Too often sellers think they’ve made a deal just to find out that the right actions haven’t been done yet, or their understanding is very different from the customer’s understanding. Closing requires clarity.
The sales process consists of a series of agreements entered into with the customer moving towards the contract. And at this critical juncture, it’s important that sales departments have the skills, tools, and strategies at hand to support sales and move forward as planned. At Global Performance Group (GPG), we call this “closure to action”.
Here are four tips to help you keep up:
1. Make sure there are no unresolved issues that could block the sale.
It is important to train sales departments to carefully and effectively address customer issues, concerns and concerns, with an emphasis on time, to avoid deteriorating your value. Experienced buyers will express a number of objections to get a number of concessions from you. While each concession may seem small and harmless, it can quickly add up, often leaving you with little in return. At this point, the customer has taken control of the sales process and steered the conversation in the direction he wants to go, which is often a lower price.
Teach your sales representatives to avoid “premature problem solving” (i.e. delivering a response too quickly). Rather, they need to identify, acknowledge, and work out each customer’s question, objection, or concern at the right time so they can say “yes” to new sales opportunities, upgrades, cross-sales, or additional sales.
2. Clarify the action you want your customer to take.
Buyers want to feel good about who they are buying from, and want to leave feeling good about the deal they just made. In the final stages of the sales process, clarity is important for deals that force your customers to come back for extra.
Be specific in what you need from your customers, and transparent in what actions you plan to take when closing. Creating and meeting these expectations helps build trust by allowing decision makers to take that last step and leave the door open for future opportunities for resale.
3. Exactly state when each action needs to be performed.
At the end of the meeting you need to understand what needs to happen next. If you or you need to take a few steps, set clear deadlines and expectations for each of them so they know when to expect further action from you.
If there are multiple milestones occurring at different points in time, include all deadlines so that accountability is present throughout the process and corrective action can be taken quickly in the event that the sales process needs to be returned to normal.
4. Avoid soft talk.
An example of “softened speech” is, “Do you think you could …?” Instead, be clear, straightforward, and confident. When it comes to closing for action, there are three things to keep in mind, including:
- Do not justify a request for action. When it came time to close, all issues had to be resolved by this point.
- Don’t apologize: other people will be confident in what you say, only as much as you seem.
- Don’t ask permission; state the logical next steps.
Closing is one of the most difficult parts of sales. This requires clarity, attention to detail and management of expectations on both sides of the buyer-supplier relationship.
As you go through the sales process, it is very important that your customers understand exactly not only what they are buying, but also when it is necessary to perform each action so that they provide their product or service. Training your representatives in the approach outlined above ensures that there will be no unresolved issues blocking sales, and that all parties will understand who and what will do before and when and how much money will go from hand to hand at every step along the way. At the same time, you can expect your representatives to make more deals faster.