Anyone who has ever been in sales knows that it is all about closing the deal. The acronym ABC, for “Always Be Closing” quickly comes to mind. Although this saying is not my own, I have found that there is a great deal of truth to what it says. You must be in the mindset of closing every opportunity, every chance that you get.
How comfortable are you in asking for the business?
It doesn’t matter if you are speaking to a potential customer in person, through Skype, or even through email. The same process has to take place. This scares a lot of people because they don’t want to come across pushy or annoying to other people, but the fact remains that you will not get what you do not ask for.
It really doesn’t matter if you are selling a product or a service because you still need to close the sale, in order to receive revenue for your company. Let’s take a look at 5 practical tips for closing the deal:
Tip #1 – Understand that you are eliminating pain or solving a problem for your customer.
I believe that it is important to remind ourselves of what we are trying to accomplish with selling whatever it is that we are trying to sell. Getting into this mindset should help to alleviate some of that “dirty” feeling that some people associate with selling. Remember that you are selling a solution not a vial of poison (at least I sincerely hope not). I really think that this mental piece to the equation is super important for being able to close a deal.
Tip #2 – Prequalify your customers as quickly as you can.
Some of the most excited people that I have ever spoken to about something that I was selling, didn’t have a penny to put towards it. Wouldn’t you want to know this as soon as humanly possible? There is no reason to waste their time or more importantly, your time. Establish value and equate it to price as early as you can it the process in the interest of time. If someone has no money now and no way to get money soon, then you need to move on because they can’t be closed.
Tip #3 – Understand where your customer is now and where they want to go.
This is a simple lesson is listening more than you talk. If you ask the right questions it will give you all of the information that you need, and then you can convey how your solution will get them to where they want to go. This correlation naturally leads into the question of “Are you ready to get started with this today?” By asking that question or another one that offers the same meaning, you are going for the close. Not so scary is it?
Let’s pretend you never listen or ask the questions for a moment. Now you have become that pushy salesman that everyone hates that is more concerned with their own commission than the needs of their potential customers. Here is the irony in all of this. Even pushy salesman hate other pushy salesmen. Have you ever seen someone who works the phones all day, scream at someone who calls their cell phone doing the same thing? Hilarious and sad at the same time.
Tip #4 – Set the expectation that you intend to close them on your products or services.
It always makes me laugh when sales people pretend that they are in customer service.
Did this just make you think of someone in particular?
In my experience, when you act like it’s customer service you end up getting paid like you’re in customer service. I recognize that Account Managers have a customer responsibility in their role, but the most successful ones approach their jobs like a sales position, not a support role. A good manager once explained to me that every interaction should have a purpose and it should move the prospect towards the close. Sometimes this happens in the first conversation and many times it requires a few more appointments than that.
I always try to go for the close on the first interaction to get to the “no.” Then I know what objections that I need to overcome right then and there or when we meet again. The only two “real” objections are that they do not see the value or that they really do not have the money. The money objection is the most common objection that most of us hear, but it is a knee jerk reaction that we all throw out there when we want out of a selling scenario.
Tip #5 – Address the objections before the client does.
Once you have tried to sell your product or service enough, you will see patterns to the objections that you get. Instead of walking into a predictable situation where you are going to try and defend your position from a reactive standpoint, try being proactive for a change. After your prospect has shared their pain, and you have started to go into your value proposition, you should address some common objections that you hear. This works much better than you may think, and this will lead to a closing or the end of the relationship much quicker. Either way, it is better to have closure than “chasing” leads around for months or even years.
I wanted to share a few tips that were simple to grasp and to implement. I hope you have seen some value here and that you have a new perspective on some part of the sales process as well.