Under certain circumstances tremendous pressure is put on salesmen to close business and our confidence can deteriorate for many reasons. Losing your top clients to your competitors to a lower price--or better product--or just not believing in what you're selling anymore. Many people think stronger closing skills can make the difference.
Closing has always been one of the top requests as a topic for training. But a weak close is not always the reason salespeople are not selling. One big reason, based on thousands of sales managers' feedback, is lack of new sales activity.
Here's why low new sales activity affects your confidence to close. When you have lots of activity in your pipeline and deals are being worked all over the place you have a bit more confidence to walk away from the bad ones--or the ones that waste your time--and stand your ground on the qualified ones. Basically, you've built a foundation of activity to leverage future sales.
When your sales activity is depleted all your current deals become more and more critical to close...and the customer knows that. Many times they see it in the weak approach you make when trying to close their business without a strong reason. Here are several ways to close with courage--the end result will be better for both you and the customer:
- When you ask for the order, refrain from those "Ben Franklin, 4 corner" closes or any other corny manipulative techniques that you might have heard. You won't succeed by tricking the customer into buying. The real reason someone is going to buy from you is you've built the relationship through understanding their key needs and found a way to add value to their current situation.
It should be as easy as; "Sue, why don't we go ahead with this?" Or,if you've really done your job upfront by qualifying and presenting a strong solution the customer might say; "Let's we go ahead with this order."
- Look at objections as opportunities to provide additional information and not an obstacle. Sometimes you will get you a "no;" that's a chance for you to explore deeper and maybe find out what you might have missed during the sales process. Every time I got a "no" while marketing I would always ask my prospect why and what they would do differently if they were in my shoes. You might be amazed at the feedback you get and how that information sometimes gives you the ammunition to turn the sale around.
- Strengthen your confidence every day. This is done by practice, continuous learning, reading, surrounding yourself with successful people, massive activity and the lessons you get from every experience. Put the wisdom from these experiences into your next approach.
It seems to always come back to "confidence" as the key factor that gives you the courage to close and the ability to never stop believing in the value that you bring to the table.
Barry Farber is rated as one of the top speakers of the year by Successful Meetings Magazine and is the bestselling author of 11 books on sales, management and personal achievement. He is also a black-belt weapons expert and a regular on QVC as the marketer and co-inventor of innovative products. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.