As a small business owner, you know that closing a sale is crucial to your growth and success, and many other small business owners wonder if there is something specific they can do to raise their close rate. We spoke with the experts to get their proven methods so that you can implement their tactics and see your profits rise. Read on to learn the five best kept secrets of closing the sale.
1. Ask questions and listen
Product Specialist Josh Gillespie, from PandaDoc, says that it’s extremely important when qualifying, that you make sure you "peel the onion" and ask as many relevant questions as is appropriate.
Often times, your prospect will withhold information from you that they don't think is pertinent to the conversation, but the more you know about your prospect and the intricacies of their company, the better chance you have of showing value." Josh Gillespie.
He adds that the process of asking questions and listening to your prospects will not only allow you to get to know them and their needs better, but will also help you build trust so even if they aren't ready to buy, they will have you in mind when they are ready.
- The types of questions matter
You may have heard this before, but when you talk to your potential customer, try the approach of asking questions as if they have already bought your product or service. Don’t ask them if they’d like to buy but how they will be paying. Ask whether they will use your product or service at home or in the office. Ask how often he or she may be using it. Experts like David McLean, from King's English book shop, say that by using language patterns that suggest the person already owns your product, it becomes harder for them to say no because it shows the potential customer how your product or service can solve the problem they need solved.
Closing really starts early in the sales process at the qualifying step. Each step after that (when done properly) should build value, eliminate the buyers concerns and minimize objections." -David McLean
2. Showcase your full potential
When you share results with your potential customers, it allows them to see how they can grow and scale their operation or satisfy their personal need; it makes it easier for them to buy what you’re selling because they’re seeing results. This is when customer testimonials come in handy. If you have documented case studies or written experiences from customers who those prospects can identify with, you have a gold mine of proof. If possible, tell your prospect about their potential in reaching a goal they might have, “You can get to ‘x%’ in ‘y’ months, Mr. Customer, as seen in 'z' case study." Share with them how they will be saving resources and a certain amount of hours per week with your product or service -- providing value is imperative in closing a sale.
3. Assume The Sale
One of the best secrets of closing the sale is to assume the person on the other side has already made the decision to purchase your product or service. There are a few reasons behind this:
- Depending on your industry, there’s a good chance your prospect has already done their research on your company or product, and, to a certain extent, already decided they are going to buy.
- The confidence you show by assuming the sale will make it easier to build a relationship with your client. By the time you're done, they don't even realize they've been sold.
4. Stand Out
Finding a product or service to solve a problem or fill a need is easier than ever in today’s online world. You can simply search, ask a few friends or look on social media platforms that you trust for comments about the company or product. Because of this, it’s important that your message stands out from the rest so that your prospect is drawn to you to solve their needs. Getting your potential customers choose you begins with a unique first impression.
- The message must speak to them: what is the pain they’re feeling (even if they don’t know that’s their pain yet)?
- The delivery of your message must be compelling: make sure the messages you send are actionable.
5. Tell your story visually
- Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts. (Source: SEOmoz)
- 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text (Source Zabisco)
Visuals can help your message become actionable. Things like video, whiteboards, images or other pictures will show how your prospect's problem will be solved with what you’re selling. By using images you create contrast, which can create the feeling of urgency, which will help you close the sale. Whether you started your own company to pursue a dream or accidentally fell into it, being an entrepreneur is what drives you. You find fulfillment in being your own boss but you're also focused on serving others. Keeping this intention in mind, assume you’re going to help that prospect from the very start. Implement these five tips for closing a sale and you'll notice that good intentions combined with savvy closing tactics will lead to more sales. If you're looking to create loyalty and maintain customers for life, you have to focus on the delivery of your service or good and making that experience great for your customer.