There are 4 distinct steps to every business transaction employed by all successful salespeople – and it’s the understanding and execution of those 4 steps that separates the elite from the rest of the pack.

And we condensed those four steps into a simple acronym – EASE – which was conceived when I first started coaching sales teams many moons ago.

And since then, those four letters have helped thousands of people, just like you, to understand that the sales process doesn’t need to be over complicated – and it certainly doesn’t have to be the next miracle sales solution, thought up by some snake oil trader who has never been at the sharp edge of sales in their entire life.

It’s actually built on four easily explained foundation stones, together with a small number of core pillars and principles, which extend out from those foundations.

So what are these four fabulous foundation stones that make up EASE? 

They are:

  • Earn the right
  • Ask the appropriate questions
  • Solve the problem
  • Execute the solution.

And as shown in this diagram, those four foundations are surrounded by an outer circle, which is split between Commitment at the top and Understanding at the bottom.

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Let me explain a little further…

Earn the Right

A Commitment to Be the Sales Professional that Your Customer Really Needs

Quadrant one focuses on recognising why customers can fall over themselves to do business with certain salespeople, and yet take an instant dislike to so many others.

As you’ll see from the diagram, the upper section of the cycle is bordered by the word COMMITMENT. It is during quadrant one that the salesperson proves they are the best choice to help the customer to achieve their vision.

This is all about committing ourselves to helping the customer.

Although dismissed by many, this step is vitally important: if customers don’t trust you to help them at the beginning of the process, they certainly won’t trust you with their money at the end of it.

Ask the Appropriate Questions

Understanding Exactly What Your Customer Is Trying to Achieve

As we move into the bottom half of the Selling with EASE cycle, the focus switches from commitment to understanding.

It’s in quadrant two that you’re going to develop a thorough understanding of what the customer is trying to achieve: what they want and need – and why.

Understanding a situation well enough to present a solution requires a particular set of questioning skills and techniques, as well as the much less talked about – but equally important – ability of effectively listening to the answers.

Solve the Problem

Helping the Customer to Understand Why You’re the Best Person for the Job

Quadrant three continues round through the UNDERSTANDING half of the cycle. It’s at this point that the focus turns away from working out the requirements of the customer and moves on towards helping them to understand how you propose to help.

Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, you need to know what you have within your portfolio that will deliver the customer’s desired outcome. This is when you will need a whole new toolbox of skills to ensure that your message is presented as professionally – and received as effectively – as possible.

This isn’t just about learning how to stand in front of a 50-slide presentation designed six months ago by your marketing team. Although, of course, getting the information across is important, you also need to be able to communicate with different personality types, recognise their buying motives and overcome their objections.

Execute the Solution

Gaining Customer Commitment and Delivering on Your Promises

As we move into the final quadrant of the sales cycle, we find ourselves back in the top half of the diagram, underneath the word COMMITMENT.

Once the customer understands how you can “Solve the problem”, you will need to agree on a course of action that effectively results in their commitment to move forward, so that you can “Execute the solution”. Amongst other things, this will involve: asking for the business, negotiating the best possible terms, filling in the required paperwork and staying true to your word.


My latest book – Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction is now available from Kindle and as a Paperback.

If you’d like a preview, you can download the first 30 pages as a PDF document – completely free – by clicking right here


Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes, but sales training that really works. You can find out more about Varda Kreuz Training HERE or give us a call right now on 0844 293 9777 (UK)

His other books include The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club – which has been an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller and heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.