Sales Process: Stop Worrying About Closing.

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CEO of Kiss the Fish Ltd and Chairman of Kiss the Fish Training Ltd

Are your teams leaving money on the table?

At a UBT business forum meeting, I attended as a guest, I got asked the following question…

“Could you advise us on helping our teams be better closers”?

It is a question that I get asked all the time. CEOs and Sales Managers want more business and aren’t generally happy that a high percentage of potential client wins don’t happen as they would like.

Of course, I can help any salesperson be a better closer, but the solution isn’t about learning tricks or expecting a sales team member to suddenly become a different person than who they are. 

You’ll know the term “HUNTERS & FARMERS” applies to sales teams. It’s been around for nearly 100 years. It came about when the first significant shift in how salespeople operate evolved at a time when most salespeople were selling door to door. They were selling products such as insurance, which required a salesperson to knock on clients’ doors to collect premiums regularly. The need for two roles was obvious; a good salesperson couldn’t develop his business if he spent too much time collecting to service the products he had sold. Hence, the best salespeople employed junior or ‘customer service’ agents to run and manage the prize they had set up. So, Hunting was thought of as the primary role, and it was where the commission cheques were paid.

This demarcation of sales roles is apparent as today we have to manage accounts but keep selling new business so that we grow and the business can remain ever more profitable.

Chances are, if you are dissatisfied with your team’s performance in closing, it is because you are biased toward Farming rather than Hunting. To close more business needs a degree of confidence and more of a competitive nature.

So – what can you do?

The good news is that if you want to be a better closer, it isn’t about tricks or ‘forced deals’ at the end of a meeting. People struggle to close because they haven’t done a good enough job earlier in the sales discussion/meeting. A buyer won’t buy if he doesn’t really like or want what you are selling. Indeed, there isn’t a technique to get around a genuine reason not to buy.

I could try to pressure someone into buying, but this kind of ‘forced’ selling isn’t recommended. It will cost you reputation and long-term success.

There is simply no substitute for a good sales process – that is a road map of behavior and sequence that gives a salesperson the very best chance of success every time.

At KTF, we coach salespeople all the time, and the single most significant error (even for experienced sales teams) is in their inability to ask genuinely engaging questions that build a discussion around why someone is seeking to spend money and how that product or service will likely impact the business.

We call it “consultative selling”, and in our research and development work, we have found that the very best salespeople don’t try and ‘sell’ to their clients – they actually ‘coach’ their clients to help them buy the right thing for their business.

Here are some quick guidelines to help you and your team be a better closer by being a better salesperson.

  • Make your goal or purpose to help your clients make more money- not sell to them.
  • Do your research – go to the meeting with insights that will benefit the client – not just information that will benefit you.
  • Start every meeting with the truth: “I’d like to explore how our two businesses could or should be working together for mutual gain.”
  • Spend time being ‘interesting’ – not by asking questions to help you sell but by asking engaging questions about them as people and their business situation.
  • Look for value measurements, and if you don’t find any, then ask how the client measures the success or failure of a situation.
  • Only ask questions that are for the buyer’s benefit.
  • Use insights that add something to their business!
  • You don’t need to ask for the order – they will tell you they want to buy.

A salesperson who helps establish a clear “desire’ for the solution they offer never has to worry about closing – it takes care of itself.

Of course, we need good techniques to handle objections, particularly the objections every salesperson fears… “I want to think about it.” if you hear this one, you must always confidently ask…” what is it you need time to think about? Is it the product itself or is it just the price?”.

If you need help with the above and you want to close more deals – get in touch; we will work with your team to coach a fantastic sales process – “Coach-based selling”.

Drop me an email or contact one of the team who can help you accelerate your sales growth. – general inquiries and for those in the Southwest of England – for Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, and London – For Bristol, Birmingham, Oxford, and the midlands – For the Northeast of England – for the Northwest of England – For the East of England – for Newcastle, Scotland, Ireland

So, let’s get your sales engine back on track and chugging happily towards success!

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