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Here's a small post on closing strategies for sales. Let's say you are going to have a face-to-face meeting with a prospect, or this is a first time you are having that client meeting. What are some of the things that you could say to make sure that that meeting is successful or goes the way that you want? As a sales professional, as an entrepreneur, one needs to take time to stop and think about missing opportunities! Are we leaving money on the table? Read on..

Ability to listen.

Remember that we close with our ears, we don't close sales with our mouth. We need to listen, listen with intent. A simple paper and pen can help. Without a script, after a while when you get better, when you master at sales closing. And you don't need a script anymor, because you want to flow, and sound natural, conversational, and more connected with your prospect. Then in this case, you might want to have a paper and pen, and take notes. Now, why is this so important to take notes?

Let's say you spend 30 minute, or an hour, on phone with a prospect and you let them do 80% talking, when you are listening, your prospect might give you a lot of valuable information that later on you could circle back, and use for closing.

Mirror your client

This also applies to body language. Mirror the exact words that the prospect says! Example, let's say you sell B2B, and the prospect is using revenue to describe what they're doing. I wanna increase my revenue, I wanna grow my revenue, guess what? Put that down, as "revenue". If they use revenue, you don't want to be using words like "sales", money, or profit. It's wise to stick with "revenue". If they say, "Oh yeah, "I'm doing this because I want to make more money." Okay, money is your keyword. Or, "I want to do this because I want to double my income." Double my income. So later on, as you proceed with the close, you could circle back and use a hypothetical scenario and use the relevant keywords.

"Well you know dear propsect, "suppose we could show you how you could double your income, "how would you feel about that?" You demonstrate that someone is listening their needs. And then later on when you circle back, and you echo back exactly what your prospect told you, and what you're telling them, "Hey, you care. "You understand what I need, "you understand what I'm looking for." Thanks to a simple pen and paper. Instead of us pushing our agenda, pushing our features and benefits, and how good our product is, go ahead and take notes.

Making prospects talk more

What it tells you is that, "Hey, this is important, "I need to pay attention to this", right? So imagine on a phone, you're talking with a prospect, and he/she is describing what they're looking for. And you could tell them, "Hey, you know what - This sounds very important, "let me grab a pen and some paper, go ahead, "tell me exactly what you need" and you'll notice the prospect is suddenly excited to say more, "Okay, alright, I'll tell you exactly what I need." And then they would open up because you're telling them, "Hey this important, let me take notes."  It's human nature to do that good old paper and pen, and extremely powerful. Remember you close with your ears, not with your mouth.  

Ask questions!

You have to understand this when you are meeting face-to-face with a client, not just talking about closing on the phone, when you are sitting down face-to-face, toe-to-toe, with a client or multiple clients or prospects, your "body language" also comes into play. Mirror yourselves with the client, and that symmetry helps put an equal foot. How you present yourself, how you dress, all that makes a difference. Let's focus on question.

Taking a sales conversation, don't let your guards down, It's NOT a done deal. No, it's not, just because you're meeting face-to-face with a client or prospect, it doesn't mean that you've already closed the deal. In fact, if anything, you need to be even more cautious when you're meeting face-to-face.

The second thing is pay attention to is what is the outcome that you want? Most sales people go into a meeting without a clear outcome and think that if doing a good job, delivering a lot of stats, numbers, and data, giving prospects a lot of information, that naturally will want to buy. That's not the case at all.

You need to set the tone and agenda from beginning to end of your closing cycle or signing the deal, as it becomes a very natural conclusion of what should happen next. But you need to be very strategic about such an outcome. Remember #2: "What are we going to accomplish today?" Now these are very simple closing techniques that just work, and here's few quesitons that matter in such a sales conversation.

1/...

Why us?

So, question number one, and that is this, "what motivated you to meet with us today?" That's it, what motivated your prospect to meet with you today? Why is that question so powerful? Because its a question that gives some information, some intel, and expalins their motives. It's more a dipolomatic way of asking, "why are we having this meeting today?" Instead of asking that way it's, so what motivated you to have this particular meeting? Or, what motivates you to have this meeting today? The 80% of talking should be prospect's needs and what you should do is now is take notes, pay attention to what are they saying. Let prospects talk, without interruption. Let them talk for 5 minutes, and you pay attention.

2/...

What now?

The second question that you could ask is this, "exactly what are we trying to accomplish today here"? That's a very powerful question. It is very very outcome-driven, and goal-oriented, perhaps. By using the word "exactly", emphaisis is given on the sales meeting. What are we trying to accomplish here today? A simple, open-ended question. Let your prospect talk, and work around with 20% talking.

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Where from now?

And the third question, especially if you are doing any kind of consulting or brainstorming kind of work, is take it to a big whiteboard, and ask this question, "where are you today and where do you want to be?" Now that question is so powerful because it tells you exactly, what's the status of the company. Where they are, what are their frustrations, what are their pain-points. And when they explain, where they want to be, a year from now, two years from now - Write their goals. "I wanna present my product/service, as a bridge between where they are, to where they want to go.

There is your gap, and find ways to present your pitch. Instead of talking about how good your product/service is, how long you have been in business, your track-record, etc, its way much better to ask them, "where are you now", and "where do you want to be"? Then again, you let your prospect talk.

4/...

The problem

The fourth question you can ask is, what seems to be the issue, and how long have you had this issue? That question tells you everything you need to know! What seems to be the problem? As sales consultant, you are problem-solvers. If it's a good fit, you go for it, if it's not a good fit it's okay to say no. So it's very very important to know, client's frustuations.

What are those pain-points? You need to know. If there is no pain, there is no sale. So what seems to be the problem? And how long have you had this problem? And they might reply, "oh, our problem is A, B, C and D" and "we've had that problem for more than three years now", and "we've tried two different vendors", and we couldn't solve our problem. And if you're taking notes, that's perfect. Talk about how you need to sell, and how you position your product as a perfect solution.

5/....

Simple C-Sat

Question number five, is this, if this meeting accomplished everything you could possibly hope for, and what would that look like? This question paints a picture in the prospect's mind, "what would that look like"? And they would give you the criteria. How do you make sure that this is a successful meeting? And they will tell you well, I will love to walk away with a step-by-step plan. Okay, what else? Well I will love to have maybe two or three concrete strategies that will help me solve this kind of problem. Alright, okay. "And I would like to know exactly how you would help us, and help a company in the long-term". "Okay, no problem, I can do that".

Simple but powerful questions designed to have a deep understanding of your future client, during that meeting. So next time, when you're in a face-to-face meeting, your first prospect meeting, test them out. Thanks for reading! And let us know how these worked for you.

Keep hustling folks.