Have you ever met a seasoned salesperson who is just a “natural” at it, as they say? Some people have simply “got it” when it comes to sales skills, inspiring awe and envy among those of us who witness their suave approach to selling.
Such individuals have a certain confidence that shines through, particularly when closing a sale. For the seasoned sales professional, the close is never overly advertorial, nor is it pushy. The expert salesperson knows that the close is the heart of the sale. Without this last essential step a sale really is not a sale.
The idea of closing a sale — or winning a proposal in the Quote Roller universe — can sometimes be a frightening prospect. The close is the part of the sales process where the rubber meets the road, where you learn if all your efforts, monumental as they are, have paid off – or not. The close is so important that worrying over its success can cause you to blow it. You do not want that to happen, so you will want to arm yourself with enough confidence that you navigate the signing of your business proposals as smoothly and worry-free as possible.
Fortunately, a million closes have come before (we’ve had more than $150-million worth on our site!), and that means there are some well-established best practices to bear in mind when it comes time to seal your next deal. Let’s take a close look at closing the sale with the expertise of a seasoned salesperson.
Sales Tip #1: Remember to ask for the sale!
Our number one sales tip for closing may seem obvious, but it is something that often goes overlooked. You have to ask for the sale. Asking for the sale can be especially nerve-wracking if you have faced repeat objections or other challenges in earlier parts of the sales process. Hearing assorted objections can lead you to feel that your prospect would rather agree to the sale.
That line of thinking is incorrect, though. The truth is, people rarely waste their time. If you have arrived at the closing, you owe it to your prospect to go ahead and ask, bearing in mind all the pointers above. Your prospective customer expects you to ask for the close. Moreover, customers sometimes play hard to get, leading them to offer many objections.
Many times, your prospects know, going in, that you offer the services they need, and they only object so vigorously to have their instincts confirmed (or because we’ve gotten in the recession-instigated habit of trying to get ridiculous bargains). If you succeed in overcoming their objections but fail to ask for the sale, you will leave them hanging. Give the people what they want: do not forget to ask for the sale!
Sales Tip #2: Create a sense of urgency
While being careful not to be too pushy, you should still create a sense of urgency in closing the sale. You can do this with a little help from the word “only.” Yours is the “only” solution, your proposal the “only” opportunity. While you probably know to be careful with adjectives, as they can seem overly advertorial (which is always bad!), words like “only” are not platitudes, so you can use such terms to build urgency.
One of the best ways to make this happen is to connect your approach to closing a sale to your prospect’s needs. Kindly remind them that if they need to achieve their goal, whatever it may be, your business is the “only” viable option to aid them in their endeavors.
Also, don’t shy away from creating a deadline. On Quote Roller, you are not able to create an expiration date for a proposal. Of course, if they decide later that they want your services, you can re-activate or create a whole new proposal. But, hopefully, seeing a deadline shows them that you don’t need their business and they better jump at the chance if they want you.
Sales Tip #3: Don’t be pushy
No one likes a pushy salesperson.
What is pushy? Repeating yourself is one example, another is assuming too much. See also: certain unscrupulous used-car lots. We have all been there.
Avoid being pushy at all costs. Strive to ask a question only once – whether it is the invitation to close a sale or anything else. You may have heard the famous quote from Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you repeatedly encounter the same objection, you have not answered the concern. You may want to ask other probing questions to get at the problem, or ask the same question, but in a different way.
You can return to the closing part (or thank them for their time) based on the answers you receive.
Sales Tip #4: Ask open-ended questions
There are “yes and no” questions, and there are open-ended questions. You want to avoid the “no” option as best you can, within reason.
Avoid doing this:
“Okay, so now that I have answered all your questions, can I go ahead and write this up?”
You see, this question has only two possible answers: yes or no.
Here is a better question to ask:
“Do you have another other questions I can answer for you while I write this up?”
And don’t be afraid to ask, “Are there any other questions I should be asking you?”
You will never force anyone to take a sale, close a bid, or anything else by wording your questions this way. Nevertheless, the only “no” you cannot avoid is one that is inevitable, no matter how you ask, wherein the customer has already made their mind up long ago. On the other hand, interested prospects will appreciate your continued interest in their needs while you wrap up the sale.
And, even if you don’t get this sale, they will remember your attention to service for next time.
Sales Tip #5: Timing is everything
Make sure you are asking the right question at the right time. If you have not fully satisfied all the prospective customer’s concerns, you should not rush into the close. Getting this right requires you to gauge the situation, because timing really is everything when it comes to this final stage of the sale. If you are confident you’ve responded to all the customer’s objections, you do not want to wait too long to ask for the sale. If you leave the prospect hanging for too long, they may develop second thoughts.
When you have answered all of your prospect’s questions, go in for the close, bearing in mind the other tips on our list.
Are you ready to close your next sale with confidence?
Did we mention “confidence,” yet? Surely, we have, but there is a reason to bring it up again. Confidence is something your prospective customers will notice. They won’t believe in your product or service if you don’t. The confidence you exude during closing the sale will reassure your customer that they are in good hands. That confidence may be just the thing to firm up the deal, and win you the business.
Are you closing the sale with the confidence of a seasoned sales professional? Those were our tricks, what are your tips to always be closing?