Any great sales person will tell you that a short and simple sales process is the most effective in closing a deal. Most buyers are very limited in time and the last thing they want is a long-winded pitch on the 1001 reasons they need to buy your product or service. Instead, do your homework. Find out who the buyer is, what they want to buy and why they want to buy it, so that you can fulfill that want by offering something that your prospect values.
Once you are confident that you can demonstrate value to your potential buyer, it's time to pick up the phone and get down to business.
Here are five proven tips to help you close a sale quickly and easily:
- Stop, listen, and engage
Spend less time selling and more time listening. According The Bridge Group's 2015 Inside Sales for SaaS report, having meaningful conversations has been proven to shorten the sales cycle and is correlated with higher quota attainment. The less you sell/pitch, the more you will command their attention. Of course, you will ultimately be trying to demonstrate your value, but the key to a meaningful conversation is simply lending an ear. Engage them by making the conversation about them and their personalized needs, as opposed to what you’re selling.
- Create a sense of urgency
Winning a conversion takes two things: A feeling of desire (“I have to have it!”) and a nudge that refuses to allow the prospect to procrastinate (“But I’ll get it later”). After all, the ultimate goal is to finish the transaction and seal the deal. The best way to create a sense of urgency is to be a problem solver. Your prospects can’t benefit from your product without acknowledging that they need it. Get them to see the big picture with open-ended questions that demonstrate what their needs are and how you can help solve them.
- Up-sell to existing customers
Up-selling refers to when you help a prospect buy a little extra or slightly “up-grade” the final purchase. The best part of up-selling is that it’s practically effortless as it’s done after the customer has already decided to go ahead with a major purchase, and the hard part of the sales conversation is already over. The best way to up-sell is by presenting the information in a “by-the-way” assumptive manner, just as a car dealer, for example, might inform customers at the time of purchase about upholstery protection or a better sound system. These are usually smaller purchases that the buyer doesn’t have to put a lot of thought into. The bonus is these "little extras" add up and can be extremely profitable for you and your company in the long term.
- Sell value over cost
The dreaded question: "How much will this cost?" Price is a major concern for most deals and sales reps often feel deals slipping away through their fingers if they're up against a cheaper alternative. In fact, recent survey research from the sales training company Richardson, revealed that the number one obstacle preventing reps from closing deals is competing against a low-cost provider. When discussing price with prospects, it is crucial to sound confident, instill trust, and the feeling that you care about them. You should be able to talk about the value and benefits that your company has to offer (versus the competition) such as superior customer service or extra features. For really tough competitive situations, it is also a good idea to have a list of acceptable discounts or freebies that can be offered.
- Use your sales enablement tools
Companies are investing more and more in sales enablement tools to help their sales team succeed. Make use of them. Take a look at what your company has to offer: sales portals, knowledge management, CRM systems, training tools, performance support - these have all been put in place for your benefit. Our personal favorite is performance support, which provides real-time guidance and access to sales information. How it works is that the system detects exactly where you are within the business application and automatically provides next-best-action sales recommendations. This lets you focus on your conversation with the prospect and shortens deal time.