The most common thing that sales people want to improve is to get better at closing prospects. They often want to know what they can do or change to become a better closer.
The interesting thing here is that closing should actually be one of the easiest steps in your sales process. If you do the right things before it is time to close, deals should almost close on their own and not need any creative persuasion.
Here are two key things that you can incorporate that will immediately improve your ability to be a better closer.
1. Be a better qualifier
When sales people find them struggling to close deals, what could be making this difficult is that they are trying to close a prospect that does not fit well with what they are trying to sell. In this case, there prospect might not have the ability to purchase from a budget standpoint, might not have a need for what is being sold, or might not have the authority to purchase.
Without any or all of those, deals are hard to close. If a prospect has all of those qualities, closing goes from hard to easy.
As a result, if you become better at screening prospects by asking qualifying questions to determine that they fit well In terms of needing and being able to purchase, you can drastically improve your ability to close.
Now, it is worth pointing out that when you change to screening and qualifying prospects more thoroughly, you will have less deals that you have to close. This is because you filtered out the ones that you would have had difficulty with.
Two things will come out of this and the first is that your close rate will immediately be better. All the deals your are closing fit better so you are now a better closer.
The next is that you have just saved time that you would have wasted trying to close prospects that will never purchase. If you are opportunistic, you can repurpose this saved time toward prospecting and finding new prospects to add to your pipeline.
When this happens, not only will you be a better closer, you will also have a healthier pipeline of deals that you have much more control over.
2. Trial close every step of the way
One thing to always remember is that closing does not just happen at the end of the sales process. You can trial close in every conversation that you have with a prospect.
Trial closing is a test close. When you try to close the prospect, you are asking for commitment to move forward. When you trial close, you are testing the close by checking in to see what the prospect thinks.
Here are some examples of questions to ask to trial close the prospect:
- What do you thing so far?
- Does this match with what you were hoping to see?
- Are we heading in the right direction?
- How does this compare to your other options?
- Is there anything that makes this not the right fit?
You can ask this type of questions in every conversation and the answers that you get from the prospect are extremely valuable. They will not only help you to understand where you stand, but they can also tell you when to make adjustments in the direction you are trying to go.
When you don’t trial close and operate without this information from the prospect, you can end up in a closing situation with a large gap between what you have proposed and what the prospect wants. This will make closing difficult.
By trial closing every step of the way, you will be either be able to disqualify prospects that do not fit well and save time you would have wasted or you will be able to make any necessary adjustments so that the gap between what the prospect wants and what you are offering are minimized.