We work with a lot of reluctant salespeople and more often than not, the part that they find hardest about a sale is the close.
And, the close is critical because without it you (and your company) doesn’t got a return on all the time and effort you put into the sale.
It also doesn’t need to be something to fear.
Google ‘how to close sales’ and you’ll find hundreds of articles of different tips and techniques to close more sales, more quickly. It can seem overwhelming but really, closing sales is a simple process.
All you’re doing is getting a “yes” from your prospect and a signature on the dotted line.
Here are four easy things to do that will help you close more sales.
1. Follow Your Sales Process
Closing is likely the second to last step of your sales process (the last step should be following up for repeat business), which means there is a number of things you have to do first.
The better you do at each step, the easier it will be to close the sale.
If you’ve done a good job of prospecting and qualifying your leads, the prospect you’re trying to close will be part of your target market and suitable for the products or services you offer.
Understanding the prospect’s needs enables you to make sure you clearly understand their problem and, in the proposal or presentation, have matched the benefits of your solution to their issues.
While being prepared and answering the prospect’s objections is extremely important for getting your prospect over the line. If, during the close, the prospect hesitates, wants more time to make the decision or says “no”, it’s most likely because there are objections you haven’t uncovered yet.
Finding out what these are and dealing with them is the only way to turn a “maybe” or a “no” into a resounding, “yes!”
Everything you do, leads up to the close. Not doing well at any of the steps makes it so much harder to get the result.
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t actually ask for the sale.
They do all the work, follow the sales process and that’s it. They leave it up to the prospect to figure out the next step. I can tell you, that doesn’t work.
Once you’re at the closing stage in your sales process – you’ve built a relationship with your prospect, clearly showed the benefits for them, and answered all their objections – you need to ask them if they want to go ahead.
There is a multitude of different ways to phrase it depending on the type of sale: now or never, summary, sharp angle, question, assumptive, takeaway, and soft closes.
The important thing is that you do it – ask for the sale.
If you get a “no” or a “maybe” you can then try and find out why and deal with the objections that led to these answers. Done well, you might still be able to close the deal.
3. Don’t Talk Too Much
If you find closing hard, you’re probably a little bit nervous when you get to this part of the sales process. Not to mention that there’s a lot riding on it!
When you’re nervous it’s easy to talk too much and potentially talk your way out of the deal.
So, when you ask a question, such as asking for the sale, wait. Let the prospect answer, listen, and then respond.
The best salespeople listen much more than they speak. Talking too much can make you miss last minute objections that cause you to lose the sale at the final hurdle.
At the end of the day, to build a long-lasting relationship with your prospects and customers, they must be comfortable with the solution you’re selling them. No one likes to feel forced into a sale.
4. Follow Up
I mentioned this in an earlier post and wanted to highlight it again because it is one of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople and business owners make – not following up.
There are lots of reasons we make up to justify not following up a prospect – “they’re probably not interested”, “they’re too busy”, “I don’t want to hassle them.” Or you’d prefer not to hear back than to follow up with the prospect and hear a “no”.
Get over your fear and your own objections (these are your objections – you haven’t heard from the prospect yet!) and follow up.
If you don’t follow up, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll close the sale.
Once I followed up a prospect over 20 times before I closed the sale. Every time I was in town, I went to see him. Eventually, he bought my product, so I’d stop following him up!
I knew my solution would be of benefit to his business, so I persisted. And I knew that because I’d followed my sales process – qualified him and really understood his needs and pain points.
Now that’s an extreme example, but we’ve had so many people who walk through our door who are great at prospecting and taking potential clients through to the presentation or proposal step and then just stop and wait.
And they wonder why they don’t close many deals!
The answer is simple. If it’s a well-qualified prospect, which would really benefit from your product or service – follow up!
The ‘closing’ step of your sales process is actually pretty simple.
And it’s made easier by following and doing a good job of all the steps that lead up to it.
When it comes to closing itself, the two biggest mistakes we see people make is they don’t explicitly ask for the sale and they don’t follow up.
I can guarantee if you focus on just doing those two things, you’ll close a lot more sales.
Also, making sure you listen more than you talk will help you catch any final objections and make sure you don’t talk your way out of the deal.
We work with business owners and salespeople to help them attain and close more sales. Get in touch to find out more about our sales training and coaching programmes.
Sharn Piper – CEO
M: +64 27 733 4333