Always remember that the most important person in the conversation is the prospect. Many sales persons feel the need to talk about their company and services or product. Although there’s a need for this, ensure this request is prospect driven. Instead, focus on asking your prospect questions, developing a rapport and understanding the challenges they are facing.
If you understand your prospect and have a good rapport with them, then you're far more likely to convert.
It’s really important that the prospect perceives you as the expert. Sharing your understanding of best practice is a great way of demonstrating your understanding, which, in turn, will give your prospect confidence in your knowledge and know-how.
Very few prospects give their business to someone who doesn't 'know their stuff'!
Get things in order by questioning your prospect about the challenges they are facing. These questions will help your prospect articulate business impacts and recognise the need for a solution. If you throw solutions at your prospect when they haven’t fully explored these challenges, then it’s likely to result in your solutions becoming lost.
You should also use this discussion to explore the financial impact of the challenges faced by your prospect. Why? Because, if they appreciate the impact on their financial bottom line, then your solutions immediately create value.
All too often, salespeople are reluctant to raise the subject of budgets and instead enter too early into discussions of costs and fees. A common objection given by salespeople, is that the prospect is unlikely to share budget information. However, if the prospect recognises the need and sees the value in the solution, they are more than likely to volunteer this information. Don’t underestimate the need to understand the budget in hand.
A salesperson’s time is valuable and it should only be spent in areas where it’s likely to be successful. Spending time preparing a pitch or presenting a solution unnecessarily is not a good idea. Only go the extra mile if your prospect has given some kind of commitment or genuine indication that they are serious about confronting the challenges they face.
It’s a fact in the sales world, that a good portion of the prospects that come your way are unlikely to be convert. Be accepting of this and appreciate that your product may not be a good fit for your prospect, whilst your product might also not be a good fit for you. Be prepared to walk away and instead invest your time working on prospects who are more likely to be fruitful.
You may not be closing options here, but you’ve freed up time to work on valuable prospects who are more likely to convert. Why waste your valuable time flogging a dead horse?
When preparing a proposal for your prospect, give more than one option. Whilst some prospects want the basic minimum, others want a premium offering. If you fail to offer premium options, then your prospect is likely to go and look elsewhere.
By giving more than one option, you have a far better chance of closing one of them.
If you have any contact with your prospect, then ensure you arrange a clear follow up discussion. Whether it’s a face to face or a quick phone call, it’s essential that you manage your prospect and make the next steps clear. If you fail to do so, then things are more likely to fall apart. Clearly managed contact is far more likely to result in closure.
Being good at sales means working hard to keep up to date and hone your skills. Keep these tips in front of you, refer to them often and keep going. You’ll get to the point where great sales practice becomes second nature.
Training South West provide training courses for businesses based in Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and Devon. If you need help closing sales, or more generic sales training, then contact us to discuss how we might be able to help. All our training courses are tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients and delivered in house.