Some may have you believe that closing a deal is an art-form, but really it's all about knowledge. Ultimately, knowledge is power. Educating your prospects on subject matters surrounding their challenges will certainly build credibility and rapport. Letting a potential customer or client know that you understand their point of view and their needs is vital. The reassurance, peace of mind and confidence in your product that "this provides" will make it far easier to bring the deal to a positive outcome for both parties.
Read on for our guide to gaining that knowledge and deploying it to your advantage in the deal-making process.
Three Steps to Understanding
A key element to successfully closing a sale involves understanding and gathering "intel" of your prospect. Narrow down and gather "background" knowledge of your prospect or client. Their persona types, mannerisms (characteristics), key challenges they face and lastly the objectives and goals surrounding their organizational role. By understanding the above you will achieve closing excellence. Since you now are equipped with background knowledge and understand your prospects needs and challenges you can easily showcase your products and or solutions that are in relation. This gives you the ability to further educate your prospects on how you can deliver solutions to their challenges. Of course, focus on simplicity and keep away from complexities. This can be achieved via three simple questions.
First, ask the potential customer or client to rate how likely they are to use your service or purchase your product on a scale of one to ten? This establishes a base level of interest which you can work with. If the interest is high, focus on simplicity of integration and your value proposition. However, if their interest is on the low scale, look for ways within the conversation to education your prospect on industry trends and insights. Share case studies that would tell your prospect a real life example of how one of your clients solved a similar challenge. Most often you will find that prospects are unaware of their challenges. This gives you an awesome opportunity to educate, engage, and close.
Let's now assume that the answer is a reasonably high number – say six or above – follow this up by saying that you are surprised to hear that their answer was not a lower one, and ask them why they choose that number. This gives you an insight into which aspects of your product or service have ignited their interest.
Next, ask them why – if those features have interested them – they didn’t rate themselves a 10 on the scale. This gives you the opposite view, outlining the concerns that the potential client or customer may have regarding the sale. With a firm understanding of interests to be highlighted and concerns to be dispelled, you have the tools necessary to make the sale.
When working in sales, your biggest enemy is the latency period after the initial meeting. Letting an interested party walk away from the meeting without giving you a firm answer, either way, is likely to result in failure.
To prevent this sort of missed opportunity, it’s helpful to introduce a little urgency to proceedings. Providing a discount which is only available on that particular day is a tried and tested way to encourage an indecisive customer to take action, as is offering additional products or services as part of a ‘one time only’ deal. Or even our favorite "ending of the month" offer. This technique also has the additional benefit of creating a feeling of exclusivity, reinforcing the customer’s sense that he or she is getting a good deal. From now on consider your urgency statement as "wip" work in progress. This also applies to your sales pitch. There is nothing worse than sounding like an automated robot reading off a script. Have a genuine conversation. Keep in mind your prospect crave three things; to talk to a human that cares, and lastly to converse with an expert in the field.
Focus on Solutions
A mistake that many salespeople make is to develop a shiny, well-honed spiel which explains why their particular product or service is the best on the market. The problem with this catch-all approach is that, while attempting to please everyone, you may end up pleasing no one.
It is important to remember that the customer has come to you with a challenge and they need to ascertain whether what you are offering represents a genuine solution to that challenge. This means that a tailored approach is necessary, an approach in which each concern and each issue that is raised by the customer is met and countered with a feature of your product or service. You need to reassure the customer that you have tools and resources that they need; accomplish this and a sale will usually follow.