SETTING UP FOR A CLOSE IN A SALES CALL
Here’s a fact many in the sales field may not want to hear. The less the salesperson knows either about the product or the basics of selling, the more they talk. Unfortunately they also close far less than those who talk less.
The professional spends his or her energy planning and structuring a good presentation, probing for the prospects needs and wants, and confirming customer benefits and working through the appropriate trail closes to confirm that they have their prospects best interests at heart.
On the other hand, the average seller always looks for the easy way out, avoids detailed preparation and planning, and as means to compensation, also does very little listening and talks too much. Mostly they oversell the product rather than selling prospect benefits – and believe if they tell their story often enough and see enough people, sooner or later the low of averages will look after them. Unfortunately, they leave without the order around 90 to 95% of the time. As a consequence, they blame the “stupid prospect,” and anything or anyone else that comes to mind for their shortcomings.
The sales professional, locks the bullseye into his or her sights and only pulls the trigger when they know they have the best opportunity of scoring. Their planning and determination, means they score more frequently than they miss. These are the people who talk less and subsequently sell more.
MOST SALESPEOPLE CLOSE FAR TOO LATE
One factor that concerns me is the number of average to better than average sellers that come to me for advice on how to close more sales, and when I pass on that they are probably closing too late or not at all, either dismiss it or disagree with that statement. I therefore now only pass on to others this advice, and only on rare occasions, suggesting that in selling you should never wait for all the lights to turn green. Simply because they never will.
Then when everything seems to be ideal and the close is tried, out come the objections excuses and a thousand other things that now need attention, because the seller waited too long, but won’t accept that fact. But to the credit of those that did listen, most have returned to tell me their closing rates have increased dramatically. Some even testify of increases of 100% or more.
The one thing common to them all, they all admit they’ve closed sales that they normally wouldn’t have if they held back as they always did beforehand.
KNOWING WHEN NOT TO TALK AND WHEN NOT TO TALK
Good sellers know they are born with two ears and one mouth and use them in that proportion. They listen twice as much as they talk. Unfortunately, in the main, those who talk too much, like to hear the sound of their own voice. In time, that becomes the biggest part of their income – not commissions, but the sound of their own voice.
Years ago, Mark Twain wrote of a Church service he attended. The preacher addressed the congregation to help support missionaries to China. The presentation was so masterful, Mark Twain resolved to give $25.00 and more than 100 years ago that was a great deal of money, in fact, substantial amount of money. However, the preacher went on with his talk, 10 minutes later Mark Twain cut his contribution to $10.00. But the preacher still didn’t close, so the contribution reduced to $5.00, and eventually $1.00.
Here are some ideas that are designed to help you Set Up for the Close:
THE CLOSING HOOK
“Now remember, just a little while ago we established you that you won’t need to find any extra money – it’s all paid for out of your existing budget and the money you’ll save by investing in new technology – and it comes with the range of options you had already planned to buy.”
“And you don’t need to consult anyone else for the decision. That’s right, isn’t it.”
“Great. By the way, which of the three options did we decide on? … That’s right … And the … ”
THE SYMPATHY QUESTION
“Is there anything about me that prevents you from doing business with our company?”
THE KEY TO SALES SUCCESS IS WHAT EVERY SALESPERSON WANTS TO KNOW
A while ago I read a story penned by closing expert Charles B. Roth, who has personally trained over 30,000 salespeople in the art of closing , and interviewed over 2000 professional closers on how they go about getting business.
He tells of a man who came into his office selling a product he often buys. He says he listened to him courteously and attentively and watched him carefully as he did every salesperson. This young man had mastered all the phrases of his business and told his story simply, convincingly and succinctly. In fact, Mr Roth liked him. But when he got to the Closing stage, the young man did nothing.
Mr Roth, then tried to lead him on by asking if there was anything else he would like to tell him, to which the young man answered with, “No, I don’t think so!” A little surprised, Mr Roth then went on and stated that perhaps it must be up to him whether he buys or not. To which the young man replied, “I guess you’re right.”
That young man, for whatever the reason was at the time, squarely put his fate in the hands of the buyer. In fact, his actions more than likely caused a degree of doubt, and when in doubt, most people don’t buy. Unfortunately, this type of seller is not the exception, but more the norm. He is one of the majority who go about their business day by day hoping for orders and getting some. In the process fall far short of their potential.
They probably even tell their peers or friends or relatives that “You can’t trust prospects any more – selling is getting harder every day.”
But the real facts are:
- Sales seldom close themselves
- Prospects rarely make up their own minds
- And cheques never sign themselves.
Your become a professional by learning practical techniques that cause people to respond instantly and favourably.
If not, you become nothing more than a professional visitor.
AN ALTERNATE CLOSING HOOK
“Now remember, just a little while ago we established that $26.00 a week is a minor amount to invest into the security of your family and the benefits it brings – and we need to look after the details for you in order to fulfil our obligation to you such as a bankers draft, details and periodical courtesy calls. How often did you want us to make those calls, quarterly or yearly?”
“Great. By the way, which of the three options did we decide on? … That’s right … And the … ”
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies of his books over 49 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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