5 EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO CLOSE THE SALE

Everyone is in Sales.

We all want to be more persuasive and influential with those people in our lives. In sales, no matter the industry, getting customers to say yes is the secret to increased revenue and profit. In fact, there has been more than 80 years of psychological research into why people say yes. But is there a technique that works best for your business? 

Here, we’ll focus on 5 surefire strategies to help you close the sale.

1. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT

One of the first rules to asking for the business is to know what you want. Many of us think we know what we want, when instead we are uncertain. With a specific goal in mind, we will know whether an appointment has been a success. As you prepare for a client meeting, take a few minutes to plan it out and think about the results you want.

You might want to ask yourself some of these questions are you prepare:

  • Why is the client coming to meet me? What is their primary need?
  • What needs do I foresee that they might not?
  • What questions do I have for my client? 
  • When the client thanks me, what will I say?

2. MAKE CONCESSIONS

When there are two options to sell something to a client, which option do you present first? Assume both options meet the customer’s needs but they’re not the same.

Many people in sales offer the lower-priced option first because they’re afraid the customer will say no. This fear of rejection is a normal response because they take this rejection personally. Therefore, to avoid this rejection, they offer the lower priced item first in the hopes the customer will say YES. 

In the banking business, each bank has a range of service charge packages that run from $3 a month to $29 a month. These service charge packages can be offered at the branch by a sales professional or customers can choose the package online. Who do you think sells more of the most expensive service packages?

Research shows the web outsells the branch staff by a ratio of 5 to 1. Why? The answer is simple: when you go on the bank website, the most expensive package is listed first and now the customer knows what is available and can make the right decision for themselves. When the customer goes into the branch, the staff don’t believe anyone would pay $29 for a package so they offer the lowest one first and therefore sell more of the lower cost packages.

3. START ON A HIGH

 Startup managers presenting and analyzing sales growth chart. Group of workers with heap of cash, rocket, bar diagrams with arrow and heap of money. For business success, marketing, profit concepts[/caption]

The way you display products matters. What could be the financial impact of making a simple change in the way we offer our products and display them?

Take note of this example. A number of years ago, I was advising a sales team who sold pool tables. They were rarely selling any of the higher end pool tables and wanted to increase sales of their higher end tables. The first thing I noted was that the showroom had a random layout for the tables. There were higher priced units mixed in with lower priced tables. The first thing we did was change the layout. We set the highest price tables at the front and worked our way to the back by price so the lowest priced tables were at the other end of the showroom. 

The change was almost immediate. The store started to sell more of the higher priced tables than they ever had before. Shoppers looked at the high-end tables first and loved all the features so it allowed them to see what was available before they moved on to the other tables. 

Here’s another example of businesses who use this principle effectively:

Most restaurants have a wine list and often list the wine with the lowest priced wine first. Simply changing the order of the wine will increase revenue significantly. 

4. ASK FOR THE BUSINESS – MORE THAN ONCE

A few years ago, I met a Boy Scout who was 10 or 11 years old in his scout uniform as I entered a mall. He had a little table set up beside him. He said, “Excuse me sir, I am selling tickets to the Boy Scout music jamboree this weekend. Would you like to buy two tickets? They’re only $20 apiece.”

“No, I’m going to be away,” I said. Before I could escape, this boy responded, “Well, if you can’t do that would you be willing to buy two or more of our chocolate bars? They’re only $2 apiece.” 

My immediate response was “yes.” Later, as I was walking down the mall, I stopped cold because I had realized that something important had just happened from a sales perspective. I don’t like chocolate and this clever salesperson had figured out a way for me to give him money for the chocolate I didn’t even like

This is a classic example of asking for the business. Even if the client says no, you can retreat to a smaller request in a way that the client will feel a certain obligation to say yes. 

5. IT’S MY PLEASURE

Eliminate the words “no problem” from your staff’s vocabulary after they have been thanked by a customer. I hear it all the time and this is what “no problem” means: A customer has gone out of their way to thank you and your response is basically, “Heh, it’s no big deal. I do this for everyone…you’re not special…it’s just part of my job, and I’m not really that good so I am surprised you’re happy.”

Acknowledge the thank you by simply stating, “It was my pleasure to help you today.”

As business professionals, I also suggest you consider a magic word in sales and that word is “I recommend.” If someone is looking for a new product or service you could say, “I recommend you look at this [product/service] first. Many of our customers are now using this product and noticing an improvement in their accuracy.”

People all want to deal with people they like. Therefore, greet your customers with an enthusiastic smile and remember their names. We all respond favourably when we hear our name.

Gary Ford, a sales trainer with Integram, is author of Life Is Sales.

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