Telling the truth about SME life today

7 steps to closing a sale

1. Know your product or service

Knowing your product is not just about the bells and whistles, price and sexy stuff; it’s about understanding why someone would want it Understand how your product stands out from other similar offerings. You must be completely confident in the purpose of your product or service and know how it solves someones pain.

2. Know your customer

Whilst it can be useful to research your customer before you go to see them be careful, as too much information can lead to making too many assumptions. Come from a place of curiosity and ask questions to discover the true customer need. You do need to work out who your ideal customer is though as this makes them so much easier to find.

3. Know your process

People buy on emotion (80 per cent) yet they follow a logical process (20 per cent) Remember that everyone in the buying process is different YOU are the consistent part. Follow logical steps but adapt each to suit different people. Track and record your conversion ratios between each step. Soon you will begin to understand the activity that you need to do consistently to achieve the results you want

4. Ask good questions

Ask open questions and do not talk over questions so they lose their effectiveness. Here is a simple rule: Ask a good question and then shut up!

Listen to what they are telling you, watch as they are telling you, develop your intuition to hear what they are not telling you, acknowledge what they are saying and feel free to ask short open questions to explore deeper into their challenge. If we have pain, in most cases we need to feel the impact of that pain to create a need to change.

5. Understand that the close is not the end

Closing is something you start at the beginning. You are questioning to understand. Positioning your customer to understand who you are, why you are different, how you behave and what you expect from them and more importantly what they can expect from you.

By telling them what to expect and then doing what you say, you cement that you are a professional, reliable and trustworthy. This enables you to be able to ask for the sale when you both feel you have reached the point where they understand their pain, they understand how your solution solves that pain now and they have the means and authority to proceed.

6. Ask for the sale

We all have to ask for the sale but many of us fear this. We make up reasons and excuses for why it is hard, why we shouldnt and what could happen if we do. Visualise asking for the sale and the customer saying yes Not asking for the sale is like building a house, furnishing it, decorating it, and then not putting a roof on!

7. Be Yourself

The only way to develop and build your conversions is to develop your personal skills. Be true to who you are and allow them to see who you are, what matters to you and your reason for doing what you do. You believe in your product or service dont you Then show them, dont tell them.

Amanda Dear runs sales training atSales Academy 2012.

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