Step 4 of 4 Steps to Everyone"s Favorite Answer in Sales - C is Not For Closing
I know you're probably used to referring to this part as "closing" the deal, but I'm really going to encourage you to change that to "convert" in your mind.
"Closing" conjures up images of hard-selling and manipulation, and you've invested far too much time and effort into this process to revert to those tired old methods now.
The second a prospect feels like they are being "closed", your chances of getting a "Yes" are seriously diminished; it's normally at that point that the prospect drops back into "Maybe" mode, and we don't want to drive them there.
"Closing" also has a note of finality that shouldn't exist in a selling situation.
In very few instances will this be the only time a prospect has a need for your product or service.
If you "close the deal" and quickly move on to your next kill, you may miss out on those future opportunities; take the time to form a relationship by converting them into a client, though, and you'll be the one they call next time.
When presenting your solution, you need to make the atmosphere comfortable for your prospect.
Remember: uncomfortable prospects don't buy.
The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your prospect will be.
And you should be relaxed; you've got all the information you need and you've created a perfect solution, right? There's nothing to be nervous about! Make the presentation a conversation.
Don't be so caught up in what you're saying that you neglect the prospect.
Ask questions, engage with the prospect, and make it a two-way interaction.
Resist the urge to regurgitate information; this is your turn to talk, but that doesn't mean you have to blow through the presentation without feedback.
Asking questions during the presentation is a sure-fire way to uncover anything that might have been overlooked during your discovery phase.
Now comes the easy part: conversion.
Yes, that's right: conversion is the easy part.
Once you've gathered all the necessary information, created a perfect solution, and presented it to the prospect, conversion should be a cinch.
In fact, I really believe that there is only one question you need to ask after your presentation: Does this make sense to you? If you've done all your homework right, there's a pretty good chance that the answer will be "Yes", at which point all that remains is to complete the paperwork.
And if the answer is "No"? Chances are pretty good that you've missed something critical along the way.
It may have been a question that you didn't ask, or you may have misread the prospects decision-making modality.
Don't panic! Simply start asking questions again.
"You know, Mr.
Prospect, I think I must have missed something.
Can you share with me what part of this solution doesn't make sense to you so that I can understand whether I need to clarify something in the presentation?" Re-engage in a conversation, find out what you missed, make any necessary adjustments, and set up a time to re-present.
And what about those times when you haven't missed anything and the prospect still says "No"? It happens.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, the answer is going to be "No".
Maybe the prospect has a brother-in-law in the business, and getting your input was just a formality.
Maybe something in your personality rubbed him the wrong way.
Maybe he didn't get the last jelly donut in the breakroom.
Whatever the reason, "No" happens.
Let me ask you though: would you rather have a "Maybe"? I didn't think so! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, have a good cry if you need to, AND MOVE ON! I love the phrase SWSWSWN, and I repeat it to myself often.
It means Some Will, Some Won't, So What, NEXT! Adopt that philosphy, learn to love "No", and you're guaranteed to succeed.
I hope you've enjoyed this series as much as I have, and I'd love to hear your feedback.
Please leave your comments on any of the posts, and I look forward to our conversation.