Closing the deal
In this latest article in our series illustrating the Reach Revenue approach, we discuss the most important topic of all – making a sale. The harsh truth is – you can engage and meet with every potential client out there, but if you don’t convert them into consumers of your product or service, you don’t have a business.
In our previous posts, we discussed how you build the foundations for conversion. This includes the fundamentals of creating awareness of your brand, products, and services, and how to attract prospects and engage with potential clients in person and online. Now it is time to secure the sale and bring in the money.
You will have undoubtedly read and heard of countless ‘closing strategies’ such as:
• The Assumptive close – “would you like that in red or blue?”
• The Urgency close – “these are selling so fast, if you do not place your order now, you may miss out.”
• The Handing over the reins close – “what would you like to do next?”
All these types of techniques can work if they are done as a natural part of the conversation, not trotted out like a well-rehearsed script. However, all their combined years of sales and marketing experience in numerous sectors have taught Reach Revenue founders, John and Nik, that one key sales principle tops all others:
People buy from people they like
Qualities such as honesty, integrity, good manners, respect, and a little old-fashioned charm are what you need your sales team to possess, on top of the classic ‘sales’ attributes of energy, determination, persistence, and negotiation skills (more on this below). Not only will having a highly professional team help you get sales, but they will also ensure happy clients refer their friends and provide solid Google, Trustpilot, and/or social media reviews.
Ask for what you want
Often John and Nik are called in to observe a sales team that on paper seem perfect. They have the knowledge, skills, and personality to succeed in sales. But orders are not forthcoming, and targets are being missed month after month. Inevitably the problem is the sales people are doing everything right but stop short of “asking for the order”.
Having the courage to ask is fundamental to achieving a sale. So why don’t people do it? Because they fear rejection.
Studies show that social rejection is similar to physical pain.
The most effective way to ensure your sales team is asking for the order is to make it a habit.
According to Charles Duhigg , author of ‘The Power of Habit’, all habits follow the same pattern: Cue – Routine – Reward
Sales training can teach salespeople to understand and recognise buying cues, and immediately, as part of a routine, ask for the sale, knowing their reward will be either a yes or a no.
Yes, you did read that right. ‘No’ can be a reward. Because objections mean the prospect is considering the offer but is not quite convinced. And by understanding how to negotiate and answer objections, be they on the product or pricing, the no can be turned around into a closed deal.
The art of negotiating and handling objections
Objection handling and being able to negotiate are key skills that sales teams need to master in order to win. And when it comes to both, preparation is vital. Abraham Lincoln said if he had eight hours to cut down a tree, he would spend six sharpening his axe.
Many organisations make the mistake of insisting their sales staff attend back-to-back appointments, providing no time to understand the prospect’s business, their pain points, and motivations. Thanks to the internet a wealth of information about almost every business is readily available, and busy prospects will be unforgiving if an account manager wastes their time asking questions they should already know the answer to.
Understanding negotiating strategies help build confidence in a sales team. For example:
Aim for small wins first
Successfully gaining a small order opens the door for larger future contracts to be secured later.
Encourage salespeople to get a foot in the door and capitalise on positive relationships.
The old saying; “you have two ears and one mouth – use them in proportion” applies to all sales meetings.
Failure to listen leads to missing a prospect’s pain points, meaning you never gain the opportunity to tap into their motivation for change. Worse still, it can lead to the classic sales mistake of ‘kicking an open door’, whereby the salesperson continues to sell after the prospect has said yes. This invariably leads to negotiations being re-opened because the buyer, having received further information, is given an opportunity to doubt whether they have received the best deal.
Keep control of emotions
It is vital that salespeople keep control of their emotions when dealing with objections or in negotiations. Any hint of desperation will be pounced on by senior business people, which risks the price being driven down in exchange for…..nothing. If your sales team is trained and prepared in facing any objection likely to come up in a prospect meeting, the more confident and relaxed they will be.
Having a highly-focused, confident, likeable sales team is essential to growth and success. Having spent years working in senior leadership roles in sales and marketing for some of the UK’s largest and most successful businesses, John and Nik truly understand how you can get the best out of your sales team. They are alive to recent literature and developments related to sales psychology and can put in place clear strategies and targets to ensure your business ambitions are realised.
Reach Revenue works with business owners, leaders and investors to develop high performing sales and marketing teams aligned to the strategic objectives of their business. To find out how we can help you, please call 0203 858 8030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.