Everybody knows that sales is hard. And if you were to ask a ton of salespeople, what they dislike most about the process, they’d probably tell you something related to the close. If you’re this way, or you’re simply a salesperson trying to increase your conversion rate, then stick with me. In this article, you’re going to learn seven easy sales closing tips that you can use to make more money and get more customers.
Tip #1: Get your ducks in a row.
Too often, we have this tendency when we are first learning how to close deals to make every single conversation like a high stakes closing conversation. The only problem with that though, is that people hate feeling pressured during a sale and they also hate pressure during a closing conversation. So, if we can think about ways to make this a lower stakes conversation at the end and more logistically based as opposed to emotionally based, it’ll make it so that it’s a more seamless experience with our prospect.
We have to understand what our buyers’ decision making process actually looks like. Are we even talking to the right person? When you might realize is that you haven’t been talking to the right person. And so you could avoid a closing conversation that would have gone south really fast simply by asking this question upfront. If you don’t have a clear understanding of the decision-making process or the decision tree with your prospect, then you need to get that first.
Tip #2: Take your buyers’ temperature ahead of your close.
This builds on the prior tip. And what you’re going to want to do here is one to two conversations before your so-called closing conversation, you’re going to want to do a pulse check with your buyer. An easy way to do this is to ask a question along the lines of, “Mr. or Mrs. Prospect just curious, what are your thoughts so far on my product or service?” Another way to ask this is, “Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, talk to me, what are your thoughts or what’s coming to mind right now when you think about product or service?”
By gauging how ready our prospect is to buy from us, we can make an educated decision as to whether or not we should make the ask for the sale right now, or in a follow on conversation. Try to work in a pulse check with your prospects, every other conversation that you have with them. By doing so, you’ll also make sure that they’re moving along in your pipeline and that they’re not stalling out as a deal in the beginning or middle stages of your pipeline.
When I was a sales rep, I used to think of this in the context of a traffic light. So red, yellow, green. And so red prospects were pretty much people that I knew had no chance that if I were to introduce a closing conversation, they would take me up on it. Yellow were people that I had had one or two check in or pulse checks with and they had gone positively and green prospects for people that I had a high confidence, were ready for closing conversation, and simply needed to be pointed in the right direction in order to close the deal.
Tip #3: Use this one question stem when checking in with your prospect.
I’ve mentioned this in my prior sales articles on nine powerful sales questions, but pretty much the important question stem to remember here is tell me. What I mean by this is you can ask your prospect things, like tell me where you’re at in the process, or tell me what you’re thinking right now or tell me what you’ve done in the past, or finally tell me what you need from me.
By simply using this question stem, we are coming from a good place in which we’re trying to genuinely understand our prospect and what they need from us in order for us to service them best.
Tip #4: Focus on listening over selling.
I’ve mentioned this in other articles in the past, but pretty much you want to make sure that you are talking 40% of the time and that your prospect is talking 60% of the time. An easy way that I would do this back when I was in the trenches is I would draw a line on a sheet of paper. And then what I do is I’ve labeled one side, my prospect and one side me, and every single time that I said something, I would draw a tally on my side. And every time that my prospect was speaking, I would draw a tally on their side. What I aim to do is to end every single conversation with their side, having more tallies than my side.
If by the end of the call, my prospect had spoken more than me. That was a W in my book. And if I had spoken more than my prospect, then that was an L. And pretty much I would try to end my day with more wins than losses. This is one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a novice salesperson and an intermediate or an experienced salesperson. Their ability to listen to their prospect and not feel compelled or obligated to speak about something before their prospect is done sharing their perspective.
Tip #5: Preview when your prospect is going to make a decision.
This is as simple as saying something along the lines of, “Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, in our next call, we’re going to make a decision on which option is best for you. Does that timeline work for you?” By simply asking this question in the conversation before we’re going to ask for the sale, we’re giving our prospect enough headspace to actually process this question and look forward to that ask in the next conversation.
This really connects back to tip number one, in that we are creating a lower stakes conversation and getting our ducks in a row. So that, that conversation, when we’re asking for the sale goes really smoothly.
Tip #6: Offer to do something extra.
We love it when people go above and beyond for us, and it’s no different in sales conversations. If you really want to close somebody, make them an offer that’s too hard to refuse. Incentivize it for them. This could come in the form of offering them some swag, throwing their name into a giveaway that your company is offering or offering to talk to you manager to see if he or she could do something special for just them if they were too close their contract by the end of the week.
By going the extra mile, you’re going to position yourself in their corner. And as a result, they’re going to feel more compelled to want to do business with you. What I did in our early days was I used to offer free trainings for our earliest customers on my own schedule. And I would do this simply because I wanted them to know that I was really, really invested in their longterm success on our platform and that they weren’t just a sale to me.
Tip #7: Ask your prospects this one question.
I use this question whenever I want to take a prospect that I’m pretty confident in. And I feel like is 80% there, but I want to take them to 90% or above. And it goes something like this, “Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, is there anything that you’d like to discuss at this time that might be holding you back from taking next steps with us?”
Here’s why this question is so powerful. In the case that the prospect realizes there is nothing holding them back, they are a green light for the closing conversation. In the case where the prospect realizes there is something holding them back, we’ve already primed them to give them the space to air out their concern or their objection prior to the actual closing conversation of when we would have asked for the sale.
In other words, we’ve given them the permission and the okay that they can have an objection right now and that it’s not a big deal for either of us. It’s not a deal breaker. So as a result, they’re going to have more confidence in you as the salesperson, and also more confidence in your company and being able to meet their need or concern since you’re giving them that platform to actually work through all of their potential challenges or objections to purchasing your product or service.
Every time I asked this question, it would work like magic. And the reason why was because by that point in time, my prospect had done a discovery call with me. They had assessed their options in terms of what was best for them. They had also communicated with me what their decision-making process was and what their timeline was. So that by the time I was ready to close them, they had actually already closed themselves.
There are two things I want you to remember from this article:
- The first one is you have to work hard to get the scoop of where your prospect is at. That is the number one step when it comes to improving your closing rates.
- The second thing to remember is that magical question, “Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, is there anything that you’d like to talk about that’s holding us back from taking the next step?
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