Here at Engage Selling, we continue to watch closely how the marketplace is changing. So much has happened in a short period, such that today is a really exciting time to thrive if you’re prepared to respond to wisely to trends while emulating timeless approaches that work.
Among the key trends I have been talking about: selling is far more relationship-based than it used to be, your buyer’s decision-making process is longer and it’s tougher than ever to attract and sustain the attention of your customers and prospects.
What is just as important, however, is what hasn’t changed.
The top sales performers continue to adopt and implement well-defined business habits that result in more sales in less time. It’s important to pay attention to those business habits and adopt them in your own sales organization.
Among those winning habits: the mastery of closing your sale every time.
There are important, field-tested, timeless insights in this area. They take work to adopt and implement, but if chart-smashing sales matter you, they are well worth your time.
Here are seven closing practices engineered to sell more in less time…and that you can get started implementing in your sales organization right away.
1. Know your maximum and minimum.
Pinpoint what’s needed for someone to make the decision to buy from you today. On every sales call, know in advance the maximum you expect out of the call (e.g., to receive verbal approval…to negotiate a final price?), versus the minimum level of commitment you need to obtain from the client or prospect to close the sale.
2. Always start with the draft approach.
Never let the final proposal be the first proposal they see. Prepare a draft proposal first and walk the client though it point-by-point. This is where you address and respond to objections: not later.
3. Know how decisions get made.
Get a clear explanation about the client’s review process for every product or service proposal. Who decides what? How many steps are there before a decision is made? Know this and you can address objections skillfully, dealing with the right people at the right time.
4. Step back.
Step back and look objectively at every qualified lead and make sure you’re asking the right qualification questions upfront. Make sure you are operating on facts rather than feelings of what think is true.
5. Make persistence your eternal flame.
A sale that seem lost can be found again, but only if you’re persistent! Very rarely have I seen any of my clients lose a sale forever. We have one client in Vermont who sells in the dairy industry. She waited 25 years for the customer to say yes.
6. Understand the why of no.
When a prospect or customer says no to your proposal, understand the meaning behind “no.” Ask probing, specific questions to determine why they are resisting or refusing to close.
7. Follow-up rigorously.
It’s not enough to just follow-up when you feel it’s the right time to do so. Schedule all follow-ups in advance, set to a rigorous calendar. Make it a process, not a task. Stick to it like clockwork and your sales will do the same for you.