Closing a sale is all about creating the right context that enables your customer/prospect to be comfortable making a decision. You need to be a creative sales leader and build a relationship with your potential customer. The best salespeople will tell you confidence is pivotal in the closing process.
There are some styles that work better than others to close a deal. If you can challenge yourself and make your customers think, you can reap the benefits. Customers have been pitched ideas and been sold their whole lives. The end of a sales process can be very confusing and uncomfortable for your customer/prospect. It’s imperative that you always stay focused on keeping things within the context you have created to minimize decision reluctance.
Here are some simple, often overlooked, questions you can use to keep that context:
What value do you see in what I’m offering?
Customers want to see the value in your product or service. You can tell them until you are blue in the face about the true value. The reality is that the more you talk the more they are bored.
What works in the early phases of your sales process also works late – they should be talking and sharing. After you’ve laid out the facts, ask your customer what value they see in your offering.
This is going to turn the page on them. If you have built a strong enough relationship with them, they are going to have to process the facts and try to apply it to their own business. This will help them discover the value themselves.
When they determine the value for themselves, they are going to be more likely to move forward. This gives your customer the feeling of control, while you continue to command the process.
What have I not covered that is important to you?
A common piece of advice that I give salespeople is to stop focusing on what you’re selling, and instead focus on what your customer is buying. It’s amazing how often a salesperson and customer are in the same room, sharing the same conversation and yet completely failing to communicate.
As you’re concluding your presentation/recommendations simply ask the customer if you’ve missed anything. Your customer may be looking for something very specific that you missed.
This does not mean that you did anything wrong. Quite the contrary, by asking such a question you are demonstrating that you’re focused on them, not yourself. This builds relationship with the potential customer and also makes your presentation seem more personal and free flowing.
Tell me about your ideal solution?
Oftentimes when you get resistance to recommendation/proposal the real cause is ineffective communication. Rather than going into “overcome objection mode,” ask the to describe what their ideal solution would look like (this should be as simple as getting them to restate what they shared earlier in the sales cycle).
Here again, you get your prospect/customer talking. Oftentimes as they describe what they want, they’ll realize on their own that your solution gives that to them. If they don’t realize it, then you’ve simply need to cover where you match and address the areas where you don’t. This approach also give your customer the feeling of control, while you still command the process.
Asking questions that get your customer talking and connecting to the context of their situation is crucial to reducing resistance and wining more sales faster, and at higher margins. Getting them to talk and dig deeper is far more effective than making a pricing concession.
Additionally, by asking such simple you questions, you’re no longer behaving like the typical peddler. These questions will help you build better relationships, close more business and make the sale more enjoyable – for you and your customer.