Your Call Is Scheduled, but What Now?
Okay, so you have a list of prospects, and you've already set up your first call. You did a fantastic job! However, your next step will require responsibility and caution to avoid blowing it and losing the lead. This article will walk you through the steps and sales strategies that can help you make the sale, even with your most challenging client. Let's get into it!
Steps to Close a Deal
The sequence in which you carry out these sales steps is not particularly important. However, avoid skipping steps because they are all critical to the final result. So, for the best outcome, use them together.
1. Research Your Prospects
You can't just dial a number, right? Before approaching potential clients, do some background research to get insights about possible pain points, the value your company's offerings can provide, and which of your products or services are best suited to your prospects. As part of your call preparation, ask yourself who your client is and how your product or service fits into their business.
2. Decide on a Tone of Voice for Your Communication
Apart from getting to know your prospects better while researching, you will also understand how to communicate with them. Are they a very formal organization, or do they like to keep things casual? Simply reading a corporate blog, newsletter, or social media feed will help you understand a potential customer's preferred tone of voice so that you can tailor your conversation in a way that will appeal to them.
Even though you should create your sales strategy for humans, avoid being overly casual. Too much is just as dangerous as too little. So, where's the sweet spot? The answer is to use your common sense. Be nice and friendly—smiling is great! But doesn't slurping a drink in your pajamas seem like too much?
3. Ask Questions
Asking questions is another way to gain insight. Instead of going on and on about your product, ask your potential client about their needs. Then explain how your product can help based on their responses. Not only will a good old dialogue help you tailor your offering, but it will also help you build closer connections with your prospects.
However, you should also be ready to improvise based on what you hear. Be smart and act fast!
Listening is a basic rule of communication and a way to demonstrate empathy. We all want to be heard, after all. And don't worry—this step is surprisingly easy to implement.
Don't limit yourself to just being a salesperson. Instead, be a good listener, a helper, an educator, and a friend. There are heaps of insights in your prospect's responses, so remember to take notes that will help you make a relevant offer in the future.
5. Talk Budgets and Timelines
At this stage, it is important to establish realistic expectations for budgets and deadlines. Do this before showing potential customers a live demo of your product or service. This practical discussion will tell you if they're serious about purchasing right now or still weighing their options. Based on that, you can decide whether it makes sense to invest time now or get back to them later, when they are ready.
6. Manage Objections
Potential clients will almost certainly have objections. Don't ignore their concerns but instead show them you understand where they're coming from. This way, they'll feel more empathetic and connected to you.
More importantly, as you think about how to get around their objections, you'll gain more insight into how to make an offer that really stands out.
7. Offer Solutions
Let's be honest: no one is interested in your products but rather in solutions to their problems and the outcomes your products will help them achieve. In other words, your prospective customer should be able to see how your product will benefit their business. We call this a value proposition. Let's compare two situations:
Situation one: A salesperson contacts you and begins rambling on about every single benefit of their product.
Situation two: A salesperson contacts you, demonstrates knowledge of your industry, explains how their product can solve your problems, and listens to what you have to say.
Which one do you think is more appealing? Who are you more likely to buy from? Remember that the person on the other end of the line is just like you!
Remember to highlight the issues your product can address and the benefits it can bring to the table. Our best advice in this regard is to craft a unique value proposition for each segment or even each lead.
8. Show Your Product in Action
One of the most effective ways to convince potential customers that your product is worthwhile is to demonstrate how it works, especially if you're selling a service or software. This step works best as a face-to-face meeting or video call, but you can also follow up a phone call with a video tutorial or product demonstration.
9. Tell a Success Story
Okay, you've shown how your product works, but how can you prove that it makes your prospect's business better? Use success stories and customer use cases as evidence to demonstrate real results.
To plan your story right, follow these easy steps and make sure you are as specific as possible:
- Pick an example of a company similar to your prospective client.
- List the issues that this client was having before they contacted you.
- Describe the results they achieved by employing your product and review their achievements.
By taking this approach, you'll be able to make a client-centered recommendation that is based on solid data. As a result, you and your potential client will have a clear vision of your future collaboration, which will speed up the purchasing process.
10. Request a Sale
After you've answered your prospect's questions and addressed their concerns, it's time to ask for the sale. How do you do that? Long story short, make a strong statement and remind them of the solution you're offering.
Don't worry if you aren't 100% confident in this move. Later in this guide, we'll walk you through various closing strategies. So keep reading!
11. Determine the Next Steps
We've arrived at the final stage, which is critical regardless of whether or not you make a sale.
If successful, you can get straight to the paperwork needed to sign the deal. After the delivery or completion of your services, you should follow up to see if the customer has any problems or concerns.
If you didn't make the sale, a second meeting is required to keep in touch with the potential customer and nurture them until they're ready to buy.
Sales Techniques to Close Deals
Closing a deal is not a single event but a series of smaller commitments along the way. You are advancing prospects through the sales funnel and qualifying them at each stage. However, once you reach the final close, you have many closing strategies at your disposal.
The key to success is to base your chosen technique on the flow of your sales process and the type of client. Feel free to browse through our suggestions and give them a shot!
1. Assumptive Close
Assumptive selling is when you address the prospect as though you've closed the deal. For some, this can be off-putting or even seem aggressive, so it's a technique you should reserve for when you know your target is committed.
Here are some examples of assumptive close phrases that are less pushy and may be better received by clients:
- "Would you prefer option one or option two?"
- "When would you like to begin your subscription?"
2. Option Close
With this strategy, you give a prospect a few different choices, making it more likely that they'll choose one instead of turning down the offer altogether.
Here's what you can say:
"Which subscription plan do you prefer, standard or premium?"
3. Urgency Close
Creating a sense of urgency puts the prospect under pressure to make a decision, especially if you know the client is interested in your products or services and has a tight deadline. In this situation, making an enticing offer can push a prospect to act in the moment instead of having them spend more time thinking it over.
Here are a few examples of closing phrases:
- "If you sign up today, you'll get a 20% discount for the first three months of service."
- "Because I recognize the importance of this product to your business, I'll add one year of premium support. This offer is valid until the end of the day only."
While this may seem like a good way to close a sale, it should be used only by experienced sales reps who have already established trust with the client.
4. Question Close
Closing a deal often comes down to asking the right question. The question close is a great approach when your lead seems to be perpetually on the fence but isn't explaining why they aren't committing. By asking questions, you can elicit an explanation for why something works or doesn't work for them, allowing you to address their concerns.
Here are a few examples of what you can ask:
- "What's stopping you from signing up today?"
- "Why do you think our product won't meet your needs?"
- "Would you sign if we could resolve this issue?"
To get past objections, it's a good idea to show customer feedback or success stories that support your proposed solution.
5. Summary Close
In a summary close, you briefly go over the main advantages of your product and how it would help your customer. Such an approach is useful when you have confidence in the suitability of your product and your lead just needs a gentle reminder.
When a potential customer is on the verge of making a purchase, a summary close highlighting the differences between two or three options can help them weigh their choices. This strategy is a great way to bring a prospect's attention to any information they may have overlooked or forgotten.
Here's what you could say, but keep in mind that statements should be as specific to your product as possible:
- "With our product, you can expect increased productivity and a streamlined work process."
- "You'll get free delivery and installation, as well as a full warranty."
6. Sharp Angle Close
Some people are constantly bombarded with sales pitches, so they feel empowered to request extras or discounts. However, if you decide to play by their rules, you can ask for something in return. Giving the prospect something you were prepared to offer anyway in exchange for a quick sale is a win-win situation for both of you.
Here are some examples of what you may say:
- "I can get you a 15% discount if you sign up right now."
- "I can give you a free month of service, but only if you sign the contract right now."
7. Puppy Dog Close
Just as customers who go to a pet store and hold a puppy are more likely to buy one, the "puppy dog close" is a sales strategy in which customers can try a product or service for free.
The method's objective is to provide customers with a stress-free setting to make a purchase decision and give them hands-on experience with the product to show the positive impact it will have on their daily routines. A free trial of a service is one of the best examples of that.
To Sum It Up
Remember that each sale is a unique experience. Analyze it to find out what works best for you and your prospects, tweak and improve what isn't working, and always keep going. We hope our guide has helped and inspired you. Now go out and ace your next sale! Dreaming to become a Sales Engineer and break into tech without coding? Join our training now!