Written by Sean McPheat |
We often get salespeople asking “What’s the best ‘close’ I can use?” or “How can I ‘close the sale’ more often?”
Putting the emphasis on the ‘close’ can be a big mistake in the sales process. Too often, the salesperson will try to get the order and prescribe an answer before determining and diagnosing the real problems that occur in every business.
A ‘close’ will not just materialise as a result of asking the right questions, though. Other skills are needed to get to the stage where the prospect will trust you enough to say ‘yes’. If we think about building relationships with clients, instead of ‘closing the deal’ it may help us to develop our sales.
Knowing how to build relationships with clients is paramount in sales. We do need to work with clients, of course, in trying to gain commitment in sales; however, we don’t really want to ‘close’ the customer. We want to gain commitment and open the relationship, rather than close something. It may sound a case of semantics, but it will make a big difference in your attitude and response as the conversation goes on.
Gaining commitment in sales requires a different mindset to simply selling your products. Building relationships with clients helps us in the journey to the close, or in gaining commitment in sales.
Determining how to get that commitment can be difficult at times, so here are some ideas that will make it a tad easier:
* Have goals for every stage in the process
Decide what you want to achieve in every meeting. Is it to make a further appointment? Or to start a trial period? Or to visit another part of the business? The goal is the objective for this session, so you need to know what you want to achieve. Building relationships may be important but we need to have short-term goals as well.
* Summarise everything the prospect has said to you
What this does is prove you have been listening and understand the real needs of the prospect as they have been describing them. It builds your credibility as well as your knowledge and helps you on the journey to gaining commitment.
* Give them reasons to trust you
As you create trust, you build believability, and this opens up the connection and relationship between the two of you. You’re more likely to get the prospect thinking about the next steps when they see the conversation progressing well.
* Talk about solutions as they will affect the buyer’s business
Buyers will make decisions that create a better future for them and their business, so you need to discuss what the solution will mean to them. Buyers will only concentrate on objections if the value of those solutions don’t outweigh the cost of change. Only then will they see some form of commitment to the sale.
* Paint a rosy future for the business by using your products
Commitment is about making a decision based on what future results and outcomes will be. If you put the emphasis on what your products or services will do for them and what they should see as a result, it is more than likely you will get a favourable response to your request for commitment to the next stage in the sale.
What you’re attempting to do at each stage is build relationship with the client, so it makes it easier for them to trust you and say ‘yes’ to your proposal. As they see that rosy future developing for them, your client will naturally see you as the catalyst for that eventuality. Every stage you develop with them will show how your client relationship-building skills can be improved.
Each of these ideas will create the foundation for the prospect to agree to what your suggestions are and help them see the benefits of committing to your ideas.
Originally published: 9 September, 2019