The pressure is on and you’re trying to close a deal, mentally running through your list of things to cover. Even with the best intentions, there are most likely a few things you’re forgetting that would put the finishing touches on the sale. No matter the size of your company, closing a sale effectively is one of the main keys to success.
Qualifying a Client
Before you get to the closing stage, one of the first necessary steps is to qualify a potential customer. Whatever service or product your company is selling, you’ll most want to pursue leads who need what you have. To effectively vet these potential customers from the get-go, consider starting with these three questions:
· What are you looking for?
· How much are you looking to spend?
· When do you need to start?
Just Say No
While negotiating, if the customer has a request that will be profitable and you can deliver the goods, the answer should be yes. However, while pleasing a potential customer may always seem like a smart idea, saying yes too many times can cost you money. If a request is something that won’t bring you profit, it’s not worth appeasing the potential client. Set the tone in a positive way at the start of the discussion so that when you get to the closing stage of the sale, it will be on profitable terms that make you both satisfied.
Avoid Over Selling
Over selling means being pushy in a client’s eyes. If you want to sabotage the closing, just keep on pushing. No one wants to be rushed or feel pressured into making a decision. For your part, a calm and collected attitude sends the message that you aren’t desperate. Clients pick up on desperation, which leads them to believe you’ll say or do anything to close the sale. This can result in a customer not trusting you.
Keep the Goal in Sight
When meeting with a client about a potential sale, the goal should always be to sell your product or service—not to waste valuable time with small talk. While being friendly and interested is an important practice, the goal is to discuss your product or service, leading the customer to the conclusion that they want to buy. Save the chit chat until after they’ve signed on the dotted line and even then keep the after-talk to a minimum. Talking past the sale can sometimes result in talking the client out of doing business with your company.
Although this may seem like a small factor in closing, how you present yourself plays an important role. Putting a potential client at ease is a positive step. As a good rule of thumb, if you’re presenting an idea or service, standing is acceptable. But if the meeting is purely conversational and you’re discussing the project and ironing out the details, sitting is recommended. Even if your client stands, stay seated so you don’t send the subtle message that the meeting is over before you’ve finalized the sale.
Practice makes perfect, and if you want to close the deal you need to communicate all of the ins and outs in a confident manner. If you haven’t articulated the details in a way the client understands, the sales pitch will be over before it has begun. A customer expects clear, concise, and knowledgeable information, because this instills their trust.
The Written Word
Sometimes, meeting with a potential client can lead to closing the deal on the spot. Assuming your meeting is “just to talk” may mean your client is “just going to walk.” Bring along a contract in case the client is ready to make a commitment immediately. If they’re not quite ready but have a few questions, have a notepad handy to jot down their input, letting them know you acknowledge what they want—and always have a pen or two readily available to capture a signature and seal the deal.
No matter how the sales meeting is going, it’s in your best interest to remain confident and believe that you will reach a harmonious agreement. If the client balks at any point, be prepared to overcome their concerns in a positive manner. If you become negative in any way, it won’t end profitably. However, a positive sales approach, from start to finish, will be much more tempting for potential customers.
This doesn’t mean be fake, because most people can tell the difference between a genuine and a fake smile. If you follow the tips to remain positive and confident, a smile will be a natural reflection of how you feel and the client will tune in to your attitude. A smile can get you through client objections, disagreements, and price negotiations with a much better chance at closing the deal.
When you make these tips part of your “closing the deal package,” the road to successful sales will get a lot easier.