How many times have you heard, “Oh he’s a born salesman,” or, “Her dad was in sales. She’s a natural?” My father is the greatest salesperson I’ve had the privilege to see in action and to learn from. When he was a young man he was so shy it was painful. I guarantee you that when he was born the doctor didn’t slap him on the rear and say, “Now here’s a born salesman.” It just doesn’t work that way.
We learn how to be great doctors. We learn how to be great architects. Ultimately, we learn how to be great sales professionals.
There are four steps critical in every successful sales endeavor. If you master these four steps you will close more sales more often.
1. Build rapport
One October morning I was waiting outside a store for the owner to arrive and open up. There was a newspaper by the front door. I picked up the newspaper and waited patiently. Within a few minutes the owner arrived, looked at me inquisitively, and asked, “Who are you?” I replied, “I’m from the collections department at the newspaper. Your bill hasn’t been paid, so I brought today’s issue down and thought I’d pick up a check at the same time.” She paused, thought for a second, and then broke into laughter. “Who are you really?” she asked. She was laughing, I was laughing, and that was the start of a wonderful relationship.
Do your clients trust you and like you? This is a critical first step to closing any sale. We do business with people we like. A client is much more likely to buy from you if they want you to succeed. The first thing you must do is to build a solid rapport with your clients. Of course time can help this along.
Look for ways to show your clients you care. Find opportunities to reveal your human side. Make sure your clients feel like you are there for more then just the sale. As you “become friends” and build rapport you will find it easier to close the sale, and your clients will want to provide you with referrals as well.
2. Solve your client’s problems
Ultimately the reason your clients invest in your products and services is because they have problems or needs that the benefits of owning your products will solve or fill. Some times prospective clients know what their needs are. Many times they do not know their real needs.
Become an expert at understanding your client’s specific situations and uncovering their pressing needs. Then, show them how your product or service will make their life easier, grow their business, or provide peace of mind. If your clients have enough “pain” associated with their needs then they will do almost anything to take care of that pain. Make sure you have illustrated their needs with gusto!
3. Effectively transfer enthusiasm
Selling is based on time proven tactics and skills. Buying is an emotional experience. If you have a great attitude and are filled with enthusiasm, your clients will pick up on that energy. Even if you fail to show all the need necessary to normally close the sale, an infectious amount of enthusiasm will put you over the top.
Clients detect your sincerity and how much you believe in what you do and sell. If you waver, they know it. If you are excited and thrilled to be able to solve their problems, they love it. Let your clients know you sincerely believe what you offer is best for their needs. As they feel your enthusiasm they will want to invest in your products so they can feel even more of that positive energy.
4. Ask for the order
This sounds so simple, and it really is, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the field with a salesperson and watched as they butchered a fantastic process by either not asking for the order or not acting appropriately when they did ask for the order.
Asking for the order doesn’t mean necessarily asking, “Do you want to buy?” You can use many creative closing questions such as:
“This home would be perfect for your family. Would you like to put together an offer right here or should we step outside and enjoy the fresh air as we pencil in the details?”
“As you can see Ajax Insurance offers the lowest investment of the four companies we researched for your policy. If I can get the paperwork to them today, they will be able to schedule your physical by Friday. What is your birthday?”
“Did you want a belt to go with your new suit?”
There are so many creative ways to ask for the order. Many times I like to use some form of assumptive question. When they answer the question they are saying that they will buy.
Here is the key: when you ask your closing question, be sure and not say anything or ask any questions until the prospective client responds. This is critical! If you speak even a word, you will probably not close the sale and all will be in vain. Your job is to close the sale. Ask the question, and then let the client respond. Period!
Use these four steps, and I know I’ll be receiving emails filled with your success stories, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.