No matter how much you network, how elaborate your knowledge of the sales process is, or how brilliant your selling strategy is, there’s one element that you can never be completely sure of. This element is that of closing the deal. In fact, nothing is worse than working through the entire sales process and giving your pitch only for prospects to firmly plant themselves on the fence when you try to close a sale.
How to Close a Sale despite Stalling Techniques
Hasn’t every sales professional dreaded and heard these words: “You offer is interesting but I’d like a few days to think it over.” Those few days turn into “a few more days”, then into “I’ll call you when I’ve made up my mind”, before you realise that it’s not happening because indecision has grabbed hold of your prospect.
The reason why all sales professionals dread these words is that it renders them impotent. When faced with such responses, most sales professionals find themselves unable to close a sale because if they try to push too hard, then they’ll come off as too aggressive which would then turn the prospect against them entirely.
So, how do you close a sale when the prospect is firmly ensconced on the fence and is all set to hunker down even more tightly? The answer is not simple because every individual requires a different closing pitch. What you can do, however, is make it easier for yourself to close a sale by remaining in the game. How do you do that? Consider.
Treat the Prospect like A Customer
Every person in the world is a buyer. It’s impossible for any individual to be civilised and not have bought something in his life. Therefore, one of the first things you need to do when you’re approaching to close a sale is to see your prospect as a buyer.
If you begin by seeing him as a buyer, your mindset will change and become more conducive to closing the sale. Seeing prospects as buyers will also make it easier for you to close a sale because it will allow you to cold read them.
For instance, if you see every prospect like a buyer, then you see everything about them in that light. Their clothes, their accessories, the things on their desks, their cars, and everything around them will tell you something about their buying habits. If you can use this deduced information wisely, you can actually close a sale fairly quickly.
Verbal Is Not Enough
If you want to close a sale, then you need to understand one simple fact. Prospects never trust verbal agreements. You, yourself, will never find verbal commitments and promises acceptable if you were on the buying side of the deal so you shouldn’t expect your prospects to do the same.
Therefore, when you go to deliver a sales pitch, make sure that you have sufficient written material to back it. The more professional your written material is, the better its impact will be. For instance, you should always incorporate statistics into your proposals because people trust numbers from reliable sources far more than basic statements.
More importantly, if your prospect is adamant on taking more time to assess your product, then your written proposal may end up making a case for you later. Hence, when you’re looking to close a sale, understand that verbal pitches are never enough.
Ensure Eye Contact
Your prospect may not be a natural when it comes to reading body language, but virtually everybody in the world knows that if a person is avoiding the eyes, then he’s unreliable.
Imagine the person you’re talking to is constantly avoiding meeting your eyes. Would you ever trust that person? There’s a colloquial term used for these types of individuals. The word is “shifty”.
Making and keeping eye contact with your prospect to close a sale may sound easier said than done though. However, the best way to get this skill is through practice. You can even record yourself delivering a pitch and see it later.
Moreover, you can practice in front of the mirror to get another perspective. Whatever you do, ensure that you maintain eye contact at the crunch moment because that will decide whether you close a sale or choke.
Never Be Without a Pen
What happens when you close a sale? The prospect turns into a customer, of course, but how does that happen? It happens with a simple signature or a form. Therefore, always be prepared with a pen, if you want to close a sale because you want to solidify the sale as soon as the prospect says “yes”.
You don’t want to give him a chance to second guess himself. You don’t want him to attribute a volte face to fate just because you had to run out of the room to borrow a pen. Always carry a pen. In fact, you should carry a backup pen too!
Attack the “No” From Different Angles
Anyone with any experience in sales will tell you that it is very rare for a prospect to say “no” without feeling the need to explain himself. It will always be “no, because…” This is wonderful for sales professionals because it gives them another chance to close a sale.
However, that chance has to be taken. The chance comes in the form of the prospect’s explanation. His explanation for saying “no” gives you a chance to attack the “no” from a different angle.
The idea is to strongly but logically rebut the reasoning of the prospect. If you can provide a rational rebuttal to their reason for not converting, then you may get another reason. You have to attack and defeat that one as well.
You do this smartly enough number of times and you’ll definitely be able to close a sale.
Be Prepared For the Common Doubts
In order to provide a good enough rebuttal to your prospects’ reasons for saying “no”, you need to be prepared. This means projecting their reasons and preparing an answer for them. The following are five of the most common obstacles that will nullify your efforts to close a deal along with solutions.
- I think it’s better if I save this money you’re asking me to spend: The best answer to this is to tell the prospect that he will never make money if he only saves. In order to defeat this statement and close a sale, you have to convince the prospect that your product or service is an investment as opposed to a purchase. Investments make money while savings just sit there getting devalued with market dynamics.
- I can’t take a call on this without a consensus from everyone involved: This is nothing but the fear of taking a decision. Here, you need to promote the idea of leadership and how it is closely associated with taking decisions. You have to convince the prospect that his decision will not come back to haunt him and will instead result in him receiving praise and respect from his seniors, associates, and subordinates.
- I can’t commit to this because a new model may come out later: This answer usually stumps most sales professionals. However, you have to look at this as an opportunity because it’s a chance to make two sales – one now and one later. When faced with this particular obstacle, you have to convince the prospect that there will be no new model from your company or from any of the competitors in the near future. The clincher, however, will be your promise to your prospect that when the new model does come out, you’ll be offering him a discounted upgrade!
- The industry is too weak right now for me to take the risk of this expense: The counter to this one is all about explaining to the prospect that every individual in the industry is trying to deal with the slowdown by cutting costs and that the only way to actually take the lead on his competitors is for him to do something bold and different. Stoking the ego is the best way to go in this situation.
Nobody likes a grump, whether it is personal life or professional life. People simply enjoy being in the vicinity of people who’re friendly, positive, and cheerful. If you’re looking to close a sale, this is exactly what you need to be like on top of practicing all the tips provided above.