What's the best way to close a sale?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Kay, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Kay

    Kay
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    I was thinking today about a co-worker from years ago. He was a very nice guy, well liked by staff and clients alike. His sales figures never seemed to reflect that though. His appraisals always said he was very capable of so much more and it was a mystery why his numbers weren't great.

    He admitted once to me he knew he could sell more. He had no problem telling when he'd hooked the client and the buying signals were coming at him from all angles. What he struggled with was asking them to actually place the order and sign on the dotted line, so he often left without one because the client didn't say "sign me up!" to him. When it came to the final stages and he had to ask for the business, he froze.

    So, what help and tips would you give on how to close a sale in a way that's natural and gets the job done? Do you have any phrases you use or techniques? I'm interested in how others approach that.
     
  2. jacoby161

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    You shouldn't "always be closing," but you should always be ready if the customer indicates that they are ready to buy. Sales are lost constantly by reps that continue to drone on when the customer is flashing neon buying signals. It may not be your goal when entering a long term complex selling situation to close in the first meeting, but you had better be ready take the order.
     
  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man
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    I have the same problem. I usually end my sales pitch (which is not much of a pitch) without asking for the job but just leaving my contact info and telling them to let me know if they would like to proceed. I know this is the wrong way, it makes it too easy for them to bury your proposal under all the other things that NEED to get done.
    I have heard that at the end of your pitch or whatever you want to call it, you NEED to ask for the sale, directly. Something like
    "would you like me do prepare the contract?"
    "Do you want to book an appointment?"
    "Do you want to think about it, or should I place your order?"
    I am quite shy and don't like to be pushy so I end up saying
    "If you like I can book you in now or you can contact me."
    "If you are ready now I can do this on Friday."

    It feels strange to me, but I think you do need to ask them to make a comitment otherwise it will become another thing they WANT to do Someday.
     
  4. Fergal

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    Offering the customer a choice is a good closing technique - "Would you like the red one or the blue one?"
     
  5. Swastik

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    A definite call to action would be certainly helpful.

    I've not done a lot of offline marketing, but in all my online endeavors, I've found having a clear, specific call to action at the end of your marketing message really increases your conversions.
     
  6. Kay

    Kay
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    Thanks for all the helpful tips!

    MountainMan, think of it this way then. If you ask them for it, you're making their life simpler by getting it off their to-do list! :D

    I liked this article that gives more help on closing the sale.

    http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/selling-techniques-closing-sales/450-1.html
     
  7. BizDoc

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    These are all really good tips, especially Fergal's 'alternative close.' I would add leading the prospect once you've gotten all the info and it's time to close. "Where do we go from here?" is an excellent query to open the door to a close.

    Luck! Cheers!
     
  8. Kay

    Kay
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    Something else I remembered from a long ago telesales class was that you should use need instead of want. Using a couple of Mountain Man's closing lines as an example here if I may:

    Doesn't it come across with more urgency when you say:

    Subtle difference, but that change does carry weight imho.
     
  9. BizDoc

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    Excellent point, Kay. I never thought of it that way. Want comes off wishy-washy and lacking confidence while need is decisive and prompts urgency.

    I actually write a column about what sells the client. If interested you can find it at: http://tinyurl.com/25t9g5w

    Cheers!
     
  10. Fergal

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    I wouldn't ask that, I'd imagine that nine out of ten times the prospect would go for the thinking about it option. If I was to give an alternative I'd try to make it so that both options, were positive and would result in a sale.
     
  11. Kay

    Kay
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    Good point. It's so much easier to be indecisive. How about "do you need me to answer anything before we go ahead?" :D
     
  12. BizDoc

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    Or "where do we go from here" courtesy of Sandler Training Systems.

    Cheers!
     
  13. ProfitClinic

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    The Secret Language of Prospects

    Whether you prospect people for product sales or for services, you’d better learn to recognize the Secret Language of Prospects if you want to succeed.

    The good news is, you already speak this language. You use it yourself, almost every day!

    The only reason you don’t recognize it is because you only ever speak it. You’re not trained to actually hear it or understand it. And, since it’s a non-vocal language, unless you’re aware that it’s being spoken by your prospect, you never will hear or understand it — and you’ll go on struggling, trying to work out why your prospects resist you.

    Once you begin to hear and understand this Secret Language, you have the power to eliminate that kind of resistance.

    For a more detailed exploration of the psychology that underlies this Secret Language, see “The Three Criteria of Excellence and Fulfilment”.

    The Secret Language of Prospects is a function of the prospect’s built-in Emotional Risk Management System. They’re not even conscious of it. But it’s there, and they use it to protect themselves from unwanted emotional risk, especially when confronted by a would-be seller whose motives they don’t know or trust.

    The Secret Language of Prospects consists of just three simple components. No matter what you THINK you hear them say — and they will never reveal their true meaning because it’s too risky, emotionally — this is what you need to hear, however they dress it up:

    1. “I want to experience the benefits of what you’re offering… BUT…”

    2. “I want YOU to make it safer, easier, better and smarter for me to BUY FROM YOU than to BUY FROM ANYONE ELSE… AND…”

    3. “I want YOU to make it safer, easier, better and smarter for me to BUY FROM YOU than to KEEP MY MONEY!”

    That’s it.

    If you’re not getting a “yes” (meaning “yes!”, not "yes meaning no!") from your prospects, you haven’t yet made it safer, easier, better and smarter for them to buy from you than from anyone else or to keep their money.

    It’s that simple.

    So you need to pinpoint whatever the reason is that’s keeping them from saying “yes”.

    Remember… EVERY prospect is saying these three things to you. However they dress it up is a useful insight into their fears and concerns. You must hear BOTH.

    As far as a "closing" line goes, I've always found this simple question to be the most effective: "what would you like to do next?"

    John

    PS: The reason you don’t hear this language from your prospects is because YOU only use it when YOU’RE the prospect!

    PPS: Notice those four qualities? Safer. Easier. Better. Smarter. Not once does it mention cheaper. Price is only an issue when you fail to make it safer, easier, better and smarter to buy at YOUR price. When you’re the seller, there’s only one thing dumber than allowing price to become the issue. That’s making it the issue!
     
  14. Tecknowoman

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    Fantastic thread.

    However there is one big issue in closing sales. That is whether it is a low or high cost product.

    Low cost sell brilliantly with all the traditional closes such as listed above and rely on you actively closing the sale with closing lines.

    High point however are different. SPIN selling gets far better results here. S is situation, P is problem, I is implication and N is need - payoff. For high price points better results come from questions that really focus on their situation and highlighting their pain, finding a solution and then focusing on their pain of continuance as they are now and their payoff of buying.

    Neil Rackham's book SPIN selling is a great resource for anyone selling - low and high priced items
     
  15. WebWizard

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    Alot of great tips & Advice above.

    I would give a recommendation through my own experience as 12year developer, the best way to approach any business is request any questions & related material in regards to the deal, that way you can make a quick & professional proposal and or deal.

    Allowing your customers to give feedback or concerns is a great tool, simply when all questions are answered they are either ready to move foward with you or without you. Most delays or resistance comes in regards to having unanswered questions.

    Hope this helps!
    Jay~
     
  16. pixelbob

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    Give the customer the details of your offer, show the customer what will he/she will be getting. Give them the best offer. And always ask the customer what they want so you can set their expectation. Be confident if the customer declines ask the customer what is the reason, so you can give a better offer.
     
  17. ProfitClinic

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    For high ticket sales, I consider "High Probability Selling" by Jacques Werth to be as good as any approach and far better than most.

    I've used this approach repeatedly with large corporate clients and have yet to lose a sale with it. I've been using it since about 1994 or 95, so it's pretty consistent.

    John
     
  18. nbeam

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    How to Close has to do with How to Sale....

    Oi!

    No offense (but this is probably going to offend someone) but this is rather bad advice on closing sales :|

    The manipulative "special wording" or "give them the red or blue option" may work on some folks but it is particularly this kind of stuff that gives selling a bad name. Most people see through these kinds of tactics, and honestly, if you are looking to use these to "close" you are either simply being lazy (want and easy, no work, way to sell) or you just don't know a better way.

    Closing a sale is the most natural part of any sales process. It shouldn't be awkward or tough, if the rest of your sales approach supports it.

    We teach and use a consultative sales model, very similar to Action Selling (this is a different company but a great sales system and an easy read to boot)

    Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional, Even If You Think You Are One

    The basic gist' of the model is that you are here to HELP someone. And it is all about "Showing up and not Throwing Up" when it comes to your sales pitch. You need to learn how to ASK good questions and take good notes. And then you need to ask MORE good questions to get to know the individual or business's needs very very well. Then you need to know the features and benefits of your product well enough to tie them back to that person's needs. You are understanding them first and then offering advice as a professional as to what you have that can help them out.

    When it comes time to close, it is absolutely simple. If you have done a good job of caring and asking questions, you will already have dealt with many of this issues that will cause a stall. If they do stall, you failed to understand them at some point and need to go back to asking good questions.

    Now this is all very "crash-course-ish" and doesn't do the system justice in the least. We put together a whole series of article which outlines our sales process and gives examples and details.

    You can check it out here:
    http://actioncoachohio.blogspot.com/search/label/Sales

    It is an 8 part series (but they are short articles) and it will take you from beginning to end through a solid sales process and there is an article or two dealing directly with closing and with stalls. KNOW THIS, it isn't about saying the right magical closing phrase to manipulate your prospect into making a decision, it IS about dealing with them as a person and a business that has needs and/or wants that you can uncover and understand and hopefully meet.

    Here is a direct link to the article on closing:
    http://actioncoachohio.blogspot.com/2010/05/asking-for-business-sales-series-part.html

    And dealing with objections and stalls:
    http://actioncoachohio.blogspot.com/2010/06/working-through-objections-and-stalls.html

    I really hope this helps you guys generate more business and close more sales! We have had a ton of success with companies in this area. I also apologize if I stepped on any toes :)... I just see the "tricky close" approach a lot and it tends to hurt more than help.

    BTW - Candor is one of our core values so - There is no "sign-up" stuff or anything like that required to view any of the blogspot links. And the other link is to the amazon page for the book "Action Selling" (not our company) which is an excellent resource and I would highly recommend you taking a look at if your like our stuff. I have read it cover to cover a couple of times. It is an affiliate link, which means if you choose to buy the book from amazon via that link, we get some of the sale for the referral. This is a post on sales and on closing isn't it :)

    Cheers mates!
     
  19. designer123

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    will find the useful way to close a sale?
     
  20. Fergal

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    are you looking for advice and help on how to close a sale designer123? If so please start a new thread in this section with a little more info on your situation.
     

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