Are your customers slipping out of your grasp? If you are in sales closures, you need to know the proper way towards closing a deal & here's few crucial steps that you should take every buyer through during a closure.
".. Sales isn't just about closing the deal, rather its about making the experience worth their investment."
Keep in mind that if you wish to skip any of these, it could come back to bite if buyer isn't ready to commit yet. Read on and don't miss out on your valuable deals & referrals that grow your career/business. Guide your prospect & don't be afraid to go back a step or two to maintain the right path to the closure.
The first step to every closure is your attitude, your mindset. After all, the first thing you are really selling is yourself. It is crucial that you have your mind set strong. Maintain a positive mental state at all times. If your mental state is not strong, it will kill closures before they even get started and none of the other below steps below might really help. Stay positive and watch your prospects lighten up and close more often in your sales meeting. Watch inspirational videos exercise, review your big life goals, and do whatever else. It takes to be excited and radiant.
The greeting is the next essential step to every closure you attempt. You should always greet your prospect with a smile, even if you're on the phone (smiling actually loosens your chords which is why you can "hear" a smile). Mention your name, ask for theirs, and ask them what you can help with. If you work in retail or another environment where your customers are coming to you (like a car dealership) always approach them before they start browsing. After you've opened them up with a great smile and friendly introduction, begin to build rapport with your prospects. This will build the foundation for you to move onto the next part of the closure.
The investigation stage, also called "fact finding". This is where most of your closures process will take place, and that's because an element that sets good sales people from other professionals is impeccable question of "asking". In fact, you should be asking questions 20% of the time that you speak instead of making statements, let your prospects do the rest of talking. So what kind of questions do you ask in a during investigation stage? Ask relevant questions about your prospect, like what's their main problem they are trying to solve is, the type of products they have tried earlier, what they are looking for into buying today, and then you can communicate in a way that builds value throughout the rest of the closures steps.
Once you've done your investigating, its time you are ready to build a buyer profile. This stage is essentially all about putting your prospect into a certain category. Are they a dominant personality or timid personality? Do they seem social or introverted? Be sure to analyze their behavior so you can match it and keep them comfortable with you.
The previous stage, buyer profiling, helps you with the right product selection. This stage is difficult but rewarding when you do it right. You want to make sure your customer is actually looking at the right product. If you sell cars and you're showing a conservative family of four a two-seat Ferrari, you might be on the wrong product. But a six-seat family SUV might be perfect for them. Many times, you can waste time by being on the wrong product, so make sure you don't rush this stage as it will only mean you have to revisit previous steps and rebuild momentum if your buyer realizes they don't want what you're offering.
The demonstration / presentation is all about showing your buyers the product you are offering in action. If you're selling kitchen knives, its a perfect time to start chopping vegetables. To use the example of a car dealership again, this is where you would go on a test drive. Yes, we wrote a good piece on sales lessons for car dealers. Do read the post! The key to a great product demo is to show the benefits of your offering in a dramatic fashion and in a way that specifically addresses the concerns voiced by your prospect earlier on. In the sales process if your prospects mentioned that cost is a primary concern, then you could show a chart that proves how much you save them annually, and so on.
Trial closes are commonly misunderstood. They are not actually intended to close the deal right there. You are trying to flush out the objections instead. You want to know reasons why your prospect might not go ahead and buy right now. For example, you might ask: "Do you have any other questions before we sign the paperwork?" At this point, they might mention any lingering problems they see in doing a deal with you and you can address them.
Every deal needs a written proposal. Whether you are using a paper and pen or a digital technology like Echosign, or basic email to "Ink" the deal, always get the agreement In a textual form. This allows all parties to carefully look over the details and make edits as needed. This sets you up for the next stage.
Contrary to popular belief, negotiations are not always about reducing the price There are other parts of the engagement that are important to your potential buyer and your goal during the negotiations is to help them achieve their desires without giving up too many things on your end.
No Free Lunch
No sales representative goes into saying, "Hey, I see you have a problem", Everyone has problems. If someone has a problem, they go to a consultant. If the problem is serious, they go to a specialist. If someone grabs the door and says "Hey, You've problem,right?" the usual response is "Mind your own business!". If someone wants to find problems in themselves, they go to pyschartist. And, they PAY 4x for that. Its not a sales representative's work to use his/her intelligence, time and efforts to say what problems the clients have sunk into. Don't consider prospects who want free work done. Next time they want something, ask them to approach with budget, and precisely understand if they are "really" the decision makers?
The 80-20 Principle
The salesman with the silver tongue was once a common image. This made it feel like they could sell glasses to a blind man. However, modern salesmanship bears little resemblance to that image. Now, It's more about listening that takes you closer to selling. If you can't close sales your startup will suffer, and this is an obligation for you as a sales representative to sell fast. Unfortunately, closing is a lot more difficult than it sounds as it takes more than a silver tongue to get things done. Consumers are now, more than ever, aware that there's plenty of fish in the sea. If a prospect feels like you're not listening to then, that you're not answering their concern they'll take their money elsewhere. Don't talk about the product too much. Give your prospects enough to work with, and focus on answering their questions.
Its natural to be proud of your startup's offering. You made it, and you've done what most people don't do with their ideas-you made it real. Unfortunately, this pride could be your undoing. How something works is rarely what customers are interested in. They're more concerned with what your product can do for them. Not telling buyers the value of your product will impact your sales. Tell and show them how it can solve their problem, and you'll close more sales. Consumers are, more than ever, resistant to hard sells. There wary and suspicious of anything being actively sold to them. The harder they sell, the faster they'll run.
Marketing may be the roadmap, but sales is always the destination! Assess current marketing strategy for every sales funnel opportunity. Without a careful evaluation of your current marketing road map, you can't possibly hope to see increased conversions. Dissecting your marketing strategy allows you to uncover opportunities for change and growth. Understand which outreach opportunities are being underutilized and which marketing techniques need an update. Once you acknowledge the weak points in your sales funnel, you can make informed decisions to improve your results. Reporters are taught to approach their stories in an analytical manner. They don't take information at face value, but instead ask probing questions to ensure the information they're offering to their audience is backed up by hard proof. If you want to see increased sales conversions for your startup you need to take the time to approach to marketing. Ask yourself why you are completing a specific marketing task, how you plan to achieve your desired result, and what you hope to accomplish. Get in the habit of closely analyzing your marketing outreach efforts to ensure you're not just blindly following in the footsteps of others.
One way to ensure there is alignment with every team, is to ensure that everyone understands how roadmap decisions are made. Do you know who you're selling the product/services for & why? All teams need to have context in order to execute on the vision. By learning to approach your startup marketing with the mindset of a reporter, you will learn which actions offer the highest return on investment so you can double down on the best options for your startup.
We all are guilty of sales anti-patterns, consciously or unconsciously, work that creates risk of being counter-productive! Ex. The common ones are working with islands of information. And, here's a post about ways to avoid sales anti-patterns we wrote a few weeks back! So, here's to beginners/dummies on product development.
What’s an anti-pattern? Design patterns in context of startups are highly-effective proven approaches to solving common challenges in product development. So it makes sense that an anti-pattern is the opposite of a design pattern: Any implementation like sales funnel of some sort that is suboptimal.
- Doing more than what's required. Avoid!
- Repeating the same work over and over again. Avoid!
- What is easy is always not always the right way.
- Not properly anticipating the recurring problems. Avoid!
- A little planning upfront can save a lot of time debt afterward.
- Jumping steps without proper understanding each step. Avoid!
We hope you get to understand how some common anti-patterns emerge when implementing sales funnels. With such sales anti-patterns, its wise to avoid and recover from sub-optimal sales process. Don't let your sales teams suffer from anti-patterns that often emerge unknowingly as you customize your business needs. By deferring the above step-by-step guide towards sales closures until one-after-another, one could significantly increase both the closure and transaction.
Try following these above steps before you make your next move up your sales ladder. If you liked this post, kindly do subscribe. If you have any other questions about closing a sale, or sales related generic questions, feel free to write back to us.
Good luck selling!