Part 2 is all about…
Preparing for the Close
This is probably one of my favorite parts of selling! These tips are proven GOLD NUGGETS guaranteed to increase your closing ratio. This is using psychology to your advantage and really showing off your skills in sales. When I go to meet with a potential buyer, I think of each meeting as a blank canvas, and these are the brushes I use to paint my masterpiece. There are several methods and techniques, but these are some of my favorites.
Like proposing in marriage, before you can “close the deal,” you have to woo your romantic interest, and it starts with getting to know them. It’s no different in sales, so start asking questions.
- Ask Questions – Asking questions is one of the most critical steps in preparing to close a deal. This is called being consultative, and permits the meeting to flow in a natural way, where the prospect won’t feel like they are being sold to (when done correctly). It is also through asking questions that you can find out who the decision maker is. This is CRITICAL, because if you aren’t with the decision maker, you won’t be closing the deal. Be sure to be genuine in your questions, and most importantly LISTEN to their answers. It’s through listening that you will be able to identify pain points. (See my post Stop Hearing and Start Listening – 10 Ways to Improve Your Listening)
- Prep Your Prospect to Say “Yes” – As you are asking questions, if you ask a “yes or no question,” ask them in a way that they have to say “yes”. A great opportunity to use this technique is when clarifying a prospect’s answer to a previous question. Ask questions about the prospect’s pain points, and drill down on those issues in way that you get “yes” responses.This is a form of conditioning and psychologically prepares a person to continue to agree and say “yes”. Some studies suggest getting a prospect to say “yes” minimally 8 times before asking for a deal.
- Overcome Objections Before they Arise – Since you have been asking questions, I am sure you have noticed some potential objections. These objections could be related to price, the decision maker not being present, concerns about signing a long term contract, or whatever specific objections you face in your industry. Prior to your meeting(s), I recommend writing down a list of possible objections and having at least one response per objection. This is a great exercise to do as a team! The goal in understanding a prospect’s objections is to be able to address them before they even come up. This is done by asking strategic questions and using well-planned responses.
- Win over the ‘Best Friend’ – In the hit movie “Hitch,” Will Smith aka the Date Doctor, says “best friend has to sign off on all
big relationship decisions. So you can’t afford to mess this up.” So who is the best friend? Another term for this is “the Champion”. This is the person who isn’t the decision maker but will root for your product. I’ve written a post specifically about this Here
- Create Ownership – As your relationship becomes more serious, ask questions that suggest the deal has been sealed. In dating, these questions might be “How many kids would you like to have?” or “Where do you see yourself getting married?” In sales, the question might be “So Mr/Ms. Prospect, if you had my product, what color would you like?” or “If you had this, how would you customize it?” By asking these types of questions, when the prospect responds they are already assuming they have bought from you, and are taking ownership. Listen carefully to their response(s), and reference these pieces of ownership frequently to cement the idea(s).
6. Be Confident and Have Passion – Remember, if your dream boat is on a date with you, they said “yes” already when they could have said “no”. It is the same with your prospect. They said “yes” to your meeting when they could have said “no”. So BE CONFIDENT! Along with being confident, have passion. If you don’t have passion you will be boring. No one wants to be in a relationship that lack passion, and it is the same in sales.
What are some of your favorite sales techniques and how do you prepare your prospects to say “yes”?
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