Today's blog is a summary of some of the most useful closing a sale techniques I have learned recently. I realized I needed to improve my closing rate so I conducted some research and started putting some things into practice. Here is what I found to be the most useful.
Use A Lead Scoring System So That You Are Only Spending Time On The Highest Probability Leads
Previously I was following up with the same amount of energy and focus for each prospect for my clients. Looking back I really don't know why I was doing this as it was foolish. It think it was so that I would have results to show my customers. What I should have done was been more patient for the results to come and focus my efforts on the larger and higher probability prospects. In the long term this will lead to much better results. You only have so much time, so why not spend that time on a prospect that will give you more money and is more likely to become a customer. I personally like to use an expected value calculation to determine which prospects to focus on. I won't explain this here but maybe I will explain it in a future post. I have now started to take this approach and will do so going forward. I have already started to see some of the benefits of this as I have started to secure some larger orders that are worth 5 smaller ones.
Using Probing And Validating Questions Throughout The Presentation (Get Training On This Sales Tactic)
Some example probing and validating questions would be
"How do you feel about the program explained so far?"
"Which option do you prefer?"
"Can you see value in the additional features we can provide at an extra cost?"
"What are your feelings about the free trial offer?"
The key here is that by asking questions you are not only getting more information but also getting the prospect to think and question things. Instead of trying to push the prospect to think something, you can use questions to get them to think things themselves and make it seem like it was their idea.
Sell With Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is contagious and feels great. People are drawn to enthusiastic people. This one is simple.
Sell Feelings Not Benefits
Examples include: Comfort, security, appeal, fashion, leisure, convenience, status, success, efficiency, peace of mind, happiness, fun. Selling feelings is much more powerful then selling logic or facts. Perfect examples of this are coke and apple. I have referenced Coke commercials before but here is another one. The commercial starts out with a rough and tough guy that seems unhappy, then he drinks coke and the entire world around him becomes a joyous place and the commercial ends with him and a big smile on his face. The commercial in the link in the sentence prior is all about selling happiness. Who does not want to be happy? Therefore if you feel happy when you drink coke you will buy it.
Satisfy All Three Requirements For A Sale
1. Have Them Convince Themselves Of Their Need
Don't try and convince them of their need. Ask open-ended questions to find out what their needs are and they will convince themselves that they have a need.
2. Convince Them You Have The Ability To Satisfy Their Need
Use a story to explain how you have met the need your prospect is discussing. If you can give them a specific example of an existing customer of yours that works best. The more specific and detailed the better as it makes it more real and believable for them.
3. Get Their Trust
Listen, show genuine interest in the person, and you will quickly gain rapport and their trust. You will know you have gained their trust when they will answer any question you ask and are very open in sharing information with you.
Avoid Prospects That Are Not Showing Interest And People You Can Not Connect With
If people are not very open to meeting with you, you will probably not have a very easy time converting them when you do meet with them. Instead, focus on people that are warm and positive to meeting with you. Also, not everyone connects well with everyone. Sales is a lot about relationships, so if you know you will not be able to create any kind of a relationship with someone avoid those prospects because the chance of you getting a sale is low and a long term partnership will never happen.
I am still working to implement all of these techniques on a regular basis. I am definitely getting better as using lead scoring, selling with enthusiasm, using probing questions and avoiding prospect that are showing little to no interest. I still need to work on satisfying all three requirements of a sale and selling feelings. Hopefully as I continue to work at this I will be able to get this down to become habit. What I have been doing lately though does seem to be helping as my closing rate of late has been closer to 50% versus a previous rate around 40%.
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My name is Chris R. Keller and I work at Profitworks Small Business Services where I help various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario obtain new customers. On this blog I share what I learn working for my customers. If you are interested in attracting new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the Send Me Free Updates button. You will then receive free updates from this B2B small business blog to your email.
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