by Richard McCandless, Regional Director – Scotland & Newcastle
You’ve gone through every step of the sales journey, learnt everything there is to know about your prospect’s needs and how your product or service solves their problems, and you feel as though you’re building a strong relationship.
And yet, you can’t quite get them over the finish line and seal the deal.
Convert more prospects into fully fledged customers and smash your sales targets with these key pointers.
1. Pay attention to your body language
If you are attempting to close a sale in person, body language is extremely important – both yours, as you are speaking, and theirs, as they listen and respond.
The message you convey is 55% nonverbal communication and body language, 38% tone of voice, and only 7% in the words that you actually use, according to the so-called (and very famous) 7% – 38% – 55% Rule, based on the research of Albert Mehrabian in 1971.
Maintain eye contact with prospects to engage them and develop trust. By keeping your eyes on them, you can also analyse their body language to better understand how they may be feeling.
Indicate your positivity and confidence with a relaxed and calm facial expression, a slight smile, and no frowning. Don’t cross your arms, slouch, shuffle around or fiddle with pens or hair.
By mirroring the body language of your prospects, this will make them feel comfortable and shows that you are interested and focused on them and their needs.
2. Prepare counterarguments and be ready
As you’ve spent time getting to know the prospect, you may have an idea already what their objections could be. Compile a list of possible objections, such as “we don’t have the budget”, and prepare responses in advance. As a business, having an “objection playbook” is a great tool. By sharing other sales members’ experiences provides you, and the whole sales team, with a powerhouse of counterarguments.
If they really like your product or service but still have doubts, can you invite them to do a trial to prove it works for them? This way, the prospect won’t feel pressured into committing long term and can make a more relaxed and informed decision.
If they still say no, follow up with a phone call you want and need to know why you did not succeed. Be persistent and continue to highlight how your offering will benefit them and their business and always, always, always have a follow-up set!!!
3. The power of the pause
“Probably the most powerful vocal technique you will ever learn in speaking is the ‘power of the pause’” (Brian Tracy, Speak to Win: How to Present with Power in Any Situation).
When it comes to selling – and influencing buyer behaviour in general – pausing when talking to prospects is very effective.
It may feel awkward not to speak but staying quiet for a moment gives your prospect time to get those cogs whirring and consider your offer thoughtfully, without feeling pressurised or overwhelmed.
By pausing at particular points in the conversation, you can emphasise important information that you need your prospect to understand and process … while you catch your breath.
Give the potential buyer the opportunity to raise any concerns or objections so that you can listen carefully, show that you value their thoughts, and allow yourself time to offer solutions.
Pause every time you ask a question, after an objection, after responding to the objection, after making key points.
Finally, one of the hardest parts of the sales process is not necessarily asking for the sale instead, it is remaining silent after you have asked the question. You have invested time and resources to prove your service or product matches the need(s) of your client and now it is time to see if that time and resource will be rewarded with the sale. We have TWO ears and ONE mouth, and this biological factor could not play a bigger role at this crucial stage of the process. ASK FOR THE SALE AND REMAIN QUIET UNTIL YOU HAVE A YES, NO OR MAYBE!!
4. Use a tried-and-tested closing technique
There is no one method to close a sale. What may be an appropriate approach for one business will not be for another.
The Assumptive Close requires complete confidence that the sale will happen. You can sum up what has been offered and then simply ask when they’d like it to be implemented. It is important to be assertive without being overly pushy or aggressive.
Make sure that you deliver the assumptive close immediately after discussing the benefits of your offer so that they’re the freshest thing in your prospect’s mind.
The Scarcity Close (or Now-or-Never Close) uses urgency to nudge an interested prospect across the line. You may offer a value-add or a confirmed delivery date but only if they purchase now or within a particular timeframe.
For example, you could provide an ‘early bird’ rate for event tickets, but the price will increase the following week. Proposals are only valid for a certain period of time e.g., 1 week, 1 month
There are many other types of closing technique, too many to document in a short blog, but find the ones that work well in your industry and practise them!
The most important thing to remember is always focus on the customer, their needs and how your offering specifically benefits them.
Chris Voss, author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, advocates connecting with your customer on an emotional level:
“What does a good babysitter sell, really? It’s not childcare exactly, but a relaxed evening. A furnace salesperson? Cosy rooms for family time. A locksmith? A feeling of security. Know the emotional drivers and you can frame the benefits of any deal in language that will resonate.”
Book a call with me or contact me at any of the below and let’s work together to boost your sales and accelerate growth.