As a mobile software toolkit for field sales representatives, we think sales techniques and skills are pretty darn important. That being said, we think the skills of great salesman can also be applied to many different areas of business. Here are some tips for closing a sale-for more than just sales!
As any college student writing their final paper for the semester will tell you, closing isn't easy. Perhaps you feel you've made everything self-evident. Perhaps you haven't properly paced yourself. Perhaps you've become overconfident. Cruelly, the close is everything. It's what your clients will remember; it's what will make them decide to buy or pass. Ask any salesperson worth his or her salt, and chances are that each would cite a different closing technique. This isn't to say there aren't a few unifying principles though.
- Be communicative. That is, avoid a hard sell. Remember, you're not trying to trick people into buying your product, you're engaging them in a process that will, hopefully, end up benefiting both parties. As Lloyd's points out: "Tell customers exactly what you're offering and how it will benefit them. This creates trust early on, and paves the way for a smooth close."
- Mind your body language. Grant Cardone recommends the following:
- Always stay seated, as standing up indicates "time to go."
- Make eye contact, as avoiding it indicates lack of confidence or that you have something to hide.
- Physically stay with your buyer. Cardone points out: "Each time you leave the customer to check on something, it creates doubt and uncertainty in their mind. It can create undue antagonism in the negotiations, lower perceived value, and extend the closing time."
- Outline your terms and have them in writing. Talk all you want, but people feel better when they can see clear terms in writing.
- Know your competition. No doubt, when it comes time to negotiate, your clients will have your competitors' information on hand; so should you. You won't be able to counter argue, counter offer, or look credible if you don't have that information in hand.
- Treat all prospects like buyers. Cardone says, "Regardless of the circumstances: no money, no budget, not the decision maker -- always treat the buyer like he is a buyer. I always survey the prospect for signs that demonstrate they have bought in the past...I always tell myself, 'Every buyer is a buyer. Treat them as a buyer and they will turn into a buyer.'"
- Ask one more time. This may feel like it's being pushy. However, just think of it as recalibrating your position. It's possible that something the client said no to earlier in the negotiation may be a yes by the end of the sale.
Have any surefire closing tips? We'd love to hear about them below.
Jenna Hannon is a Canadian born technology marketer and writer living in Silicon Valley. She is currently Strategic Communications at Fanhattan, advisor at Treasure Data. Jenna is also an adrenaline junkie; as a kiteboarder, skateboarder, snowboarder and surfer.