Here is a four step process to hone your ability to successfully sell anything to anyone.
It doesn't matter how good your product is. It doesn't matter how smart your marketing is. It doesn't matter how personable and knowledgeable you are. If you can't close the deal, your company is a waste of time and energy.
The best way to learn this essential sales skill is understand how the very best salespeople close deals, according to Linda Richardson, founder of the huge sales firmRichardson. Here is a four step process that anyone can follow:
1. Begin by "thinking like a closer."According to Richardson, the "great closers" of the sales world share the three characteristics:
2. Set an objective for every meeting.Closers approach every customer meeting with an objective that is specific, measurable and appropriately aggressive. Examples:
These specific goals help closers visualize the sales process as series of smaller closes that lead towards the final close.
3. Check to see if the customer is ready.Closers look for feedback from prospective customers about whether it's the right time to close. This allows them to make closing a natural extension of the conversation.
At convenient points during the customer meeting, closers ask questions that reveal the customer's state of mind relative to the progress of the sale. Examples:
Note that the questions above are open-ended. Asking yes/no questions like "Does that make sense to you?" or "Do you agree?" just cause customers to nod along, without providing the closer any useful information.
4. Close with confidence.If you follow the previous three rules, there's a good chance that your prospective customer will close for you and saying something like "So, when do we start?"
If this does not happen, however, you do the following:
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Geoffrey James writes the Sales Source column on Inc.com, the world's most visited sales-oriented blog. His newly published book is Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies From the World's Top Sales Experts. @Sales_Source