What Is The Best Way To Close A Sale? | Closing Skills
If you believe lack of closing skills is your problem, it’s not REALLY your problem.
At an event last week I met a business owner who was convinced he knew what the problem with his sales team was.
“We’ve got a great pipeline of new business they just aren’t any good at asking for the order … they need to get better at closing!”
It is true that a sales person has to know when and how to ask for the business. Experience tells us however, that this is usually the symptom of the real problem, not the problem itself. If a sales person is having trouble ‘closing’, it is usually because he / she hasn’t made the proposition compelling enough for the customer to want to say: “Wow! Let’s do it!”.
The root of the problem always lies in insufficient questioning, listening or presenting skills. In other words: don’t try to close … try to make the customer want to say “YES!”
So – what IS the best way to close a sale?
I’m going to be a bit controversial in answering this question…
If you’re having trouble or wondering how to close a sale,
then it’s too late, you’ve already lost it!
Many books have been written about the ‘art of the close’, listing dozens of different approaches (each with a snappy name), all containing a subtle psychological trick to persuade the customer to say yes.
The truth is that if your customer isn’t saying “yes” it’s for one of the following 4 reasons why:
- They don’t see how your recommendation, product or service is relevant. They don’t ‘get it’.
- They have questions about your product / service that they need to resolve in order to make a decision.
- They want to ‘buy’ what you are selling but not until they have negotiated with you to ensure they get the ‘best deal’.
- They are never going to buy from you and are just using you to benchmark their chosen provider.
So how can you deal with the above whilst moving towards a positive outcome?
Here are my top tips (in the corresponding order of the above 4 reasons):
- You haven’t articulated a compelling reason / business-case for your product or service in the eyes of your customer. You have either mis-read the brief or presented the wrong product / service. You cant close a sale when someone doesn’t want to buy. All you can hope for is that the customer will allow you to back-track and do a proper needs-analysis so you can revisit your recommendation.
- Take the time to fully understand your customers questions or objections before you try to answer them. Remember, questions and objections and usually buying signals in disguise!
- Negotiation isn’t just about lowering your price. Plan what options you can introduce into a sale to make it more attractive to the customer if they start negotiating with you. Lowering the price should be your last resort.
- This is a tough one to swallow … you should have qualified out of the sale earlier on and saved yourself all the time and effort you have spent chasing a piece of business that you were never going to win. Learn to spot the warning signs that tell you you are never going to win and walk away sooner next time.
Closing the sale is the easiest part, provided you set it up correctly.