You often hear salespeople talk about improving the ability to close deals. Here are 4 sales tips that will help you to immediately become a better closer.
1. Screen the leads that you pursue by qualifying better
The reason that some deals are hard to close is that they do not fit well with what you are trying to sell. In other words, you are trying to sell to someone that you probably shouldn’t and it is not closing because they do not need it, want it, or can’t buy it.
If you eliminate these prospects from your pipeline, the deals you try to close will be easier because you will be pursuing better quality leads. And the best way to avoid these low quality deals is to improve your ability to screen and qualify the prospects that you add to your pipeline.
You do this by asking good questions in the first couple of conversations that you have with the prospect to learn more about their need and ability to purchase.
2. Identify if there is a compelling event
During your discovery with a prospect, try to identify if there is a compelling event tied to their purchase. A compelling event is something that is happening on a certain date that is tied in some way to the purchase.
Examples of this could be that the system they are using is being discontinued or unsupported, they have a contract that expiring, there is an organizational change, etc. When you identify this event and can associate the purchase of your product with it, you can then improve your control over the sales cycle and this can help to improve your close rate.
There will be many occasions where there is not a clear compelling event and their need to purchase is only a case of the sooner the better. In this case, you can manufacture a compelling event by building in a discount that is scheduled to expire on a very specific date. That expiration date then becomes the compelling event.
3. Build out an evaluation plan
Build out an evaluation plan with your prospect. This is a list of all the major steps that will need to be completed during the sales cycle all the way up to the purchase or implementation being complete.
Each step will have an owner and data associated and essentially be a step-by-step list of what needs to be done to complete the purchase. By explaining and building the evaluation plan with the prospect and then sharing the updates throughout the sales cycle, you can improve your control over sales cycle and this can make you a better closer.
4. Disqualify prospects that are on the fence
It can be very common that we qualify real opportunities and invest time in them and then somewhere down the line they stall out and it seems like there is nothing we can do to close them. When this is the case, it can be a good technique to disqualify the prospect and takeaway what you are trying to sell. The way to do this is to question the prospect if it makes sense to continue forward.
For example, let’s say you have gone through the entire sales process and everything has moved forward appropriately but then when it is time to purchase, the prospect is hesitant to pull the trigger and is stressed. At this moment, you could push the sale harder, but another way to go is to takeaway the sale (or slightly take it away).
You can do this by saying something like:
You seem a little stressed and uncomfortable with this purchase. Maybe this is not something you are able to do right now?
By doing this, you are likely to create two different events. If it is a real deal, the prospect will begin to sell you on why it makes sense and this could help to get momentum moving.
Or, there is a chance that the prospect agrees with your concern and goes. But if that happens it was likely not a qualified prospect anyways and you might have just saved both you and the prospect time continuing to try to make the deal happen. Either way, this tactic can help to improve the close rate.