Secure The Handshake With Effective Sales Closing Techniques
Closing a sale does not just happen at the end of your sales process. It happens throughout your sales process. Knowing how to position yourself as a sales consultant, not just another salesperson, will lead to closing more sales - and closing them faster.
1. HANDLE SALES OBJECTIONS EMPATHETICALLY
There are books, blogs, and seminars dedicated to teaching eager salespeople how to “counter” their prospects’ objections. What this strain of sales theory doesn’t account for is that there are only two types of responses when a prospect objects to you: you’re either being defensive or empathic. Any move to “counter” objections is a defensive response.
Your first “move” when dealing with a prospect’s sales objection should be to invoke a feeling of gratitude. Think it through – we spend so much time working diligently to get prospects to share their thoughts and feelings with us. And when they finally do, our first reaction is to become argumentative and tell them why they are wrong. At the moment they object, they are bringing us into their thought processes, belief systems, and thinking paradigms. A strong, consultative salesperson can work miracles with this information.
Show gratitude the next time prospects share their opinions with you. Thank them and then simply ask them to explain further. Perhaps something like this:
“Hey Mrs. Prospect, thank you for sharing that with me. But please help me understand . . .”
Leave the argumentative amateur in the car. Be a consultant instead.
2. CULTIVATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT PRESERVES A SALES PROSPECT’S RIGHT TO SAY “NO”
Picture the last time you told a salesperson “no.” What happened next? Did he or she go quietly away? No, of course not. What happened next was that you found yourself on a sales call (and likely in an argument) you didn't want. You’re not alone in this experience. For their entire lives, your prospects have been treated this way by salespeople. And they assume, through no fault of your own, that you are the same way.
Sales prospects are terrified to tell us the truth, their real objections, or what they are really thinking. Why? Because they’re not interested in the argument. But what if they truly felt comfortable telling you “no”? What if they knew that a “no” would result in you packing up and going home? If those were truly the circumstances, they would feel comfortable telling you anything. So give them permission to say “no”!
3. CHALLENGE “THINK IT OVER” EXCUSES
Your prospects need your help in order to make the decision to buy. You are the expert in what you do and sell. You are the one with the wealth of experience on the product or service you sell. Your prospects best chance of making good decisions is with your input.
Your prospects may try to brush you aside to “think about it,” “consider their options,” or have a conversation with someone who, up to this point, has been totally detached from the buying process. That just isn’t the best way for them to make a decision. You owe it to them to be useful in their buying process. And any thinking, talking, comparing, or deciding they do when you’re not in the room is (of course) bad for you, and likely, bad for them as well.
A "think it over" excuse comes in 1,000 different packages. Sometimes it’s “let me think about it,” sometimes it’s “let me talk to your competitor,” and sometimes it’s “let me see what my dog walker’s rabbi says about this.” But they’re all the same (bad) excuse. So give your sales prospects a hand. Help them figure out why they’re unable to make a decision. Ask the next, right question.
4. GO FOR A DECISION, NOT A “YES” AT CLOSING
Elite salespeople don’t necessarily get more “yes” decisions from sales prospects. They simply get more decisions - and they get them in a timely manner. Selling is about getting decisions. So many salespeople believe that prospects hate pressure and claim that they “never use sales pressure as a tactic.” Yet when it is time to close, they are working hard to push a prospect towards that “yes.” In reality, they’d be better served if they worked half as hard to get the prospect to say “no” when it was time to close. When you become the seeker of a “no” answer, miraculous things can happen, such as:
- Your credibility shoots through the roof.
- The prospect becomes more comfortable.
- The prospect’s next objection is why they shouldn’t say “no.”
- Your business stature increases.
And the 5% of the time that they say “you’re right, it’s a 'no',” I’ll take that answer too. Because that answer was coming anyway, but now I get a rebate on a very precious asset – my time.
5. COMPLETE A SALES “COMMITMENT” STEP BEFORE CLOSING
All salespeople are in one of two types of businesses:
- The “why do it” business
- The “why do it with me” business
In the “why do it” business, apathy can be your biggest competitor. Instead of losing sales to a competitor, you may be losing sales because the prospect is not ready to take action. In the “why do it with me” business you are losing sales to your competitors.
Regardless of which type of business you’re in, how often do your prospects tell you exactly how important it is to fix their problems? How often are they completely committed to the solution no matter what? Check in on your prospects’ commitment level before closing.
In the “why do it” business, a commitment step before closing can eliminate the competition. Doing nothing isn’t an option for prospects who are committed to taking action. In the “why do it with me” business, a commitment step can also eliminate the competition. If they are committed to solving whatever pain your marketplace differentiators solve, hiring your competitor isn’t an option.
Looking for a consultant to train your team on sales closing and other techniques to improve your sales process and increase revenue? Connect with a Lushin sales trainer! We have years of experience with sale closing training programs. Find out how we can make a difference for you and your team. Contact us online or give us a call at 317.846.9200 to get the conversation started.
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