So, you scored the client meeting, can you close the deal? Whether you own a small start-up company or have a sales team chasing prospects, closing on a sale is vital if you want to stay in business. Closing sales means selling your products or services – if you aren’t closing, you aren’t selling. You need sales to generate revenue and revenue is what powers every business, covers operational expenses, and supports business growth. Scoring a meeting with a potential client is the easy part but turning that meeting into a confirmed sale is often the challenge. This article provides salespeople (of all types) with a few tips about closing the deal.
1. Be Prepared & Know Your Stuff
Before jumping into a client meeting, make sure you have all your ducks in a row. This isn’t the time to wing-it. Have your key talking points ready and be able to clearly articulate the business value of your product or service. Bolster the value of your offer with business metrics such as percentage of increased sales or productivity or return on investment (ROI) – you’ll gain the client’s attention faster. Be prepared for questions and objections by anticipating them in advance and have your responses ready. Part of your prep should include knowing your competitors and what they’re offering in the market. Use this insight to your advantage by adapting your sales strategy and emphasizing the uniqueness of your offer and your company.
2. Get to Know Your Client + Build a Relationship
It pays to do your homework here. Spend a little time getting to know your client and their business. When you do, you can better demonstrate how your product or service will meet their requirements and goals. You’ll also demonstrate that you take their business seriously and value their time. Developing client relationships is important to your business success. When you cultivate positive client relationships, you build trust and loyalty. Loyal clients often promote you and your business to others, leading to more sales. A quick way to be viewed as a valuable resource and “trusted advisor” is to help your client solve business problems with your knowledge and connections, even after the sale is made.
3. Pitch the Solution, Not the Product
Rather than focus your pitch on the product itself, focus on how your product solves a problem. Emphasize the benefits your client will derive from using your product or service. The product itself is simply a means to an end. When a client understands the benefits and results of using your product, it’s easier to close the sale.
4. Hone Your Listening Skills
One of the most important selling skills is simply listening. When you truly listen to your client, you can better understand their needs and desires. Once you comprehend these key elements, you can adjust your sales approach and begin earning their trust. Plus, just by listening you can pick up on subtle buying signals that convey your client might be ready to close the deal.
5. Don’t Focus on Closing the Deal
That might seem counter-intuitive, but if you are too focused on getting the sale, you could inadvertently alienate your client. Nobody likes a pushy salesperson and today’s savvy clients are unlikely to fall for such tactics. Put the client first – focus on helping them determine how your offer fits, addresses business gaps or solves problems. When you do, it becomes easier for them to go forward with you.
6. Ask for the Sale
It seems obvious but at the end of the meeting, if it isn’t crystal clear, ask for the sale. Asking for the sale gives you an opportunity to address any client concerns or objections. However, despite all your efforts, sometimes, the client will decline your offer. You can ask for clarification before moving on to another prospect but always respect the client’s decision. Remember, selling is the process of matching the client’s need to the benefits of your product. If there isn’t a match, there will never be a “yes”.
7. Maintain a Vibrant Online Presence
Before you walked through the door or joined the scheduled Zoom meeting, you can bet that your client already Googled your company. It’s what we all do, which means your online presence is one of THE most important investments you can make. An online presence gives you the opportunity to market your brand creatively, showcase your products and services and highlight customer reviews – it’s a passive marketing stream capable of promoting your business.
Successfully closing sales is the ultimate goal. If you’ve done your homework, put the effort into demonstrating how your product or service benefits your client’s business, have developed rapport and trust with your client, then closing the sale should be the logical conclusion. One last mention - COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the usual face-to-face sales meetings with clients. In the midst of the pandemic, businesses of all sizes have shifted to online communication platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, and others to meet with clients and close sales. Using digital channels to interact with clients is nothing new, and many of us have been using them for years. This new era means a retooling of how we accomplish closing a sale.