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15 Tips for Winning a Sale!

How many times have you been so close to closing a sale but lost it in the end? I have been there many a times. But I didn’t lose the lesson. Let me sum up my learning and guide you to make a successful closing.

1. Ask for the order:

If your prospect keeps postponing the order without any real reason then they are trying to avoid you. You need to have the courage to ask them for the order and hear their real objections.

2. Qualify, Qualify, Qualify:

In the prospecting stage, we all make this mistake. In order to have as many prospects as possible in our pipeline, we try to qualify in a hurry and let some prospects into the pipeline but in reality they aren’t ready yet or do not have the need or money or both.

3. Probe, Probe, Probe:

Ask as many questions as possible during the sales process. Questions only lead you to find the real objections, find the real needs, know the budgets, get to know the decision makers and buyer’s perspective of your brand / product / company.

4. Face the objections and solve them:

Unless you face the objections and solve them you will lose it to your competitor. If there are no objections, then it means there is no need or you simply haven’t sold enough.

5. Assume you have won the order and talk about the next steps:

When you reach the closing stage in the sales process, ask them if they would need the delivery in a week or can they afford to wait for a fortnight. Would they prefer to get their people trained at their office or at your office?

6. Nurture the prospect:

Create the need if there is no need in the first place. Make them want it. Keep feeding them. Grow the relationship. Become the only face to remember for their needs.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs

7. Figure out the reasons why they will not buy:

Early in the Sales Process, write down the reasons the prospect may have for not doing business with you or for not buying now. Try to address those. If it’s not possible to address them, drop it and move on to the next prospect.

8. Read the buying signals:

Have you implemented this for any other customer in our Industry?

What’s the RoI?

Can you provide me a cost savings calculation with your solution Vs competitor’s or Vs current systems.

How long will it take for you to deliver?

9. Align with the buyer’s journey:

Understand what stage the buyer is in right now and align with the buyer accordingly. If you are behind, it will be an insult to the buyer and if you are ahead then it would mean you are jumping the gun and in a split second the buyer would have got his reasons to reject you. Now, the prospects do their homework online prior to calling you, the salesperson.

10. Be confident.

11. Be Persistent. This is the key.

12. Build Trust. No one wants to do business with someone who is not trustworthy.

13. Be Patient:

It’s a marathon and not a sprint. Sales is not a sprint but a marathon!!

14. Put their needs before yours.

We get it. You have monthly targets to meet. But that’s not the prospect’s problem. They are not there to solve your problems. On the contrary, you are there to solve their problems.

15. Help them buy. Don’t sell. Ever.

All of us like to buy. Don’t we? We think the product or service that we are buying is going to make us a super hero. It is going to make us look modern. Belong to a cult. Put us in the upper crest. Will help us reach our goals. Make us knowledgeable. Make our lives easier, comfortable and efficient. Now, help the prospect achieve his / her goals and help them buy.

Happy Selling!! [I hear you ask: doesn’t this contradict the 15th item above? :)]

 

 

 

 

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You can close more sales, if

We all want to close more sales. Right ? Let us understand what it takes to close more deals. First and foremost, I am sure you have heard this: Don’t rush the sales process. And don’t delay it as well. The right speed is what will determine the outcome. The speed that matches your prospect is the one that will help you land the deal. Customers would like to buy and don’t like to be sold.

You can close more sales, if

  1. You don’t rush the sales process
  2. You add more value during your interaction with your prospects
  3. You understand the prospects pain points and provide point solutions to resolve those pains
  4. You Align with your prospects
  5. You have built a good Pipeline of Opportunities
  6. You understand your competitors and have a strategy to counter them
  7. You act more like a Business Partner than like a vendor
  8. You are an Expert and an Authority in your domain
  9. You are willing to help your Prospects solve their problems
  10. You are putting effort in finding a solution that meets the growth demands of your prospects
  11. You keep up your commitments
  12. You can provide Customer References
  13. You can demonstrate your solution and prove that that is the best in the market
  14. You can highlight the value of your products or services
  15. You can offer a solution matching your prospects budgets
  16. You can eliminate the risks for your prospects
  17. You are enthusiastic, disciplined, courageous, entertaining
  18. You are willing to go that extra mile to match customer expectation
  19. You are helping your prospects save money, time and effort with your product or service
  20. You know how to smile from your heart and do.

Happy Selling !!

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Things to remember during a follow-up call

Marketing department in an organization uses 4P [Product, Price, Promotion, Place] to plan and execute its marketing strategies. And its aim is to create a market for their company’s products and services, if it is a new product or a service. If it is not a new product / service, then their aim is to create a market share for their company. Their job does not end with acquiring leads and passing them on to Sales. They need to validate the leads and qualify them as well. But that’s not all. They need to evaluate their campaign effectiveness, understand which channel delivers the maximum bang for the buck spent, analyze how the market responds to various campaigns and accordingly fine tune their campaign strategy in future.

Sales gets the leads from Marketing plus they also generate their own leads. Sales get references from their existing clientele. Due to word of mouth, sales people get calls from prospects that are hot.

Sales puts all the leads together and starts managing them. They need a good lead management tool [that is part of a CRM] to make their job easier.

While the leads are qualified as either hot or cold, there is a need to classify them as warm as well. In my experience, I have found that I had a competitive advantage over my competitors when I handled such warm leads very well over a long period of time.

Let us now take a look at things to remember during a follow-up call:

  1. Don’t say you are just following up.
  2. Don’t say you are checking in or just wanted to touch base.
  3. Say things that will arouse his/her interest in your products/services.
  4. Highlight the benefits of your products or service.
  5. Repeat the value your product or service delivers or the USP. Let it remain etched in his/her memory.
  6. With every touch, learn something new about the prospect and record it in your CRM.
  7. If you say something that resonates with the prospect, the deal will close faster than you think.
  8. Don’t educate the prospect on your product / service during a follow-up call. Unless, he asks you to.
  9. But definitely add value – give him information on your recent client acquisition or share news from your industry or the prospects industry.
  10. Ask the prospect, if this proposal is still in their high priority list.
  11. If it is still in the high priority list, ask when is it going to be taken up and what is it waiting for and how can you help.
  12. Get commitment from the prospect on the next date and expected progress from his side by that date else you commit to get back with some important information on a certain date.

Happy Selling !!

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How to eliminate the resistance to buy ?

As mentioned earlier in one of my previous posts, the buyer is anywhere between 60 and 70 % of his buyers journey when they decide to contact you or your company. But there is still some resistance to buy. Let us find out how to eliminate the resistance to buy.

But let us first understand your sales situation and then the current market situation.

You have a product or a service to sell. And your marketing team does a fantastic job using the 4Ps of Marketing [it is still relevant] or the Marketing Mix, as it is famously called. They also used all the latest fad in Digital Marketing. They even hooked up a film star as a brand ambassador to create brand awareness. All this is fine.

Your company then starts attracting leads. And these leads are then passed on to you, to work on it and close those deals.

The problem is that your competitors also do the same thing. Branding. Marketing Mix. Star campaigns. All the works. Absolutely. But they commit mistakes and I am going to tell you what are those mistakes and how not to commit those mistakes. And how to remove the resistance to buy and Close the deal.

  1. Your competitors follow some dumb process. Without any respect for the customer.
  2. They sound very corporate and treat prospects like buying machines that exist only to buy their products or services.
  3. They are arrogant.
  4. They are absolutely unemotional.
  5. They are good at complicating things.
  6. They are not truthful.
  7. They have no regard for the prospect and don’t pay any attention to what the customers say.
  8. They are good at promoting themselves without knowing that the customer has just rejected them.

Today’s buyers are very knowledgeable. They have plenty of options. And they evaluate each one of them very seriously. Before they talk to you, they identify their problems and also get to learn why your product or service is a good match to solve those problems.

But you still have lot of work to do before the client can sign on the dotted line. Here are some pointers for you, with a focus on how to eliminate the resistance to buy:

  1. Differentiate your offering from the competitors.
  2. Simplify things and do not complicate.
  3. Highlight real long term benefits to the prospect. Not the honeymoon. Or the discounts.
  4. Be truthful. Accept your shortcomings. Your credibility will then improve.
  5. Say only what you can do. And do what you said.
  6. Find out the prospects’ real reasons for considering your product or service and highlight the same to them. People like to win and they won’t shoot down their own reasons.
  7. Make a short statement that is memorable to remember and make sure that it summarizes what you do and why should people buy it.
  8. Remove the risks for the prospect. This is the deal clincher.
  9. Resistance to buy is a sign of fear. Remove the fear and the deal is yours.
  10. Promise to handhold the customer in case of any issues. Stand by that promise.

Happy Selling.

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Tell your Prospects to “Jump into the pool”

Not the exact phrase, I mean. Or even an equivalent phrase that means the same but replaced with your products / services, say for ex: “Get on board, Sign up soon”. No. Instead, what I am asking you to do is this: When you align with your prospects and travel with them in their buyer’s journey, you should say and do things that eventually make them want to jump into the pool and they in fact end up jumping into the pool. It is nothing but developing the prospect / lead and using closing techniques to close. No point in repeating that the pool is in fact cool and not that deep and the water is crystal clear and the pool is clean etc. If he doesn’t know swimming, you can offer to teach him swimming if he gets into the pool. Is it a Deal ?

The sale is normally a done deal before even the sales person walks into the prospect’s office. Now, buyers are anywhere between 60% and 70% of their buying journey when they call you. They would like to hear from you that their decision [assume that he is already your customer] is in fact perfect and will go places. Prospects like to hear things that re-assures their own ideas.

If you don’t match the buyer in his journey in terms of speed, accuracy and the exact stage in his buying decision process and instead if you follow your own sales process and force the prospect to sit through that process, you have lost the deal. Remember the prospect still needs your help to cross that line, though he has made up his mind. But that doesn’t mean you should restart the whole process from the beginning.

Buyers analyze deeply and evaluate options that are in front of them before getting to a conclusion. But they need someone to endorse that decision and tell them why such a product or service is the best he / she should buy, and how it is going to change their lives forever. He still expects you to say nice things about it. Of-course, with evidence. At that moment, your confidence matters. Details can come later. You may not have the contact no of your referral customer handy but that is fine. If you say confidently that such a customer is using your product / service and this is how they benefited, that is sufficient at that moment. The details can be presented to the prospect later in the form of a case study.

All things same, between two vendors, it would be the Sales person’s ability to close. Some of the phrases / questions you can / should use during this stage are:

  1. So, how soon are we starting off on this project ?
  2. Will it be a wire transfer or a credit card purchase ?
  3. What are some of the things you advise me to watch out for during the implementation / execution stage ?
  4. Who in your team is more dependable and who are the core team members that I will be working with ?
  5. What is important for you ?
  6. How can I make it a big success for you ?
  7. What will ensure our continued success ?
  8. Will you be looking at signing up AMC for 1 year or 2 years ?
  9. What are some of the things that I need to be aware of, while delivering the product / service ?
  10. What are the locations that may be difficult, in terms of adoption rates for our product / service ?
  11. Would you prefer that in matt finish or glossy finish ?
  12. I am sure this contract is in line with your expectations. Isn’t it just perfect ?
  13. Is there any question that I have yet to answer ?
  14. Is there something that still bothers you from signing up / placing the order ?
  15. The price is going up from next week. I am sure you would like to take advantage of the current price. Won’t you ?
  16. So, if I guarantee delivery within two weeks, do we have a deal here ?

Your prospects expect your help to close. There is something still in their minds that needs your assurance or re-assurance. They are reluctant to speak about those things openly but you can uncover those by asking smart questions and satisfying the prospects with your answer to those nagging little things. Give your prospects comfort, confidence, trust, safety, zero risk, long standing reputation, proof of your expertise, your willingness to walk that extra mile etc.

Happy selling. Enjoy every bit of it. The whole world runs because someone sold something to someone else somewhere. I know that’s you !!