HOW TO CLOSE YOUR SALES
You’ve been working hard on getting a prospect client, nurtured them through the sales process and now we are up-to the most essential part of the sales process – CLOSE.
Up to this point, you have found prospects, approached them for a meeting, qualified them as a valid buyer for your firm, presented your sales pitch and buying information, and handled all objections that came up during the meetings with the prospect. There is one critical piece of the system left, the close. Too many people are great at working through the other parts of the system but for some reason are reluctant to “ask for the order” or close the sale.
The primary objective of the close is to consummate the deal and deliver the solution. There are five keys to successful closing. First, use a scripted close. What do you gain by using a script at this point in the sales system? For one thing you know that you can rely on having the right words and information to close the deal. In addition, you will have developed a close script based on your experience. The revisions and changes you make in your script over time as you get more experience in the sales system will make your closing that much more powerful. You will find yourself closing more deals as time goes on.
Watch this video if you need an extra sales motivation, than carry on reading about the techniques that will see your sales soar!
Second, as mentioned in the previous section you will need to know and be prepared to handle the customer’s objections. Third, always be trial closing. Using this technique puts the prospect in a positive state of mind and gives you and edge on being able to close the deal and deliver your company’s solutions. Fourth, be aware of and use the power of silence. How many times have you been in either a business or personal meeting/conversation and thought to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t said that”. In the sales system, it is vitally important for you to give the customer an opportunity to convince themselves that buying from you is a great idea. Many times what the buyer needs to do is process information (internally rather than out loud) and convince themselves that buying from you and your company is a good idea. If you are always talking, many potential buyers won’t have time to think and they would rather walk away even though they think it’s a great deal.
Finally, you need to understand the sales fulcrum. There are two potential outcomes from the fulcrum, one positive and one negative. Take a look at both diagrams below.
Not enough focus on customer needs and problem solving leaves too much room for focusing on talking about the buying decision with the potential new customer. This imbalance usually results in a negative response and “no deal” for you and your company.
In contrast, when the customer needs analysis and problem solving details in the sales system have enough weight compared to the other components, this typically results in a positive response and you have an opportunity to close the deal.
There are many elements that go into a successful close. No one individual is ever responsible for a closed sale, no matter how good they think they are. We’ve developed a checklist to follow during the closing. You may not need all of these for every closing, but they are all worth knowing. Take the time to study and learn the details in this list.
Here are some sale closing tips from the field:
- The ABC of selling: Always be (trial) closing – at any stage in the sales process – be ready to close the deal if your prospective customer is ready to go ahead and buy. There’s no need to go through your lengthy sales pitch, needs analysis, excessive rapport building – if your prospective customer says: “Yup, am ready to go ahead…” – take the order, complete paperwork. Close your mouth, close the door, close sale and get on with the next one;
- The close is the natural and logical end to the sale – so many accomplished and aspiring sales people make the mistake of going through all the steps – only to forget to ask the final question, get payment and deliver the goods. Typically this happen when Sales Person’s relationship with money is not healthy good one – but rather difficult and uneasy. Train yourself to be comfortable about money – ask for it frequently – you will close more deals – promise :);
- The presentation sells, the close consummates – be aware how the prospective client feels about the presentation – focus on the areas of interest and once you’ve satisfied with the help of trial-closing question that your prospect is ready – proceed to close. This flow is only natural progression of your mutually beneficial relationship;
In absence of Value – Price becomes the only negotiation tool – avoid this at ALL COSTS!
- There is no magic in closing, just simple choices – if you’ve taken good time to build value of your product or service, when it comes to sales close – it’s the matter of ‘WHICH?’ not ‘IF?’. Remember that in absence of value the price is ONLY negotiating point – so focus on building solid understanding of customer needs and irreplaceable value of your [product/service] solution!
- Most completed sales are closed on implied consent – prospective customer is often doesn’t need redundant information – they need to know ‘is this going to solve my problem?’ or ‘is this going to waste my time and money?’ – answer these questions with your presentation and they will say YES I WANT IT!
- Your first words to the prospect should be to close – remember when you visit McDonalds (not that you should too often) – they greet you with a smile and say… say… OK: “May I take Your Order?” – Magic that you want to learn to be successful in sales;
- You can start with: “would you like to [save time, make more money, enjoy the experience]?” – focus on ‘end’ benefits and forget about ‘features’ – remember: features tell – benefits -sell;
- Don’t make a presentation unless they are Unsold – as I mentioned above – if they ready to buy – don’t waste theirs or your time – take order and let them enjoy the benefits of this new and exciting product (remember to be excited about your product though – if you are ‘dead fish’ energy about it – can you really expect your prospect to get excited about the product?
- The close is the beginning, middle and the end of the sale – condition your self and your top sales team to trial-close as often as possible – this will ‘flush’ untold objections much earlier in the pace – will give you ability to alter your presentation course and tailor make it to the individual circumstances of your prospect;
- Prospects often are ready to buy before the formal close – yes I know, I know – I said this at least 3 times above – OK here’s the deal – if they let you to pitch – they are interested to buy – it’s now in your court and up-to your skill to convey the value and close the deal if you believe they will benefit from this deal;
- Most decisions are made on the first call, even if not stated – you know the saying ‘You can’t make second first impression’ or something to this effect (I think I’ve just made it up :)… anyways present yourself professional, well groomed, prepared with visual tools, pleasant and accommodating – they will buy. Remember they buy YOU and then the product that you present – not other way around!
- The real secret to good closing is trial closing – “Would you like it in black or white?”, “Would you like it delivered on Friday or Monday?”, “May we record your wise decision to go ahead on paper?” – use this… often!
- Trial close often to flush out intentions and objections – as early as possible – then adjust the course and pre-handle the objections;
- Close early and often; not too little nor too late – no comments on this one as it is self explanatory …
- The close can be tried any time after a hot trial close – if your prospective customer replies favorable to the trial close – they could be ready to go ahead with your irresistible offer – go ahead and make things happen;
- You shouldn’t try to close in a social situation – that’s right – this is a big no-no! Unless the purpose of the meeting is clearly stated – as of – let me show you the solution to your problems with this product service – I wouldn’t attempt to close the sale. As this will result in unfavorable outcome – found this from experience – if you have a different one – do share
- If an objection appears in the close, go back to the qualifier – sometimes despite your best efforts of qualifying, building value, pre-handling objection – the prospective customer has concerns and verbalize it as an objection;
- Sell the emotions, justify logically, close emotionally – ok, if you are serious about upping your sales abilities – realise this. We all buy emotionally, however we don’t like to think this is the case so we find the way to justify our purchase with logical reason[s]. Typically if the emotional pull is strong – our mind is very resourceful to find the logical reason – even though it might seems not logical to others. Once you understand this one – train yourself to connect with emotional side of buying process – master it and you will be a greatest sales person alive!
- People don’t like to buy emotionally or sentimentally – as above, structure your sales presentation so that there are enough ‘logical’ reasons to go ahead – help your prospective customer to come up with a bunch of logical reasons to buy, whilst focusing on real reason for the buying decision – EMOTION;
- So let your prospect think they are buying logically – and support this throughout your sales process for ‘hot’ leads and nurturing process for ‘luke-warm’ leads;
- The visual image can be extremely powerful to closing – so make sure that you have the visual tools to support your sales process. Remember that ‘picture tells thousand words’!
- The only problem in closing is simply overcoming indecision. That nasty ‘indecision’ is an agony – help your prospective customer to see the value in your proposition and save them from hours of enduring pain while pondering on ‘to be or not to be’.
- Every decision is a weighing process of the pros and cons – if it comes to this – well divide a piece of A4 paper in half and jot down all PROS to go ahead and CONS not to go ahead – often when committed to paper PROS seem more compelling, while CONS – insignificant comparing to the benefits.
- You make the decision and get them to agree with it – demonstrate kind guide towards buying decision;
- You must control the weighing of the pros and cons – there’s no reason to give your prospect negative points about your product or service, however you have to be honest about these – so explain it as is and focus on solving their problems with your product/service;
- A Subordinate Question close decides “which” and not “if” – don’t ask ‘if would you like to go ahead with this?’ – instead ask: “which option would you prefer?’
- Silence after a closing question gives time to think – be ready for it and allow for it to run its length;
- Silence can be a greater pressure than words – remember it’s a natural part of the sales process – resist the temptation to open your mouth and go ‘blah-blaah’… it will most certainly adversely affect your sale. I’m interested to hear what you think about it – so use the comments below to share your thoughts;
- No sale is closed until you have the order in hand – how many times I hear a well trained sales reps coming back from sales call and say – yup, I’ve just made this sale – where’s the order? – They will fax it latter today – nope ain’t going to happen. If your prospective customer is in agreement and the solution will satisfy their requirements – write the business there and then get the paperwork signed and payment transferred – only then you can ‘count the chickens’;
- Omit the invitation to buy and they will procrastinate – I’ve trained hundreds of sales people – many times I would recieve the calls from some of them telling me how good the meeting was, about the unity of minds, about total rapport known as ‘warm and fussy felling’. “You are in business then?” – I ask – “oh, hmmm, mmmm – I didn’t ask for order, doh!”. Well, make sure you do it. Typically this can happen if you are not certain that the product and service is good enough – well then simple don’t sell it! Alternatively – of you as a sales person have no respect or a good relationship with the money. Well, then do your personal development.
Getting paid in business and sales is the matter of self-respect and high integrity!
- Many of prospects are “sold” but no order taken so no close – remember to ask for money and for sale – sounds simple but believe me most experienced sales people have forgotten this one at least once or twice in their sales career
- It can be a long way from the close to getting the order – of course this depends on complexity of your deal as well as on the ticket price – the more expensive is the products the longer sometimes it can take before the sale is completed. Have follow up post-commitment strategies in place and don’t be shy to pick up the phone – call your customer and confirm that they have made the right decision and you are looking forward to deliver the great value to their organisation or life with the product that they have purchased. Every second day some kind of contact with the customer in post-commitment but pre-sale situation is a good idea;
- You must create a sense of urgency in the presentation – if there’s no reason to buy now – your prospective customer won’t buy. During your presentation uncover and explain several reasons for them to buy now;
- Easier to close NOW if there is a benefit or gift NOW – so make sure your sales presentation has one that is built in (incentive to buy could be an immediate discount, even better add-value item, gift for the next visit, etc.);
- Don’t be obvious about how elated you are for the order – yup, if you’ve been in sales for a while – you know what I’m talking about. Stay in control of your emtotions and focused on customer needs. Remember to celebrate a good deal and business – it’s healthy and good for your soul;
- Assure them their decision was wise as well as desirable – once you’ve developed a good rapport with your new customer – they will value your opinion and regard you as trusted adviser – advise wisely;
- Congratulate them on their wise decision and then leave – once the sale is completed – do not spend more time that is need with your new customer. Assure them that they had made right decision. Tell them about the next step and let them go about their own business;
- Never let your need transcend your prospect’s needs – what you want and what you thinking (even that you are thinking it so clear in your mind) – is no matter to the prospective client, what they think – is. Focus on prospect needs and to do so – spend good time understanding what they are. Remember – you are given one mouth and two ears for a very good reason
Wishing you many mutually profitable and beneficial sales!
P.S. Getting paid is the matter of self-respect and high integrity!
P.P.S. The tips in this post presuppose that you have a genuinely good product and service and care about your prospective customers.