An MMA fighter enters the ring. This very moment is the last stage of preparations which begun several months earlier. Analysing tactics, getting into shape and polishing technique. All this to end the fight with your arm raised in the air. But nobody really cares how hard you’ve trained. The only thing that counts is the result.
Selling works in a similar way. Client talks and negotiations are very important, but if you can’t close transactions all this effort is brutally thrown into the bin in an instant. Then you have to come to terms with the fact that the deal you fought so hard for was snatched by a competitor.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Below, we present a handful of effective methods and tips which used in your sales talks increase your chances of closing deals.
Psychology and emotions are your biggest allies.
People think they are special – more so than others.
How many times have you met someone who bragged all around that NO marketing tricks work on them? That same person makes purchasing decisions every day. They follow their emotions and advertising messages which they see everywhere they look. They also come up with logical explanations of why they make some of those buys which aren’t really necessary.
Why do people buy a Mercedes, if a Fiat Panda takes them wherever they want to go? Moreover, it is one of the cheapest cars to use and leads in reliability rankings.
Prestige, higher self-esteem – these are the factors which influence the decisions to purchase expensive and luxurious cars, and you can be sure, we are all more or less sensitive to those factors.
Our brains work the same.
If you base your argumentation on simple facts there is no way you can move your client. This converts into the final result of the transaction (which most probably won’t take place).
How does this work in practice?
Imagine that you have no idea about smartphones, but you’d like to replace your old phone with a new model. When you wander between the shelves of a consumer electronics store a salesperson approaches and offers their advice.
They cite formulas about why you should pick the given model because it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 4 gigabytes of ram and 64 gigabytes of storage etc.
Most certainly this will just make you feel dumb, because for that salesperson those things seem so obvious, and you have totally no idea what they are talking about. What are all those “dragons”?!
Remember that by putting your customer in such position you don’t only discourage them from making the purchase but you also make them uncomfortable because of their lack of awareness. Do you think this will help you make that deal?
Of course it won’t.
If that same salesperson first found out what you needed that phone for and then referred to that when offering you a particular model, spoke about the advantages of that model considering your requirements, this might have looked completely different. But this time they’d have to add actual advantages to all those strange numbers, for example:
“I feel that in your case model X will prove to be the best choice. You mentioned that you like to take pictures and this model is equipped with a 21-megapixel camera – it’s more than some mid-range digital cameras. This will give your photographs great colours and sharpness, without any distortions. A fast processor and 4 gigabytes of RAM guarantee that even if you use several apps at once the phone will not freeze and it will work flawlessly…”
…and so on.
See the difference? It’s quite significant because the customer doesn’t just hear strange numbers, which probably mean nothing to them. They learn about a smartphone which is fast and has a good camera, which doesn’t freeze and will make a good impression on the customer’s friends.
There is no magic pill – if you don’t do the groundwork, you won’t make that sale.
Even if you have the best and most effective closing techniques, nothing will happen if you don’t properly go through all the stages of the conversation.
Start by establishing rapport with the customer and building a high value for the product in their eyes. Be different than others. Present yourself as a partner, not the middleman who simply comes and recites more and more sales formulas – today this just doesn’t work anymore.
So what should you do?
Show your actual interest in the situation of your customer. Don’t begin the conversation by presenting your offer. Instead, ask them what they do and what business goals have they set themselves for the coming months. And most importantly: don’t forget to keep your promises. If you gave your client your word that you will call them or send them an e-mail, do it, whatever happens (and if you or your salespeople have a problem with that I suggest you take a look at what the creators of this blog are working on – I guarantee that we can help you with that :).
This way you can gain trust, but also build the value of your product by showing that the offer is not meant for everyone. First, you have to learn a few details to tailor the offer to the needs of your customer and find out if you can actually help them.
When is the price no longer an obstacle?
Many salespeople try to justify the lack of sales success with the fact that for their customers the price of the product they’re selling is too high. While in most cases it’s a fact that if your customer trusts you and if you have built enough value for your product in their eyes, the price becomes less of a factor. Providing of course that they actually need what you’re trying to sell them.
At the same time, we do agree that in some cases the customer may not be able to afford the product. That’s why it is important to find out if their lack of funds is momentary (because they might be waiting for a transfer from their client), or perhaps if they are facing some more serious cashflow problems.
In the case when the client is currently out of money, but it is possible that soon they will be able to afford the purchase, you can say:
“Right, Jack, what if I invoiced you with a 30/60/90 day payment term, would this help you make a decision?”
Naturally, you should consider if you can do this for them, but it makes a lot of sense to try and approach the situation in different ways before actually moving on.
Don’t push your client – let them get engaged and make their own decision.
The pressure created by sales targets and the coming end of the month is really high for some salespeople.
Only those who’ve worked in sales know how difficult it is to steady your nerves. And that’s natural. But during sales conversations with your clients, you can’t let them see that.
There is nothing more repelling than a nervous and desperate salesperson who makes us feel like they will do anything to close the deal. It turns warning signs on in the client’s head and makes them think you don’t care about their problem, just for their money. Nobody wants to make any deals with a salesperson like that. They are automatically dismissed.
Learn about your competition
Finding the right selling points isn’t easy unless you get to know your competition really well. Give yourself the time to analyse both the advantages and the shortcomings of your competitors which will allow you to choose the right arguments to convince your client.
It is worthwhile, as every single minute spent on analysing how your competitors operate allows you to close transactions much more quickly. And you minimise the chance that your client will surprise you with:
“…but company XYZ offered me…” – and continue with more and more solutions which they’ve been offered, for which you can’t find counterarguments quickly enough.
Besides the traditional internet and social media research of your most obvious competitors I also recommend looking at tools such as Similarweb, which help you search the web for sites which are positioned on the basis of similar keywords to those which you use, or which present similar content to what you publish on your online channels. Perhaps this way you will be able to identify companies which regularly steal your clients and which you didn’t even know existed.
How to avoid pitfalls? – risk analysis
You probably agree that there’s nothing worse than a client having some objections to which you don’t have a response ready, so you get mixed up in your conversation.
These situations can easily put you off balance, they can seriously undermine your confidence, and as result, they make it impossible to close a deal.
That’s why, besides a thorough analysis of your competitors which we have mentioned above, note down all the potential objections your client may come up with. Then think how to respond in case they are used in a conversation.
If you work in a larger team it makes a lot of sense to gather all the objections which your teammates come across (possibly along with suggestions on how to deal with those objections) all in one place. You can use shared OneDrive files for that and use your sales meetings not only for “confessions” of your sales results but also to exchange knowledge and experiences.
Technique #1: What are the consequences for you and your company?
We present this technique first intentioally because it’s one of those things which really work well with clients.
Think about it. If some event may only bring consequences which we will feel ourselves, then we don’t treat the threat too seriously.
But if you refer to what someone else will think about your client when they fail or make a good decision, their perception will change momentarily.
Sometimes clients automatically say they are not interested, because they need some time to think.
If this happens you should direct the conversation to a different track. Don’t focus on the feelings of the client, but tell them that their supervisor will be disappointed if he finds out that because of a bad decision of an employee their company lost the chance to increase profits by 25%.
Suddenly the image of a furious boss who can cut their bonus, deny to extend their contract or even fire them right away, appears in the mind of the client.
Their family surely wouldn’t be happy if they found out that because of some irresponsible decision their sole provider lost their job and doesn’t have any money to buy food or pay bills.
It’s also a good idea to reverse the situation. Present them with a vision in which their boss appreciates the fact that they found a way to increase their profits and that they have demonstrated great business awareness. Who knows, maybe it could end in a promotion, a raise, praise in front of other employees?
Technique #2: There was this one guy who already said no – a story with a warning.
This technique seems similar to the one above, but it focuses on completely different feelings.
When you want to motivate the client, tell them a story which includes a warning.
Tip: Don’t try to scare threaten your client by using shallow arguments.
Example? Imagine that you are speaking to a representative of an insurance company and he says: “If you break your leg, the insurance allows you to get a relevant sum of money, otherwise you will have to cover medical costs on your own account”.
On one hand the sentence includes information about a potential benefit, and naturally, it should, but it makes more sense to actually force the client to reflect.
What could this conversation look like?
When offering an insurance package to your client go one step further and present them with a vision of what could happen if they were gone. Would their family be able to survive? Wouldn’t they blame their father for not taking good care of them, because he thought this did not concern him?
You can translate this to other industries with ease and we encourage you to go deeper in your conversations and reach the more moving emotions.
Technique #3: You only have until 8:00 P.M. – limited-time offer
“Yes, but I need some more time to think about this…”
Who hasn’t heard that one before, right?
But clients often say that because the salesperson hasn’t built enough value for the product at previous stages of the conversation. Naturally, it happens that the transaction is too big, that the amounts to be spent are too high, so the key element is to sound out the situation (go back to the paragraph above on the meaning of price).
When your client tells you they need time to think, you can pull an ace out of your sleeve and say:
“If you make your decision today, I can additionally offer you X or Y. This way, instead of spending $X you will spend $Y and you will leave with three products. Unfortunately, this offer expires today, so you have to decide quickly.”
“Only until this evening this product is available with a 20% discount, tomorrow this offer expires. It pays to decide quickly because it allows you to save $X.”
You impose a time limitation, which gives a clear message: you decide now and save $X on your purchase, or you lose it all if you delay your decision.
This technique can also be used in case of limited stock, by saying that you only have one piece of the product left at that price and further offers will be less advantageus if there will be any at all.
Limited-time offer is one of the most effective sales techniques. It beats the client’s argument when they say they need time to think and consider. There’s a reason why during limited-time offers stores sell most on the first and on the last day.
Check how BeTimes works. Its entire functionality can be described as limited-time offer tool for websites and emails. Trust me when I say this – some businesses build their revenues based only on those mechanisms, and it really works!
Technique #4: Give a puppy? – product trial
This technique was born in the US and its initial name was The Puppy Dog Close. It was used by dog salesmen when families came to visit them with parents and they offered to take the puppy for the weekend. The purpose of this was to show if the family is ready, but have you ever met a child who would give a puppy back after two days of playing with it? Exactly!
You could also use this with regards to other products and industries.
If you sell paint, give people samples, same goes for cosmetics or software. Let them experience the high quality, which they won’t be able to part with.
The only thing you have to remember is not to let this client “run away” because you have other things to take care of – which is a common case, as research shows. Perhaps it makes sense to make sure you have a system which supports smart reminders and guarantees that you don’t forget anything important. If you’re interested in that I suggest you check out our solution and meet Edward – the smart assistant.
Technique #5: A bundle of benefits – summary of advantages
Some salespeople call it the hale of benefits. One might think, that it’s just a simple summary, by it also allows you to present your client with how much they benefit from the deal.
Naturally, we use a condensed form, but while one argument is rather easy to oppose, here you give them a few or a dozen at a time. It makes it much more difficult to say no to that.
Here’s how you could achieve this:
- Mark, I told you everything you should know about this offer. What would you say if we summed it up?
- Well, all right.
- Within this offer you get: first – the software, which will allow you to successfully identify your customers online; second – a package of conversation and e-mail templates which will allow you to sell and attract more customers; third – hosting + a simple website. You can clearly see that this package will allow you to increase your sales overnight so that your competitors start thinking what kind of devilish tricks you’re using to make your business go so well. So, can we finalise your order?
When summing up your conversation and the offer your presenting, remember to smuggle some benefits and value in between the lines. Be subtle and unintrusive. It pays to emphasise the benefits all the way until the end of your conversation.
Sometimes the type of business you do requires you to send an offer by mail. In such case, you should make sure to know exactly when your offer is read by a decision maker – because – unlike in a “live”, face-to-face sales situation – you have no control over when someone opens your message.
If you are looking for a way to do this, it probably means you’ve never heard of Sellizer.
When to use sales closing techniques?
Always, and from the very beginning of the sales process. Many salespeople wrongly think that closing is just this one stage at the end of the conversation. The only one which makes someone take their wallet our and magically say “yes” as if it was with a touch of a magic wand.
The process of selling includes an order of activities, which guide the customer to their purchase as if they were following a string, by showing them how their life or their business will benefit if they make the decision to buy from you. We focus mostly on emotions, but let’s not forget about solid arguments, so that the customer can justify spending a particular amount of money in their mind.
Don’t be afraid to try.
Now it’s all in your hands. We gave you some tips, which you can use in your future sales conversations.
But remember, it’s not about using the ready-made formulas mentioned above. The key to using those tricks successfully is adapting them to your industry and the given situation. That’s why you have to test what works for you and don’t be afraid to try particular techniques.