Sales is undoubtedly one of the toughest professions that anyone can sign up for, and it is also perhaps one of the areas that many entrepreneurs most often struggle with. Sales, and more specifically, knowing how to close, is both an art and a science, and I have spent a great part of my life practicing and mastering it.
Related: 12 Commandments for Closing a Sale
Along the way, there were a few lessons that helped me the most to become a better closer. Here are the lessons that have remained tried and true throughout the years.
1. Set high goals.
Do you know that in general, the top sales producers in the sales world outperform the bottom producers 10 to one? That’s a big difference. If you want to be one of those top producers, then you need to set high goals for yourself. You need to be committed to being above average and truly being great.
Don’t try to meet the same sales goals as everyone else in your team -- set higher goals. It will push you to do the extra work and put the extra effort into closing that you need in order to walk away with the sale.
2. Have a few different closing strategies in your pocket.
One of the biggest mistakes that closers make is that they have only one strategy for closing a sale. You need to have different cards in your deck. If you can tell that one sales strategy isn’t working, you need to be able to quickly trade it out for a different approach right away.
3. Understand the importance of price.
Many times, when it comes to handling sales, it can be difficult to remember how buyers view price. Buyers need to be sure that the product or service they are purchasing will solve the problem at hand or meet their needs. If it does, they will pay for it.
Do not confuse price and value. When you go into closing, remember the how the price is presented, and how badly the buyer believes in the value of the product are what will close the deal. You just need to make sure that the price and the value to the customer match.
Related: 5 Ways to Sell Smarter, Not Harder
4. Don’t be afraid to apply pressure.
There are some sales tactics today that emphasize not putting any pressure on the buyer, because it can seem rude or unprofessional. Don’t forget that pressure is necessary to closing. It can still be professional-seeming pressure, but if you don’t provide any pressure at all, you won’t be able to close the sale.
5. Make sure you truly believe in what you’re selling.
When you are trying to close a hard sale, many times honesty and passion are your only allies to convince the buyer to settle on a deal. You need to make sure that you truly believe in what you’re selling, so you can close on the transaction. A skeptical buyer who is about to spend a lot of money can see right through a charade.
Experts say that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at any skill. Closing is no different. You need to practice both with real clients and with friends, family members and colleagues. Do the work, read more, research tactics -- and practice, practice, practice. It will pay off.
7. Close when you’re sure.
There is an old saying that closing a sale should be like proposing to your potential spouse -- you shouldn’t be worried about the answer, and if you are, then you’re doing it too soon.
Keep this philosophy in mind. If you aren’t sure how the client will react or if they will buy, then it is not time to close the sale. You need to do more work first. When you’re sure, it’s time to close and discuss the details.