One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t ask. Don’t get.” It’s amazing how many of us simply don’t ask for the sale. In this article, I’m going to show you how to set up for “the Close” during every meeting, not just the proposal delivery.
But Wait, There’s More
Have you watched one of those infomercials and preemptively thought, “But wait, there’s more…” ? It’s amazing how calculated their sales pitch is, it’s carefully crafted to give you features, then benefits, and then… they go in for the close—over and over again. Almost wearing you down until you give in.
Does it work? Absolutely. Am I recommending this approach? No. What I am recommending is that you be persistent. Good salespeople ask their prospects to buy. Great salespeople ask them to buy multiple times and in different ways – always increasing the perceived value with each step of the sale.
The Preemptive Strike
Your overall goal is to get to the close. Keep the deal moving forward at all times.
A preemptive strike means to hit something before it hits you. In sales, it’s when you knock down an objection before the objection can even surface.
For example: When you have a prospect that you know is concerned about the hosting costs. Tell them what the hosting costs are up front and hit the topic head on. Get the objection(s), handle it, and get it out of the way as quickly as possible.
It’s All in the Head
It’s easier than you might think. When I was in the import car business, one of the tactics we used to use was called the “Test Close.” We would put the prospect in the driver’s seat, put on some music that we knew they liked, and then we’d ask them personal questions…“Can you see yourself cruising to the meeting in LA in this car?” or “Can you see this car in your driveway?” etc. (While you’re at it, check out these sleek and shiny car sales brochures.)
Getting the prospect to visualize the solution/product you’re selling is critical. Until you can make the sale happen in their head, you’ll never be able to make it happen on paper. So, play “what if” and make believe with them until they can see themselves using your product. This is a powerful sales technique!
Here’s an example of a “what if” for a website prospect:
“… and, because we’ve integrated the CRM, you’ll never have to manually load those email addresses again. Imagine how much time that will free up for you to work on that new project you were telling me about!”
Create Value + Urgency
Okay, it’s time for some real sales 101 here. Creating urgency is an important part to closing any sale. If you are unable to create urgency, the prospect will choose to make a decision when they feel it’s best… which is usually never.
The goal is to create Value + Urgency. The best way to do this is during the entire sales process. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Here’s some examples of creating Value + Urgency:
- “…speaking of ROI (return on investment), if you start this [month/quarter/year], you can expect to save $X this [month/quarter/year]. That’s a great return for your company.”
- “The exciting part of this [Solution/Product] is not only the additional, immediate revenue you’ll likely generate, but the added referrals that become possible as a result—in addition to the competitive barriers you’ll create. Act now, and your competition won’t be able to catch up for months.”
- “It seems like a great fit to what you’re trying to accomplish, and I’m confident we have the resources available to pull this off without a hitch, but we can only guarantee our availability this week/month. What concerns do you have about moving forward now?”
Check out 5 ways to add value to your work.
Practice Makes Perfect
For these techniques to work, you’ll need to get used to them, make them yours and play around with the wording, etc.
Sales is a full contact sport. And like any sport, it takes practice. You can’t expect to go in and do it all right on the first try. Whatever you do, never practice on your prospect. Get a partner to help you try out these techniques, so you can work on your delivery.
Jonathan Hinshaw has been building web solutions for clients in a variety of industries since 2006 at EBWAY Creative Solutions. He recently launched a course on uGurus teaching web professionals how to close more deals for higher prices. You can follow Jon on twitter @jonathanhinshaw