Sales Process – Close The Sale Stage

You’ve done your research, planned each call perfectly, listened to what the prospect has told you and handled every objection thrown your way.  But have you asked for the business?  I’m surprised to find that many sales people forget this step.  They do all the hard work and truly show the value of going with what they have to offer then they simply don’t ask to close the sale.  If you’re afraid to ask for the business then maybe you shouldn’t be in sales.  We can’t get what we don’t ask for.  That’s sales 101.

Most of the time, you’ll get the sale simply as a result of the relationship and the rapport you’ve built throughout the entire sales process.  With as many contacts as you should be having with them, you’re going to have a pretty good understanding of how the individuals on the other end of the phone think and act.  But it’s up to you to drive that relationship.

Close The Sale

You have to earn the right to ask for the sale.  And you earn the right by delivering on your promises and by following up on your clients questions throughout the whole process.  You earn the right by being on time for appointments.  Each phone call should focus on how you can help the client, not on what you’ll get from them.  I’ve seen too many sales people focus on how the sale will benefit them.  Instead of how the product or service will benefit the client.  I promise the income will follow if you focus on their wants and needs, not yours.

Under promise, and over deliver.  Throughout the sales process, there’s opportunities where the client will ask for something.  Make sure you set the right expectations.  You’ll want to make the phone call to tell your client that your product is being delivered faster than expected rather than the other way around.  If you’re selling a service then you want to be able to provide realistic expectations of what your service truly is.

Close the sale
Closing the sale

Common Mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes I see when trying to close the sale, is the sales executive talks too much.  They actually talk themselves right out of the sale.  If you’ve earned the right to ask for it, then ask for it, but then keep quiet.  It’s okay if you hear silence on the other end of the phone.  You don’t necessarily want to fill it.  Often times, what you fill the silence with will only hurt your chances to close the sale.  Silence can work to your advantage because no one likes to be on the phone when no one is talking.  They will fill it, if you’re patient.

The person on the other end of the phone is trying to figure out what to say next.  Give them that opportunity because they will talk, if given a chance.  And they might be figuring out how they can implement your product or service.  Now that assumes you’ve followed the right process and answered every question up until this point.  The temptation to talk is great, but once you learn how to resist the temptation and how to use silence to your advantage, then your sales closing percentages will increase.

Examples of Closing Questions

  • Assuming our price is competitive and we’ve answered all your questions, is there anything holding you back from giving us a shot?
  • When can we get started?
  • Where do you see (your company name) fitting in your current process?
  • What is your timeline for using our service/product?
  • When will you give us an opportunity to let us prove how well our service/product can be for you?
  • How can we earn your business moving forward?
  • Would you be willing to give me a shot?
  • What’s holding you back from giving us a shot?
  • What will it take for us to move forward with a partnership?
  • How many of X product can I get you started with?

Summary

Remember to always ask for the business but make sure you have fully qualified the prospect before going for the close.  Otherwise, the sale will end in frustration.  Throughout the whole sales process as you asked for commitments for further contacts, you were getting “yes’s”.  By the time you actually present what you have to offer, you should feel confident in the response you’ll get.  But if the response is a “no” then ask why.  This way you can either try to recover the sale by addressing it, or you can learn from it, then apply that to the next one.  Remember that it’s only a failure, if you didn’t learn anything from it.

Sales can be extremely rewarding but the moment you stop trying to learn new ways of getting to your prospects or moving them along your pipeline that’s the moment the rewards stop.




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