If your clients and prospective clients don’t ‘like’ you, they’re never going to buy from you.
Closing the sale is a mastery of its own. It’s that storybook ending everyone’s waiting for at the end of any movie or novel, or children’s book: ‘And they all lived happily ever after …’
Think about how disappointed you are when there’s no clear resolution, or maybe your favourite character is killed off in the last scene – no happy ending. It’s the same in sales when they won’t decide, when there are barriers, unspoken risk, no sense of urgency, no returned calls – there's no happy ending. Well, no happy ending for you.
Closing the sale is the beginning of the relationship.
At the end of the selling cycle, it’s decision time. Your cards are on the table. You try to eliminate what you would call ‘objections’. You try to completely engage your prospect. You try to prove your value. And you try to show your self-confidence.
Your enthusiasm and your self-belief are closely tied to the close of the sale. How enthusiastic are you? How strongly do you believe in your company? You have to believe that you work for the greatest company in the world, that your company has the greatest products and services in the world, and that you’re the greatest person in the world. When you believe in yourself and your products, you’re believable to your prospect.
Here are the key points to master the closing opportunity – none of which is a sales technique, ploy, or trick.
• People don’t like to be sold but they love to buy. Create a buying atmosphere with questions, value, and passion.
• Why people buy is a billion times more powerful than how to sell. If you don’t know buying motives, you’ll fight price.
• All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. How friendly are you?
• If they like you, and they believe you, and they have confidence in you, and they trust you, then they may buy from you. This is the number one rule of sales. And the secret part of this rule is ‘like’ is the most powerful element. If they don’t like you, they’ll never trust you.
• Relationship beats price 60 per cent of the time.
• Perceived value beats price 60 per cent of the time.
• Remove the risks (or your prospect’s perceived risks, with either you, or your company) and the sale is yours.
• The questions you ask determine your fate. Great questions uncover buying motives, real needs, truth, and confidence in your understanding of the customer and his or her situation.
• Don’t make a speech. Present a compelling message that’s value driven, not product driven. Keep your conversation short and sweet. This is about them, not you.
• Actively listen more than you talk. Listening is not the key – active listening is key. Your prospect will tell you exactly what they want. But make sure you listen with the intent to understand, and with the intent to respond. The two-word secret to listening isn’t ‘shut up’. The two-word secret to listening is ‘take notes’.
• There are no ‘objections’ in selling. There are stalls, barriers, and risks – both real and perceived. Value, trust, proof, and buyer confidence lowers barriers.
• Challenge the prospect to do what’s best for his or her business. This strategy helps eliminate old relationships with other vendors that have lost value.
• Ask for the order every time. It’s so simple that salespeople overlook it. Especially when the prospect poses a barrier or a stall.
I assume I have the order when I walk in the door. The best close is no close. It’s a combination of making a friend, presenting a compelling reason to buy, being value driven, being profit driven, being outcome driven, and assuming the sale. I hope you have enough self-confidence and self-belief to do the same.
Back to the happy ending.
One of the interesting parts about any story you’ve read as a child is that they all had the same sort of ending – happy.
Note well: In sales the key words are not ‘happily ever after’; the key sales word is ‘all’.
‘All’ means the customer has to feel like they win, your company has to feel like it wins, and you have to feel like you win. When everybody wins, you don’t have a deal, you don’t close the sale, you have a relationship. And that relationship leads to more sales.
Now that’s a happy ending.