So you’ve gotten that sales meeting, prepared for each possible scenario, made friendly conversation, and have conveyed your ideas and pitch to the best of your ability. Your job is not finished yet, however, because you still need to close the deal. This, for the majority of people in sales, is the most difficult part of the business. The key to successfully closing a deal is to be proactive about why a person may say no and to eliminate his or her reasons for doing so. Here are three techniques to help you close more sales
- Understand hesitation and address it by solving the problem. From your point of view, there is no reason to hesitate. You know what a great value you are providing and have no reason to doubt yourself. So put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you can understand the reason why they may be hesitant, you can deal with it head on, and may be able to overcome the objection altogether by demonstrating how your product or service can solve a problem. For example, a hair stylist and colorist operates her own business doing her clients’ hair in the privacy of their own homes. She is offering new and current customers a package for purchase in which they can have monthly coloring touch-ups, all paid for in advance. While pitching this service, a prospective customer seems hesitant to pay for services that wouldn’t be rendered for months into the future. The stylist validates this concern, and also points out that because customers wait too long in between coloring treatments, the service takes longer and costs more. So by having monthly touch-ups, money would be saved in the long run and hair color would always be properly maintained. She winds up closing the deal because she did not dismiss the client’s concern, but rather confirmed it and then followed up with a solution to the problem.
- Fine tune your market and focus on a niche. In an effort to cast a wide net and appeal to as many customers as possible, you could be missing out on success within a niche. The hair stylist mentioned above certainly provides services that likely appeal to a broad range of people, but because she makes house calls and provides a monthly touch-up service, she focuses mostly on working mothers over age 35. This population of women have several things in common that make the stylist a valuable asset to their lives: they’ve started coloring their hair to cover up grays, they need to maintain a professional appearance, their work schedule is too demanding to regularly visit the salon,and when they are not working, they need to be home to care for their children, so an in-home appointment is most convenient. Knowing her target market allows the stylist to put the most time, money, and energy into attracting clients in this population for increased success. Think about a niche that might be most interested in what you have to offer, and come up with ways to specifically appeal to the needs of this market.
- Take the focus off business/sales and make it fun. More and more companies are looking to gamification to attract new clients. Consider simple ways to incorporate more fun into a sales pitch or other type of client meeting. For example, to educate potential clients about your product or service, consider a mini-trivia game in which your prospect guesses the correct answers for a small prize. Use whatever fits the situation and personalities of those involved, such as music, video, gaming, comedy, etc. A sales meeting should not be an unpleasant experience for either party, so by making it fun, you are increasing your chances of closing the deal. However, be sure to balance fun with the professionalism needed for the situation.
Closing the deal requires that you understand the needs of the customer, and then highlight how your products or services meet that need. Remember to always be honest, and let the strengths of what you have to offer and your enthusiasm shine through. When the customer understands how your product or service fits their situation, and trusts that you have their best interests at heart, you are more likely to close the deal.
What tips do you have for closing the deal? Please share them below!