The Art Of Closing: Don't be Scared to Ask for the Sale : Under30CEO The Art Of Closing: Don't be Scared to Ask for the Sale : Under30CEO
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The Art Of Closing: Don’t be Scared to Ask for the Sale

| March 18, 2011 | 1 Comment

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Throughout my time in sales I have come across a lot of salespeople who are absolutely great at building rapport, and getting the client to a point of wanting to buy, but for some reason feel uncomfortable in closing the sale or taking payment.

It might sound silly, but I guarantee you there are salespeople out there with what I call Sales Phobia. In fact, you may know someone or come across someone with that phobia throughout your own time in sales.

The worst part of this is the fact that because they feel uncomfortable about projecting the wrong image to customers, the customers in turn perceive and feel this level of discomfort.

Stop and think of it this way; if a salesperson is uncomfortable in taking the sale, then why should the client be comfortable in making the payment? In my view there are two main reasons why this happens:

  • Doubt: Not sure if they have done a good enough job in selling the product/service.
  • Fear: Fear that the customer won’t buy, and of getting rejected.

With most sales people, these beliefs have been conditioned deep in their subconscious throughout their career. Its important that if, or when, these beliefs manifest for you; you acknowledge the fact, and know that the more you follow and apply the R.I.D.C formula, the more quickly you will eliminate these reasons.

By keeping statistics of your sales, you will gain insight as to what your percentages are like in the following categories:

  • % of customers who buy the first time
  • % of clients that need multiple steps
  • % would buy after building rapport
  • % that buy from you regardless

By knowing your percentages, you will no longer have doubt, because your conversions will indicate where you are up to with each customer.

The next important tip to remember when going for the close is to: Never, ever, go for the payment before confirming the client’s contact details, and recapping the main reasons why they wanted to buy in the first place.

There are several reasons for doing this:

  • Re-enforce— Re-enforce the main reasons why they wanted the product in the first place, bringing this to the front of their mind once more.
  • Double check their contact details— In sales, the more small YES answers you get before you ask for the big YES, the greater your chance of closing.
  • Build more rapport— Opportunity to use third party verification and testimonials to establish more of a need for your product/service.

Now that you have gone through, making sure their details are right, re-enforced their main reasons, and built more rapport, its time to ask for payment. And when asking for payment you always give the client 3 options. Why?

  1. When clients have one option, they have no option.
  2. When they have two options, they have a dilemma.
  3. When they have three options, they have choice.
  4. When they have four options, they have too many to choose from.

Make sure the product/service you are selling has three options. Another thing to remember when asking for payment is to make sure both yourself and your client are in peak emotional states. Research has shown that when people are in high positive emotional state, they tend to buy more.

And finally when you’re asking for payment, you need to ask a question which is designed to encourage their taking action now! The one question that has worked really well for my clients and me has been:

So how would you like to pay for that? With Visa, MasterCard, or Amex?

Take a moment now to think about how you want to structure your questions!!

The question is structured in a way where the client gets three options to choose from, and it is also assumptive. We are not asking if they would like to pay for it, we are assuming they are going to pay.

The close is the last piece to the puzzle, and if used properly will produce 95% of your results. You see, most salespeople think: make a sale and that’s the end of it. In fact it’s only the beginning of the relationship.

When a client buys from you, another sale starts. This is your chance to sell the client why they should continue to buy from you, rather than forget all about you, and go somewhere else next time.

These days too much time and money is spent acquiring new customers rather than looking after your pre-existing clients. If you look after and pamper your existing customers well, they will turn into raving fans, and your sales will mostly be coming from Referrals. So stop spending so much time trying to get new sales, and go and contact the clients who purchased from you before.

Here are some tips:

  • Stay in touch with them at least once a month.
  • Remember their birthdays, and send them a card at the very least.
  • Do not sell them every time you call them, the ratio of sale to contact should be: 1:3
  • Remember their main values, and particulars of interest (kids, whether they were about to move, and other such personal particulars)
  • Get testimonials from them

Anytime you make a sale, you should think of that client as yours for life. Do whatever it takes to go beyond the call of duty to look after this client, and it will pay dividends. It’s the smallest things that make the biggest differences.

Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory Pty Ltd. A Business and Sales Advisory firm partnering with Australia’s largest and fastest growing companies to further increase their revenue. Visit www.RIDC.com.au for more details)

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