How can you close a sale that isn't open in the first place?
Every sales manager or salesperson aspires to be a great 'closer'; this accolade seems to be the benchmark of sales success. After all, how many times do you hear a salesperson referred to as a 'great opener'? Yet as Shakespeare might have said "there's the rub. One of the keys to successfully closing a sale is to ensure that you've opened it first."
Salespeople that can open sales are likely to be far more effective than their competitors at closing them. The good news is that Maguire Training's Opening the Sale course can equip sales managers and their teams with the precise knowledge and skills they need in order to open sales with prospective customers and lay the foundations for successful negotiation and sales closure.
The idea that you can't close a sale which isn't open seems straightforward enough, yet many salespeople fail to consider it. Instead they waste time and energy attempting to pursue a sale which is doomed to fail because, for example, they haven't targeted their efforts at the purchasing decision maker or because they haven't made sufficient effort to find out whether the customer actually has any intention of purchasing their product or service.
The astute salesperson recognises that opening the sale effectively is half the battle to securing it and closing it. The first step to opening a sale is to ensure that you're dealing with the person who has the responsibility for purchasing. Once this has been established, asking the right 'opening' questions of this person should provide you with all of the background information you require in order create a proposal which addresses all of the customer's requirements and to progress the sale.
Aptly enough, opening questions should always be open questions which, although innocent-seeming, elicit the information you need. For example, asking something as simple as 'how are things going' can draw you into a valuable conversation about the customer's current situation: the problems they face, the type of solution they might be looking for, cost indications and whether or not they are actually currently in a position to buy. Clearly, if the customer reveals that they have no intention of purchase at the present time you can agree to contact them at a later date and move on.
If they are interested in buying, however, the savvy sales opener will ask the customer what they would look for in a successful sales proposal and why those elements are important to them. This should provide further insight into what will motivate or incentivise the customer to close the sale. Rounding the opening questions off by asking how the purchasing decision will be made should enable the salesperson to tailor the proposal and conduct negotiations in the manner which most closely aligns with the requirements of the decision making process.
Naturally, there are more subtleties and nuances that can be learned and applied to ensure that sales are opened effectively in a variety of situations and this is where the comprehensive learning provided by Maguire Training can prove invaluable. Salespeople wishing to learn and apply these techniques without delay can take advantage of Maguire Training's E-learning platform, which offers Opening the Sale as an online training module which can easily be accessed anywhere and at any time from an internet connected device.