Is it possible to up the success rate of your sales team? This post has some tips on how to close a sale, using integrity and authenticity.
Converting leads into sure-fire sales: it’s the ultimate end goal of all your marketing efforts. So how can you make sure that all your hard work creating buyer personas, streamlining your marketing strategy and handpicking your perfectly-crafted content will be converted into sales when all is said and done?
Here are some tried-and-tested tactics that will help to close a sale in five steps.
- Go in prepared
Who are you talking to? Do you know how they make buying decisions? Do you know exactly what they need and how you can benefit them specifically? Going in with a generic sales pitch marks you as mediocre. Instead, get to know your target audience intimately and talk directly to them. It means doing extra leg work ahead of time but because you have positioned yourself as an ally from the get go, it makes closing the sale far easier.
- Take aim at a target
The era of cold calling is over, and indiscriminately spamming people with loads of information in order to convert a tiny percentage of them into actual sales is likely to earn you a reputation as a pest. As Spitfire Inbound’s MD, Darren Leishman, puts in this blog post, cold calling is one of the outdated sales tactics you need to stop using. Rather, you need to be thinking about content. Good, relevant, interesting content. It comes back to the previous point – when you know your audience you can generate content that hooks and reels them in, and keeps them coming back for more. That rapport is an excellent basis for pitching and closing a sale.
- Ask the right questions
If you feel that your customer is reluctant, don’t push or nag. Rather, probe to find out why. In this post about sales closing techniques, Hubspot points out how the “Question Close” helps to keep the door open on a sale. It is an organic technique that helps you to uncover objections or encourage a commitment without being aggressive. You simply ask the buyer a series of questions to find out if there are any obstacles preventing the sale. An example would be, “Are there any reasons why we cannot proceed?” or ”Does what I am offering you solve your problems?”. If there are barriers to the sale, you now know about them and can find a way to overcome them, but if the buyer can’t think of any, it highlights that there is no reason not to close the sale right away. These suggested closing phrases, such as “Are you ready to move forward” or “What happens next?” are also framed as questions and will help make the buyer feel in control, while still edging towards that all-important close.
- Know how to overcome objections
It can be tricky to get people to commit and sign on the dotted line and when someone does raise an objection, it has the power to derail the sale. However, with a bit of foresight you can plan ahead to overcome any objections that someone can throw at you. Hubspot has some suggestions on how to overcome objections, such as addressing issues around the client’s goals, budget, timelines and whether there are other competitors that they are considering. Spitfire Inbound also elaborates on the types of objections that you may come across, and how to handle them: for example, you could possibly negotiate a discount or contract terms that negates a pricing objection, or find a gap that a competitor has left that you can fill. The trick is not to be thrown off by objections! Rather anticipate that there will usually be a few, and then address them in order to let the sales process move forward.
By anticipating probable objections, most can partly or completely be addressed during your sale pitch. This reduces the need to have to field difficult objections afterwards by providing a reference to refer back to if asked.
- Be credible – and incredible!
In an era of increasing transparency, where your customers can post reviews and do research on your business at the swish of a finger, the focus isn’t on sneaky sales techniques. Instead, build a reputation as a brand that can be trusted, and be consistent in the way that you interact with customers. This platform of trustworthiness and credibility gives you as a salesperson something robust and powerful to build your sales pitches on.
One last point – a good salesperson is a student of human nature. If you understand people and what motivates them, you can use a few smart psychological nudges, like body language or verbal cues, to help you seal the deal. See more information here and here. Simple things like using humour, making eye contact, and maintaining an aura of authority can all make the world of difference.
In today's day and age using these key tips and making sure you know your consumers needs are what helps you sell. Consumers are now more educated than ever. Contact us if you need help identifying your customers needs.