So what is the best way to close a sale.......I would say have the prospect not show up for a meeting. To date since starting my businesses the biggest sale I have closed started with the person who eventually bought from me, not showing up to our first meeting.
By going through being stood up by a prospective buyer I experienced some things I would not have initially expected. When my customer and I were stood up for our meeting I thought for sure that this prospect was a dead end. I figured he really had no interest in what we were offering or had changed his mind since when I had set up the meeting. After going to the first meeting and finding the prospective buyer was not there to meet with us I contemplated not trying to set up a second meeting. Later that week I figured it would not hurt though to try him one more time and see if we could get a second meeting. My hopes of getting anywhere were low though.
When I got a hold of him I found that he was very apologetic. Here came my first learning, even though people often do not like sales people, all people want to be nice to all people, even when they are selling to them. Where the problem usually arises is if the sales person does something to annoy or upset the prospect. This then gives them a reason be rude but I think almost all people (at least in Canada), want to be polite to sales people. When I talked to the prospective buyer on the phone he was very apologetic for missing and forgetting about our meeting. I could tell he was trying to be very nice and make up for missing our meeting. So I attempted to set up a second meeting and was able to secure a date and time no problem. I thought in the back of my mind though that this was again only to be nice and make up for missing the first meeting. If he forgot the first meeting I thought there was no way he was going to be interested enough to buy from my client.
At the second meeting what I thought would occur did not. We did not get the polite "I will listen but I am not buying" response. Instead the prospect went out of his way to be polite and gave us way more time and information than I was expecting. Throughout the process the prospect also on multiple occasions appologized for missing the first meeting. Because we were given so much of his time and could easily get almost any information we needed it was very easy to build rapport and build a strong sales argument. What happened was the exact opposite from what I expected.
This process continued where we built more and more rapport as we had probably 4 meetings and multiple back and forth email and phone conversations. Throughout the whole process I could tell the prospect was trying really hard to be nice to myself and my client. I would like to think we were just doing a great job of selling (which we did do an above average job of with this particular prospect), but I still feel a large part of what happened is a result the buyer missing the first meeting. It was clear the buyer felt a need to repay us for missing that first meeting, and the only way he could really repay us in any significant way was to give us his business. If at anytime you can do something to make a prospect or buyer feel like they should or want to repay you.....it will make closing a significantly easier to accomplish.
In the end we ended up convincing this prospect to switch to my client's service even though my client offered exactly the same pricing as the buyers current supplier. There were multiple factors that played into our ability to sway the buyer to buy from us, but I feel the largest single contributing factor was the psychological impact not showing up to our first meeting had on the buyer.
Now am I saying you should some how try and get your prospects or buyers to forget or not show up for your meeting with you?...No. That would be ridiculous. But if they do not show up, do not take this as a negative sign and forget about that particular prospect. I think what you will find is that your chances of closing this sale will actually increase dramatically.
If you are looking for ways to improve your sales skills and get better at closing more sales you might be interested in these articles.
Sales Tactics That Work - Principle #1
Sales Mistakes - Avoid The Most Common Ones
Sales Mistake - Avoid This Mistake I Made And Close More Sales
My name is Chris R. Keller. I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. If you are interested in generating new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button.
I hope you have found this article on the best way to close a sale interesting or at least amusing. It was not amusing when I was at the first meeting and the buyer was not there, but now looking back I find it amusing. I hope more prospects and buyers do not show up to a first meeting with me in the future!