Articles on Selling by Robert Seviour
How to Close the Sale
For salespeople there is always tension as you approach the final stage of the sales process. It isn't until you ask that you can be sure whether you are going to hear, 'Yes, I'd like to go ahead' or, 'No, I'll get back to you if I'm interested.'
A typical closing ratio for many products is 1 in 3, meaning that two times out of three you don't get the order. Although you have done all the work each time by this point, the big difference is that twice you don't get paid for it. If you push your closing ability up a little and win a sale from time to time that you would otherwise have lost, you are well paid for any effort this has cost you.
Turning more enquiries into firm sales is a highly-geared activity. Here is a refresher course on what it takes to close professionally.
Do your homework
Have a good reason for contacting the prospect
Arrange an appointment and confirm it before travelling
Make sure that there is nothing that you need to apologise for when you get to your meeting. This is so important, yet many salespeople make the mistake:
Don't be late!
In fact make sure that you are a little early, and if travelling by car, sit there and review your notes until the appointed time.
Being absolutely punctual creates a strongly favourable impression with many prospects. The reverse also applies; if you are late, it implies a degree of untrustworthiness.
Similarly, if you say that you will phone someone at 9:15 on Friday, do it. Don't call a couple of days later and say, 'I was too busy".
Check your appearance in a mirror. People judge by appearances, if you look a mess it is going to hurt you in the wallet. You need to be trusted, so the ideal appearance for a salesperson is to look a tad more conservative than the prospects that he meets. That goes for haircut, clothes, accessories.
Have you got all the documents you need with you? Always keep spare copies of key ones, such as contracts, in your car.
Are your samples clean and in good working order?
Don't try to get by with scruffy items, do something about it. And if for some reason what you need can't be obtained from your company, if necessary spend your own money to have impressive items to show your prospects.
When you go into to see your prospect
Develop empathy by mentioning the topics you may have discussed before, or talking briefly on shared interests. Ask some good open questions and listen carefully to the answers. Find out for sure if your prospect has the authority to make a buying decision on his own, or whether others will be involved in deciding. Does he have a budget? Ask, 'What is the decision-making process in your company?'
Ask what time-scale the prospect has in mind. Clearly establish the prospect's buying motivations. If there is one, find out what problem the client is trying to solve by getting your product or service. Use a trial close to see whether if the purchasing criteria can be fulfilled, the customer will place an order now.
When you describe your product or service to your customer
Wait for the answer and don't interrupt at this point.
If there is an objection, isolate it like this
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