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Tips on Selling














Each ‘no’ will eventually lead to a ‘yes’
Each ‘no’ will eventually lead to a ‘yes’

How to conquer your fear of closing sales

Closing is the hardest part of any sale because it exposes salespeople to rejection; however BRIAN JEFFREY says fearing it is not the answer- expert sales staff can use it to their advantage.

The major reason why prospects don’t buy is because they were never asked. That’s right, no one asked them for the business!

As strange as it seems, salespeople use their selling skills to qualify a prospect, uncover their needs and match a product or service to those needs, yet instead of closing, they stand back and let the prospect decide.

Salespeople don’t close because they either don’t know what to do, don’t know how to do it, or don’t want to do it.

They don’t want to ask for a sale because they fear the word “no” – they think it’s 30m tall, made of concrete and will fall and crush them.

In 30 years’ of sales and sales management, I’ve never heard of anyone dying after hearing ”no”. On the other hand, I’ve known a few who’ve nearly suffered heart attacks after receiving a “yes” that they weren’t expecting.

Sensitive egos

Despite impressions to the contrary, salespeople are sensitive creatures whose egos are easily bruised and they don’t like the feeling of rejection that comes with hearing “no”. Too many of these and salespeople become demoralised and no business needs that.

In short, salespeople try to avoid “no”, which is why they don’t ask for the sale. What they must keep in mind, however, is that there’s nothing to lose by attempting to close a sale – they didn’t have the business before and may not have it after but each “no” brings them closer to a “yes”.

Toughen up
"It’s not enough just to prepare yourself to close; you need to prepare the customers as well. Using ‘trial closes’ does this"

The first step to improving one’s closing rate is to remember that the person who gets the most sales probably also got the most rejections.

Learning to deal with the emotional bruises is easier said than done but it comes with experience. The best way to toughen up that emotional skin is to start asking for the sale.

Find what works

The next step to improving one’s closing rate is knowing how to do it. Plenty of salespeople will say they know how to close a sale but, when push comes to shove, they are more talk than action.

When I ask them how they close their sales, they skate around and say they use the ‘alternative close’, the ‘minor-point close’ or some other system, but when I ask for an example of the actual words they use, they’re at a loss.

In other words, they know what they are supposed to do but they don’t know how to do it, which means they’re simply not prepared.

Here’s how I prepared myself and conquered my fear of closing; firstly, I chose a couple of closing techniques I knew I could deliver – I like the ‘recommendation close’ and the ‘direct-question close’.

Next, I wrote the words I intended to use on a small card, much like a sales script.

I kept this card on the dashboard of my car where I would glance at it in between calls, repeating the words until I had committed them to memory.

I then worked on my attitude by telling myself that I owed it to my customer, my company and myself to at least attempt a close at the appropriate time. I knew I was attempting to close properly when I started hearing “no” more, as well as hearing “yes”.

Preparing the prospect

It’s not enough just to prepare yourself to close; you need to prepare the customers as well. Using ‘trial closes’ does this.

Salespeople sometimes confuse trial closes with the ‘alternative close’ close. A trial close is an opinion-asking question, the answer to which shows how receptive a prospect is to an offer.

Typical trial closes include, “How does that sound?”, “Do you like this design style?” and “If you were to go ahead, how soon would you like the ring?”

A positive response to a trial close is usually a sign that a salesperson should ask for the sale.

The key is to have one or two trial closes committed to memory and ready to use, so write them down on those small cards you’re already using and learn them.

There’s no magic formula in sales; closing involves attitude, technique, skill and a little luck but by preparing yourself, preparing the customer and doing the deed, the chance of a sale increases dramatically.

You owe it to your customer, to your company and, most importantly, you owe it to yourself to start closing today.












ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Jeffrey

Contributor • Quintarra Consulting


Brian Jeffrey has more than 40 years' experience in sales management, training and business consulting. Learn more: quintarra.com









Monday, 24 September, 2018 09:07pm
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