Sales and Marketing

Question: I spend most of my time trying to increase my volume by selling more. I get the appointments, but don’t seem to get the sales closed. Any tips?

Answer: There is no magic to closing a sale. The magic is having enough prospects in the sales funnel that will result in enough prospects who have a need that your product or service fulfills and are willing to part with their dollars to commit to a purchase. You need to keep in mind that prospects go through a mental process of being unaware of you, to becoming aware of you, to understanding what you offer and how it will benefit them, to trying your offering, being satisfied and then buying again and ultimately recommending you. Understanding closing techniques is an important part of helping buyers take the step of “trying” your product or service. A good closing cements the deal. Here are some to consider to increase your close rate.

SPIN Close – SPIN is a selling concept Situation, Problem, Indication, Needs/Payoff. A SPIN close goes something like this, “If we can show you how we can rid your lawn of pesky weeds, would you sign up for the Super 5 treatment plan, today?” Open the door for the buyer to walk through in answering their question, but leave the door open for their response. “Yes, I am prepared to move forward, but I think you are $25 higher than I was planning to spend.”

Assumptive Close – You have a relationship with a client. It is your third call, and you think the client respects your judgment and knowledge. When the time is right to hand, a preprinted sales agreement to the client for their signature. Assume you have the order and position yourself for the next step and take it.

The Ben Franklin close – while talking with a client, list the pro’s and con’s, making the pro’s the longer column, then show the client the longer pro’s column to get their agreement that moving forward NOW is the right move.

Impending Event Close – You are a wedding planner. You are 12 months out from the planned event. Use a timeline to show when the decision needs to be made to reserve the venue, band, caterer, etc., to assure that everything can come together 12 months from now. Making the commitment today is what it will take. Or if you are an arborist and are giving a quote to a prospect. Timing is a question. “We are going to have a team in West Dennis next Monday, Tues, and Wed. Would Wed afternoon work for you to have the trees we just marked removed?”

Soliciting Objections Close – You have completed the Understanding step in the buying continuum and are confident the prospect understand who you are and what you offer, and it addresses her needs, ask for the sale by asking if there are any objections. Remember objections are another way of asking questions. “I like the process you described, but your competitors have given me dates within the next two weeks when they can schedule the work.” Or “Is there any reason why we cannot schedule your window cleaning?” If there is an objection, they can air it without saying NO.

Level with Me Close – You are at the end of the process, and you get the all too familiar, “let me think about it.” Your response needs to be: “You indicated you like our service and it meets your needs, can you level with me and tell me what is bothering you to commit to proceeding?”

Be prepared to hear the rationale for delaying, so you have to be flexible and adaptable to the response.

The Fuller Brush Close – If you have ever bought a Fuller Brush product it happens inside the house with a brush in the hands of the customer. Buying a car begins with understanding the desires of the customer and then putting them behind the wheel for a test drive. Get the customer to try the product or show them where the product/service has been used and how well it worked.

Relationship Close – Customers rarely buy from sellers they don’t like. Spend the time it takes to create a relationship with your prospective buyers. They tend to buy from those with whom they feel comfortable and trust. It takes more than one call to create a relationship. It takes the time to position yourself as having value beyond the delivery of a product or service.

Direct Close – The best close is, “What will it take for us to do business?” Ask for the business.

The sales process fails when sales personnel quit too soon and don’t ask for the order. It takes more than one call to close a sale, and it doesn’t happen without asking the buyer to make a commitment.

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