecting and Building Pipeline

Swallow the fear and pick up the phone. At the beginning of the month, you’re prospecting, building pipeline, and mapping out your deals. You’re figuring out how am I going to make money this month? You’re connecting with people, doing research, emailing, cold/warm calling, following up with marketing leads, and setting up appointments. This part of the sales process can already feel like the ultimate rollercoaster. You may have all of your leads responding to you or you may experience nothing but dead air. And let’s not forget the frustration and rejection that comes with this part in the sales process. Ever send out emails with no response or cold call someone and have them hang up on you or curse you out? Show of hands please.

{Related Article: Building a Pipeline is Like Running Your Business}

Qualifying the Prospect

This is when you’ve got the person live on the phone and they have finally responded to your emails. Here is where you determine “the need.” At this point, you are determining if your solution or product is something that can help this potential customer. You’re understanding their needs and challenges, overcoming objections, finding out what their budget is, and determining which solution offering will work best for them. You’re so close to giving them a demo and showing them how you can help. They will either agree to a demo or tell you to follow-up with them in a few months.

{Related Article: How to Crush the First 90 Days at Your New Sales Job}

Giving the Demo

They’ve agreed to do a demo (cue the fist pump.) You’ve got their attention and they have an interest in seeing how the product/service works. This is when you can truly win them over. You’re showing them how you are different from your competitors and how the solution will work for them. If all goes according to plan the customer will be impressed and even more interested. At this point, the potential customer will say one of two things.

  1. Send me o