Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Closing A Deal

Knowing your target market and your products and services and developing a solid rapport with your customers are all important aspects of selling. Yet when it comes to separating the best salespeople from everyone else, it usually boils down to who can close the deal. With that in mind, here are important sales do’s and don’ts:

  • You do want to know when to move into the closing. This is once you have made your presentation, the customer has asked questions, and you have supplied answers. There is usually a peak time in any sales process to move to your close.
  • You don’t want to rush to close before your customer is ready. Employees at the now defunct Crazy Eddie stores in New York City would ask if you were ready to buy the minute you walked through the door, which may explain why the electronics chain went out of business. Conversely, you do not want to keep on selling until your customers run screaming.
  • You do want to have various approaches that you can use when closing. These could include being straightforward, for instance, “Would you like me to write up your purchase?” Or they may be slightly less direct, such as “If I could guarantee delivery by the end of the week, would that work for you?” You could also try a trial close, where you plant the seed of closing in the mind of the customer by asking questions about owning the product, such as “If I could get this in another color do you think it would look good in your home or office?”
  • You don’t want to have just one approach for every customer. You need to get a feel for how comfortable your customers are and the ways in which they respond.
  • You do need to give your customer proper and complete attention and enough time to make a decision. The amount of time may depend on the cost factor (high-ticket items require more time) and the number of potential choices.
  • You don’t want to be constantly looking at your watch or be distracted by phone calls while giving your customer only half of your attention. Salespeople whose minds are elsewhere will lose the sale.
  • You do need to hear any objections and be ready with answers to the most common ones, such as price and durability or life of the product. Resistance means you may simply need to work harder.
  • You don’t want to give up or get irritated at any resistance to your closing efforts. Walking away or having an “attitude” is akin to shooting yourself in the foot.
  • You do want to follow up with your customers after closing to make sure they are satisfied. Sales do not end at the closing.
  • You don’t want the relationship to end when customers walk out the door, hang up the phone, or leave your Web site. A good closing should continue and make your customers want to return.
  • You do want to learn from each and every sales opportunity and review what you did right and wrong. Closing a sale takes some practice.
  • You don’t want to blame the customer, the store, the lighting, the pricing, and everything else in sight rather than hone your own skills.

Closing a sale takes confidence in your product or service and in yourself. Believe in what you are selling or your ability to meet the needs of or solve a problem for your customers. Make your customers feel satisfied, not duped or tricked. If they feel good, you will feel good about yourself, and closing the deal will come more easily.

Source: All Business.