Great salespeople understand closing the deal is a process beginning with the first contact. They are diligent in following the sales process. Today with the business world in turmoil from a pandemic, salespeople are not meeting face-to-face with prospects. The fundamental elements of the sales process are applied using tele-conferencing and other remote means. Great salespeople have risen to the challenge of closing the deal remotely.
Closing The Deal Is A Process
Every great salesperson has a selling process. The process works to convince the buyer the pain of changing is less than the pain of staying the same. The salesperson first establishes rapport with the prospect building trust and respect. Once they have the decision maker’s attention, they seek to understand the buyer’s problem (or need, or want, or pain) what it is costing them and the benefit of making a change. Great salespeople discuss the budget with the prospect. When all these steps line up it’s time to be closing the deal.
A NOTE ABOUT SELLING DURING A PANDEMIC
The Presentation To Close The Deal
Whether the sales cycle is long involving many touches with the decision maker and their team or a one-call event with a family the salesperson needs to ask for the order. The best answer is “yes, let’s do this!” The second best answer is “no, we aren’t buying.” The unacceptable answer is “I want to think it over.” Great salespeople get a commitment before making the presentation that the buyer will either commit to the purchase or decline. Because thinking-it-over leaves the salesperson in limbo.(For more on “thinking it over” click here.) If the answer is “no”, skilled salespeople seek to find the reason. Once they know the objection they can go on selling.
After the salesperson gets the commitment for a “yes” or “no” answer, the presentation begins. By reviewing the pain, the cost of having the pain, the benefit of changing, and confirming the decision-making process the great salesperson demonstrates understanding of the buyer’s situation. When reviewing each point the salesperson gets agreement from the decision maker. If there is not agreement then the salesperson stops the presentation and seeks to understand why. When the presentation is done well it leads directly to the close.
When To Close The Deal
In times past, the salesperson would sit around a kitchen table, or in the showroom, or in the buyer’s office, or in a conference room with a buying team to make the presentation. Now we rarely meet face-to-face. And if we do we wear a face mask. Great salespeople have developed a keen sense of the buyer by using vocal and visual clues. We watch their eyes, their posture, the tone of voice, the choice of words as they respond to the presentation. Great salespeople just know when it is time to ask for the order. It comes from a “sixth sense.”
So the challenge now is how to get that sense when using a teleconference to make the presentation. With video conferencing the visual and vocal clues are still there. The key is to confirm the feedback from the buyer by asking confirming questions. When they nod their head confirm they agree. When they scowl, ask what’s confusing. When they laugh, enjoy the joke along with them. Then when the “sixth sense” tells you, ask for the order.
Advantage Of Closing The Deal Remotely
So for many years you sat across from the buyer, made your presentation, asked for the order, shook their hand and then went to lunch. Now we sit in front of a screen trying to duplicate that process. The first advantage is time saved. You don’t have to travel to meet with the buyer. You can add supporting participants to your team with ready answers to buyer’s questions. You control the technology of presenting. Maybe even tie in a customer to give a live testimonial. Do a live video plant tour. Set up a product demo the buyer can “test drive.” Whatever content you choose for the presentation still needs to focus on the pain the buyer has and the benefit of eliminating the pain.
Practice Closing The Deal
If you are a sole practitioner, first master the technology you plan to use. Make sure you can make a convincing presentation while dealing with the technology. Keep it simple to concentrate on content and feedback without being distracted by managing the video conferencing platform. If you have a team, assign roles. Have a techy to manage the video platform, start slides, bring in remote video shots and your experts to answer questions. Have your techy connect with the buyer’s techy before the presentation to work out any technical details. Assign roles to your selling team. Make sure they know the que for when they come in. Have an observer to take notes and help watch the participants for feedback. And whether you are on your own or with a team rehearse the presentation until it feels right.
What You Can Do Right Now To Begin Closing The Deal
- Use a proven selling process.
- Ask for an up or down answer at the close. No thinking it over!
- Practice the presentation.
- Ask for the order.
To learn more sales secrets see Chapter Thirteen, Getting The Order, in Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling. For even more sales encouragement, join our FREE Sales Club! “See” you next week.