In any sales scenario a customer can make one of three choices: to buy from you, to buy from your competitor or, having evaluated the vendors, solutions and pricings offered, not to buy at all. As the seller, it is your job to ensure that the customer makes the first of those choices, and there are several effective ways in which the shrewd salesperson can influence that purchasing decision to close the sale. Here leading sales training provider Maguire Training shares five keys to successfully closing a sale.
Research your customer
Common sense dictates that you won't enter sales negotiations without some degree of prior knowledge about a potential customer, but some aspects are particularly important to closing a sale. An analysis of a customer's previous purchasing behaviour should provide insights into the type of companies and products they prefer and the sales techniques which are most likely to result in a successful conclusion to negotiations.
Ask the right questions Obtaining and demonstrating a thorough understanding of your customer's requirements and motivation for purchasing helps to negate any potential future objections. Ask the customer how well they think your proposed solution meets their requirements, whether there are any other aspects that need to be addressed and whether they have any remaining doubts, concerns or questions of their own. If not, don?t be afraid to ask outright to close the sale.
Sell solutions not just benefits
Your product or service might be the best thing since sliced bread and possess dozens of unique benefits, but unless you can explicitly demonstrate how and why it is an unrivalled solution to the precise issue that your customer is seeking to address a sale is unlikely to be closed on the strength of benefits alone.
Recognise and act upon customer interest
The ability to differentiate between a genuinely interested customer, a procrastinator and a complete time-waster and to respond accordingly is vital to successfully closing a deal. Typically, genuine customers will ask detailed questions about your solution and particularly in respect of how it will address their individual problem or requirements. They will ask about financial aspects such as cost and return on investment and they may tentatively initiate the next step of the negotiations. When positive signs are recognised they should be rewarded with further positive reinforcement of the ways in which your solution uniquely meets the customer's needs and what differentiates you from your competitors.
Remain flexible in your offering to overcome objections
Closing a sale does not automatically hinge on agreeing a price that the customer is willing to pay. If the price of your product or service is unnegotiable, offering flexibility in other areas such as payment terms, warranty or customer support may provide sufficient incentive for the customer to close the deal. The customer needs to share your confidence in the quality of your solution and its ability to meet their needs; convinced of these aspects, obtaining the agreed price should not be an issue.
These are just some of the strategies that effective salespeople can use to close sales. The topic is covered in greater depth in Maguire Training's E-learning module 'Closing the Sale' which forms part of an innovative and comprehensive online sales training platform aimed at maximising the development and performance of sales managers and their sales teams.