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Sales 101: Closing the Sale

Jul 15, 2016 by Stevie Valle

The phrase “closing the sale” might conjure up images of the sleezy car salesperson desperate to sell you anything just to get their commission check, which is why many in sales tend to avoid thinking about closing. Having an abundance of leads is great, but at the end of the day, you need paying customers to stay in business. If you're not thinking about your closing strategy, you're leaving potential money on the table. The truth is, the idea of closing actually starts at the beginning of the sales process. So how can you be mindful of this during your sales pitch and convert more leads?

Listen.

In your first meeting, the customer may not have a lot to say as they're waiting to hear your pitch. That makes each word they say much more important. Focus on what the customer is looking for, and not what you think would be best. If you need to make a better recommendation, it's certainly okay to do so, just make sure you explain that although you heard their want, you believe something else may work better for them.

Show, don't tell.

When you think about advertisements that have stuck in your mind, do you think of a list of features and benefits? Not likely! Customers can easily find that information on your website or in a pamphlet. Your job is paint a picture with words to show them how much they need your service. Remember what you've learned about this person while you were  building rapport and tie your services into their unique personalities.

Overcome objectives by focusing on the positive.

Perhaps you weren't able to meet their desired price point, or do not offer a service or feature they wanted. Instead of focusing on what you can't do or what you don't offer, reiterate what makes your brand the right choice. 

If cost is an issue, try to highlight additional perks or accreditations your company has that the competition does not. If a service cannot be met, offer an alternative solution. With your expertise, you can help them think of a potentially better way to accomplish their goals.

Follow-up and be available.

You may have had a wonderful initial meeting with your potential customer, but they say no because they need a bit more time to think it over, or to consult with another decision maker. You've already invested the time and energy with this customer, so don't forget to provide your contact information and follow up. 

By providing your contact information, you've committed to being available to that customer if they have questions or are ready to finalize the sale. Make sure your voicemail is set up and you are returning calls and emails in a timely fashion. (If you need some tips on how to make sure your calls are answered, check out our earlier blog post on the importance of picking up the phone!)

If you've provided your information and haven't heard back from the customer, make sure to be proactive and reach out to them to see if there is anything else you can do to help make this process easier. Showing interest goes a long way and might be just what they needed to make their final decision.

Just ask.

This one seems like a no-brainier, right? Whether due to lack of confidence or the anxiety that comes with potential rejection, it's quite common to forget to ask for the sale. It doesn't have to be complicated. Simply ask them if what you've discussed sounds agreeable, or if they're ready to get started! This helps wrap up the sales presentation and lets the customer know the ball is in their court now.

Shhhh!

Sometimes the best thing you can do is sit back and be quiet. If you've given a quality presentation and the customer appeared receptive, give them a moment to process the information. It's not necessarily to fill every bit of silence, and sometimes overselling or talking too much could have the opposite effect and lose a sale.

 

Remember, potential customers are turning to you for help in making the right purchasing decision. Adopting an effective closing strategy not only helps you see a quick return on the time you've invested educating your customer, but also shows the customer you are confident in the solution you've recommended.

Have some closing tips? Share in the comments below!

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