If there were a Hall of Fame for salespeople, and you closed 30% of your deals, you would be a candidate. Forty percent close rate is a sure first ballot entry and at fifty percent they would dedicate a wing to you.
MAKE Closing Easier
Some of the biggest deals I have ever closed happened when I was away on vacation. Why? Because I did all the right things during the sales cycle so the close happened very easily and naturally (perhaps I should always go on vacation when I am working a big deal!). This includes many elements, including:
- Selling into your “Sweet Spot” as much as possible
- Doing a S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue with the people involved in the decision, especially executives or people in positions of authority
- Building rapport and developing trust during the sales cycle
- Presenting your offer in a compelling way that shows your differences and the benefits of your offer
- Handling objections through out the sales cycle
- Constantly getting a firm next step that is relevant to the client and advantageous to you
- Being responsive to the prospect throughout all stages
Too many salespeople think of closing as only asking for the deal at the end, which of course is essential (or many salespeople are afraid to ask for the close). However, it is just as important for salespeople to be closing throughout the sales process; to keep a sale moving forward from one stage to another and to keep people focused on your product or service, vs. other’s. An important psychological rule of getting people to say yes when you do ask for the order is to have had the prospect take action and invest themselves as much as possible during the sales cycle. The more they are invested, the more difficult it is to back away or to say no.
So let’s define closing as the act of asking someone to do something. It could be little like respond to an e-mail or question or it could be big like visit your office, let you visit them in their home (if you are selling that type of product), meet your family members (if you are selling something that a family can use), have a meal with you or introduce you to their boss in a professional setting.. Closing is done all the time, regardless of the communications medium (in person, over the phone, e-mail, etc.).
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you keeping people focused on your offering through a series of actions and commitments called T.E.E.M. (time – energy – emotion – money)?
- Are you testing the waters/trial closing to make sure you are on track with the people you are selling?
- Can you identify buying signals, warning signals, hidden objections and what to do with them?
- Different types of closing techniques, when to use them and which techniques work best with different DiSC styles?
- Are you getting firm, decisive next steps that are relevant to the client and favor you and your company?
- Do you know what your sweetspot it and sell to it as much as possible?
When is the first time you close? At the very beginning when you ask for an appointment. And the last? When you ask for the deal or negotiate the final item! You need to have a plan to apply as many of these elements to win as much business as possible.
“Closing is not a moment in time but a continuous act throughout the sales cycle”