If you hate being pushy and yet you need to win more sales then check out these 5 sales closing techniques that have served me well over the years:
Before you start selling anything you need to do what I call the “groundwork”. It’s what we teach at the Business Development Academy and it’s all about being clear about the answers to the following questions:
Who is your ideal client?
Why they will be interested in talking to you about your products and services?
Why would they consider buying from you rather than your competitors or switching from their current solution?
What are the key messages they need to hear to satisfy them that your solution is for them?
You don’t just need to do this at a company level, but also at a product/service level. This stuff is as important for closing a sale as it is for generating leads. When you have the answers to these questions clear in your mind, then you go into the sale with your eyes wide open rather than fumbling around in the dark.
People buy from people they know, like, and trust. If you are selling services that will be delivered by yourself or others then the trust factor is a major consideration. This is why top sales people get good at getting referrals because it speeds up the process of building trust. In effect, the referrer is vouching for you and your products and services to the prospect.
There are other techniques for pre-selling we teach in the Business Development Academy like giving away things such as free reports and white papers so that by the time your prospects meet you they are already warmed-up, which means you do not need to be pushy.
This is a big one, and something that all sales professionals do well. To close more sales you need to have a good filter mechanism and be prepared to turn people away who are not a good fit. There are various things you will want to check for, like:
Are their expectations of price in the right ball park?
Do they have a valid motive to buy?
Who else will be involved in making the final decision?
If you were so good at generating leads that you had more opportunities than you could handle then you would have to do this just to prioritise your time.
The trouble with many people is that they do not have enough leads and they waste time trying to close sales that they can never win. If you get good at generating leads and start getting fussy then you will need fewer leads and they will take less effort to close.
Discovering the motive
People buy for their own reasons and they buy based on what they want. The hard truth is that they do not want your products and services. They want results and they need to know that you are able to deliver those results.
The desire for those results will be driven by something like a frustration, fear, worry, or struggle and will probably be something they want but can’t get or a current situation they want to move away from or avoid.
You need to ensure that all your sales meetings are focused on discovering the motive rather than selling. The time for selling is when you do your sales proposal and you make sure you pitch to the motive whilst showing them how your solution will give them what they want, with minimal risk.
In my book Consultative Selling for Professional Services I share my GRIN method for discovering the motive:
Goal – The outcome your prospect wants
Reality – The status quo and how that compares to the goal
Implications – The consequences of achieving the goal and of staying with the status quo
Needs – Anything specific your prospect wants in the solution
To get GRIN to really work you need to get good at asking questions that give you the information you need and then listening to the answers. Listen to the words being said but also what their body language is saying.
Following a script
No one likes the idea of reading from a script and that is not what this technique is about. When you go to the theatre and watch a play, I can guarantee that everyone is following a script! Yet you don’t really think about it whilst you are enjoying the show because it sounds natural.
Sales professionals sound natural but much of what they say, in specific situations, will be word perfect every single time. They have developed their ‘patter’ (aka script).
There will be various times during the closing process where you need to script things out so that, in the heat of the moment, you say the right things in the right order. You should be looking to script vignettes for things like:
How to break the ice and create rapport
How to respond to someone asking about prices
How to build the perceived value of your products and services
How to get a sense of the budget without asking for a specific budget
How to ask for the business