First of all, closing sales is the lifeblood of any business. Unfortunately, many business owners, entrepreneurs and sales people focus too much on closing sales techniques.
So we all can agree that making sales leads to a profitable and successful business. The problem does not lie in having excellent closing sales techniques, it’s in where the FOCUS is. Our focus should be on building relationships and trust and helping our clients as much as possible.
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt. The first step in closing a sale is to get to know your prospects or potential clients. Ask them how they’re doing. What do they do for a living? What do they do for fun? What kind of family life do they have? Have a natural, easy-flowing conversation. Let them know you care. I like asking them questions about something they’re proud of or something that went well to start off on a positive note. Then I’m also curious about challenges or problems that worry them or keep them up at night.
If you’re at a networking event or there’s not much time to talk, be sure to get their contact information and offer to follow up and meet for coffee or lunch – your treat. I like to take notes on their card about something unique I should remember or how I might help them.
Even when they ask about you, it’s about them.
In normal conversations, when you show interest in another, they naturally ask you about yourself and your business. This is not the time to bore them with all your credentials and how long you’ve been in business. It’s time to share what you love about your business and how it helps others. If at all possible or relevant, weave in to your story an example that matches their challenge or problem they mentioned earlier. What are the results you help people get? What are the benefits to them? What positive emotional shifts occur in how they felt before and after working with you or using your product?
Keep your answer brief. The idea here is to build curiosity and the only way to do that is to leave out information like how it works (watch out for this if you’re an engineer, technician or detail oriented person) and all the features of your service or product.
Match their emotions.
Matching emotions, pace and using their “anchor words” are all relationship building accelerators. The concept here is that you are listening with your whole body and intuition, not just your ears. Then they know you really care and are a great listener. When they get excited about you helping them fix a problem or create an opportunity for them, listen to the words they emphasize. Use those anchor words when you reflect back to them what you heard. Obviously don’t parrot whole sentences back to them, that would be annoying. If they’re mellow, be cool. If they’re animated, be lively.
Get an appointment.
This is something I missed in Sales 101. I learned this from Ursula Mentjes in her two day intensive sales workshop. For some reason I thought the idea was to get to a sale as soon as possible. If the client wants to buy right away, then close the sale. Most of the time, it is ideal to have time set aside without distractions to get to know more about them and what they need/want and for them to have their questions answered without rushing. If it’s early in the relationship, you’ll have a much higher success rate when you ask for an appointment rather than a sale. When you ask what day/time works best for them, offer them a couple of choices that work best for you and your schedule. That way you can plan your prospecting travel and schedule optimally.
Create an opportunity
You can’t help people if you don’t make an offer. The key is getting clear on what they’re excited about and what they really want. What’s in it for them? When you sense that excitement, make them an offer, ask them when they want to start and how they want to pay. This timing could occur with or without the appointment. Most men jump at making the sale too quickly, and most women take to long or never ask for the sale. Neither approach is the best closing sales technique. Ivan Misner wrote a book on business networking and sex that outlined this principle well. It always amazes me when sales people spend so much time with me and I’m actually excited about buying and they don’t ask for the sale!
Be a huge proponent for what they want.
What if they have hesitation or objections? If you’ve done your job right up front and you know that your product or service will help them solve a problem or create a big opportunity, then you can’t let them get in their own way of getting what they want in life. If they say they don’t have the time or money, it’s usually an excuse. It’s OK to validate their reason and a good idea not to argue. Ask if they DID have the time and money if they would like to buy what you have to offer. We all can find the money if we want something bad enough. Ask them what they were so excited about. Use their anchor words to replay the benefits, results and emotional shifts they will receive. Ask them what else they have tried before and how much they have spent on other things that didn’t work. Your job is to coach them to get out of their own way and to get what they want. You can also hold them as perfectly capable of being creative and coming up with whatever they need to get started.
This is where the rubber meets the road in heart-based sales. This is tough love. Don’t worry about being pushy or being seen like a slimy used car salesman. You already know their life will be better, so don’t hold back on them.
I know I didn’t cover super detailed closing sales techniques in this article, but the main idea was to cover building trust and relationships, getting to know you client and their needs and wants. If you do this, then closing the sale will not only be easy for you, but often your client will be the one asking when they can get started and how they can pay.
The other topic I didn’t cover is how to overcome fear while selling. I will cover this in a future blog, so please come back soon and check out PEAK Business Coaching’s Helpful Business Articles … rest assured that if you come from the heart, focus on how to help others and be courageous in your action, your fear will quickly disappear.
I’d love to hear about your success stories and favorite closing sales techniques. Please comment below or feel free to ask any questions. Now go out there and get to know people and help make the world a better place through your business.