Mastering the art of closing requires patience and experience. Hearing “no” and playing the waiting game throughout the sales cycle can often lead to moments of asking “what could I have done differently?”
Imagine if you were singing a different tune with your customers and the amount of time you spend generating leads, identifying prospects, and following up could be reduced. This can be achieved by improving your closing skills through the avoidance of common pitfalls. Here are some tried-and-true experiences and solutions to improve your close rate in sales.
You Don’t Believe in the Product
Customers buy solutions and confidence. In his book, “The Closer’s Survival Guide,” sales trainer and entrepreneur Grant Cardone writes, “You have to be SOLD yourself, or your client will sell you on not closing.”
Every step of the sales process and the work you put into outlining the solution for your prospect should validate your belief in the product. Illustrate your ability to clearly understand their problem and how confident you are in your ability to solve it.
Your competitors will always try to offer the same product or service at a competitive advantage, but what they don’t have is you, your company’s culture, vision, and aptitude to provide the unique support and solution a prospect requires.
You Don’t Listen to the Customer
Neglecting to hear buying signals or pain points across an organization can drastically harm your chances of closing. The days of 1 Influencer, 1 Decision Maker are long gone. In fact, the average sales cycle increased 22% over the course of 5 years due to more decision makers being involved in the buying process.
Understand the full business challenge your prospect is experiencing. Consider the customers they could acquire or the time saved in a department that can focus on revenue-generating activities.
You Never Attempted to Close
You’ve probably heard this a million times. Sales leaders will ask, “did you ask for the sale?” and, presumably, you respond with “yes” because any other answer would show our lack of closing skills.
Take the time to determine what closing looks like for your product or service.
Asking for the sale requires milestone closes along your sales process. This could be as simple as acknowledging the ease of use or understanding of functionality. The goal is to start a series of “yes” answers and engagement from your prospect.
You Failed to Provide Value with Each Interaction
Do you still call “just to check in” with your prospects? Stop. This is a quick way to diminish your credibility and confidence in what you are providing.
You are given one opportunity to use the Just Checking card – don’t waste it. Find a value point and utilize it to engage your prospect at each stage in the sales cycle. This will serve as the differentiator between you and your competitor.
You Missed the Opportunity for Early Commitment
Don’t wait until the end to ask for a commitment. Think of this from a real-world perspective. In any romantic relationship, long before you get engaged, there are notions and inquiries as to how your future together could look together.
Apply that same methodology to sales.
Early in the process, find a way to ask your prospect, “If I can show you a way to solve your problem, can I have your commitment to discuss a partnership between our two businesses?”
This is an easy way to say, “I will be asking for your business and a signed contract by the end of this conversation.”
Ask for the sale. Listen to your customers. Provide constant value. If you manage to do these three things, you’ll steer clear of common pitfalls and your closing skills will improve significantly.
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