Closing a deal is arguably the most important part of the sales cycle. How can you maximise your chances of success?
Your firm might have a database full of potential leads, your products and services could be the best in your market sector but if you can’t close a sales deal, then your business development and marketing efforts will be wasted.
The key to making a sale is to focus on the customer and putting their needs first.
Do your research
No matter what industry you are in, knowing the decision maker is key to closing a sale. In many cases, the decision maker will send someone else to go out and verify all the options that are available. You will have to do your research in order to understand who will ultimately be making the purchase decision and try to understand their needs, the solutions that they are looking for and so on.
Focus on solutions
Don’t try to sell your products or services. Instead, take the time to understand what the problems are that your customer is facing. Try to connect the dots and illustrate how your product or service offers a solution to their particular set of problems. This will help your prospect to understand how your product or service fits with their particular needs.
Be prepared to handle some objections. Potential clients will have some concerns – maybe they think that your offering is a bit more expensive than your competitors, for example. Rather than resort to discounting, take the time to explain how your product or service offers greater value.
Ask for the sale
If you have answered your prospect’s questions and provided them with an understanding of the solutions that you can provide, then ask for the sale. Illustrate that you understand their particular requirements, be confident but not arrogant.
A polite but confident way to ask for the sale could be to offer to produce a proposal document which includes the details of the products or services and the pricing proposal for the client to consider. You can then follow up in a day or two, to ask the client if they would like to progress with the proposal. This helps to create a sense of urgency which can encourage your prospect to move forward and close the deal with you. If they are teetering on the edge, this is the time to offer any potential discounts. For example, “if you sign today, I can reduce the price by 5%.”
Follow up promptly with any paperwork in order to finalise the sale. Ensure that you provide your new client with any information that they need and if necessary, arrange any training that will be required, to get them started with using your products or services.
Whether you make the sale or not, you should always follow up. If you did not succeed this time, ask the client why they chose to go elsewhere and what you could do differently next time. You can use this feedback to refine your sales approach, which will help you to become more effective in the future.