Top Tips for Successfully Closing a Sale
Top Tips for Successfully Closing a Sale
Firstly, let me say a big thank you to Julia and the team at Green Umbrella for inviting me back as a guest blogger this year. In this blog, I am going to share with you some of my tips on how to successfully close a sale!
The first rule of closing a sale
I’m going to start with the first rule of successfully closing a sale, and it’s really simple. It is to remember that you cannot offer a solution to a prospect’s problem if you have not yet fully uncovered what kind of help he or she needs. You cannot fit your product into their business or personalise your service to their needs if you haven’t found out where their pain points or problems are. The prospect wants to know what’s in it for them (WIIFM Factor). They want to know how buying from you is going to resolve their problems, better their service or increase their productivity. Your job is to uncover the hidden buttons and hot spots which will enable you to deliver the perfect closing question. To propose an offer that they couldn’t possibly resist!
When running training sessions, I regularly come across salespeople who, in explaining why a sale hasn’t been closed, say things like ‘but I know he won’t go for that’ or ‘I know they haven’t got the budget’. My response is always the same; “you think, or you know?” or “how do you know?”. If you have asked the right questions of the prospect, you will know, if you haven’t then an assumption is being made. To offer a solution to the client’s problem, you need to know, and not just think you know, where the problem or pain point is.
Well, that’s the easy bit. Find the pain point, she says, offer the solution, she says. The difficult bit, of course, is how!
How do you do it?
The simple answer here is to really invest in the early part of the interaction you have with the prospect. What happens before you ask your closing question is of crucial importance. When you are interacting, make sure you ask open-ended questions. This allows the prospect to elaborate their answers and give you an insight into where the problems may lie. If you think you have hit upon a possible hot spot, something you can use to craft your offer, then probe for more information. By encouraging this kind of elaboration, by responding to their questions with further questions rather than simple yes/no answers, you are empowering yourself in the interaction. By doing this, you place yourself in a position of control over the direction, and thus outcome, of the meeting.
However, even more important than asking the right question is listening to the answer.
Listening to your prospective client is THE most useful and versatile skill you have as a salesperson. By observing, both visually and by closely listening to them, you will uncover where their problems or pain points are, and you will strengthen your relationship. People are more likely to buy from those they know and trust, so invest in this stage; you will reap the benefits, trust me.
Closing the sale
The final piece of the puzzle then, once you’ve uncovered the problem, is to present the solution and offer a recommendation, in other words to close the sale. In recognising the problem area, you can make an offer which demonstrates that you are able to help them. Your closing question should be along the lines of; ‘Is Tuesday a good day for you to take delivery?’ or ‘I could run the session on Wednesday mornings, what do you think about that?’. These are loose examples of course, but you get the idea. Now most important of all is that as soon as you’ve asked that question, you don’t say another thing. The STFU! The silence will allow your prospect to think about what you have said. Too many people are uncomfortable with the silence and will start talking. If you are not careful, you can talk yourself down on price and out of the sales
And that’s it. My top tips for effectively closing a sale; ask the right questions, listen closely to the answers, uncover the problem area or pain point, offer to help and, finally, craft your closing question to guide the prospect smoothly into saying yes.