Five simple strategies that will help you close deals faster
The way customers make purchasing decisions continues to evolve. While most clients expect you to deliver products quickly, they take time to decide whether to purchase a particular product.
There are many products on the market today, most of which solve the same problems. Having so many options may, at times, paralyze the prospect’s mind, making it difficult for them to decide.
Salespeople differ in experiences and skills, so when several of them are selling a similar product, the most successful ones will be those who know how to influence, convince and win the confidence and trust of potential customers.
So, how exactly do you close deals faster? Here are five simple strategies that will help you close deals faster.
1) Identify the decision maker
When pitching a product to a large company, it’s not easy to identify the person in charge. So most salespeople mistake the mistake of spending several hours or even days trying to persuade the wrong person to make a purchase.
When these sales efforts fail, discouragement and frustration can set in. Focusing on the wrong person may not get you any sales.
To increase the chances of making sales, you need to focus on the organization’s decision-maker. The company size determines who’s in charge. In a small company, for example, the decision-maker is typically the CMO or CEO. So, if your product targets a small organization, those are the people to contact.
But big organizations have specific departments or people who handle matters related to sales. In such businesses, you may have to deal with some big titles, such as:
- Sales Director
- Sales Manager
- Head of Sales Operations
- Head of Demand Gen
- VP of Operations
- Brand Director
- Chief Sales Officer
- Chief Happiness Officer
- Chief Marketing Officer
Yes, these titles can be intimidating to a salesperson dealing with big organizations for the first time. But if you use your sales skills properly, this is your opportunity to close a sale.
2) Know your product
It’s essential to have adequate knowledge of the product you are selling. Not only does it increase your confidence during the pitching process, but it also makes clients trust you quickly because it shows them you’re an expert in your industry.
Having a thorough knowledge of the products you sell adds more enthusiasm to your presentation, making it easy for prospects to make quick purchasing decisions. That means you can close the deal faster.
When it comes to understanding your product, go beyond the features to understand the benefits the product will add to the user. Highlight those benefits to potential clients to make your product more appealing to them.
Product knowledge helps you to counter objections properly. Every salesperson knows objections are always an obstacle to closing deals. Prospects may try to argue why the competitor’s product is superior to yours, why your product isn’t worth the price you quote, and more.
Understanding your product and that of the competitor will allow you to easily counter these objections and give your prospects a satisfactory explanation.
Product knowledge will also help you keep learning and uncover additional benefits to explain to each of the potential buyers. The product might have hidden features, but if you have no idea what they are, it would be difficult to articulate them to your prospects.
3) Research your potential client
While having in-depth knowledge about your product is crucial, don’t forget to learn more about your client. You need to listen to the prospect to know their challenges and needs so you can understand how your service or product will help them.
You can organize a discovery call to get to know more about the prospect. Here are the questions you can ask to get useful information from your prospect.
Throw an ice-breaker
An ice-breaker helps you size up the potential client. Watch out for any clues that point to the prospect’s personality type or mood.
You’ll easily identify analytical introverts and assertive alpha types. Keep the casual conversation going on for a bit to help you learn how to broach the more challenging subjects.
The beauty of ice-breakers is that someone ends up giving information without you prompting for it.
The ice-breaker can be a business or a personal question. Examples include:
- For how long have you been in this organization?
- I can see your biking photo there. I like exploring the neighborhood on my bike every weekend. Do you do it often?
How does the use of this product involve you?
This question can reveal useful details. It may:
- Showcase the personal thoughts of the decision-maker on your product
- Reveal features that the prospect may not know
- Identify flaws in your competitor’s product, which the prospect may be unaware of
- Keep the client talking so you can learn more
What do you currently use?
This one will reveal a lot of information to help you compare your product with that of the competition. It can also provide insights into what product the prospect is ready to spend on.
What’s your budget?
Asking about the budget can be tricky, but you can use some tricks to make it easy. Did your prospect give out clues that their spending might be a bit higher than the cost of your service or product?
This is probably the time to be direct, but stay respectful.
Will someone else work with us?
In other words, you’re asking, “are you the big gun here?”
- It’s important to be inclusive here, as you may not see or know the person you’re addressing. So, use variations like:
- Are you the only individual I might be working with?
- Other than us, will someone have an interest in this presentation?
- Before we jump to the important part, is there someone else we can conference in?
- Is anyone else likely to join us?
SPIN selling teaches us that only by asking the right questions can you understand your prospective client’s needs, and tailor your presentation to them. So take the time to ask the above questions to increase your chances of closing deals.
4) Know your competition
Competition can be tough in any business. Start by knowing the areas your product or service is better than that of the competitors.
You’ll need to research properly to understand the competition. As you do that, take note of anything you’re doing that your rivals don’t. This is typically your biggest selling point, so take advantage of it.
And don’t confine yourself to what’s already in the market; keep your eyes peeled for any new competition. To find out more about the existing competition, check out:
- Local business directories.
- Chamber of Commerce.
- Press reports.
- Search online for similar services or products.
- Industry trade fairs and exhibitions.
- Customer information.
After accessing information sources of your competition, dig the following details about your ideal competitors:
- The services or product they have and how they market the same to their customers.
- Their distribution and delivery methods.
- The prices of their services or products.
- Their design and brand values.
- The devices they use to create customer loyalty and other back-up services they have.
- Who owns the business and the kind of person they are.
- Their annual reports, especially if it’s a public organization.
- How they use technology – find out if their business integrates IT, and whether they have a website, engage in email and social media marketing.
You also need to find out how your rivals treat their customers. To achieve this, find out:
- Who their customers are.
- What services or products various customer purchase from them.
- What various customers see as the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
- If there’s a recent influx in their customers.
- Whether they’ve any long-standing clients.
After gathering useful information about your competitors, put the details into three categories:
- Things you can learn from their strategies and improve
- What they currently do that’s worse than you
- What you both do the same way
Keep making the necessary adjustments to stay ahead of your competitors.
5) Follow up regularly
Sometimes, you may not close a deal in a single meeting with a prospect, and that’s where following up comes in handy.
By constantly communicating with your potential customers, you’ll make them realize they’re in your mind, and thus they wouldn’t like to disappoint you.
To prevent a situation where your prospects get stuck in the sales funnel, get in touch with them often. A regular follow-up allows you to look professional in the eyes of your prospective customers.
If a prospect’s interest in your service or product wanes with time, you can use a follow up to revive their interest and motivate them to make a purchasing decision.
Follow-ups are powerful and can help you close deals. A simple email or phone call can do the trick.
Start closing deals faster using this knowledge
To close deals fast, you need a thorough knowledge of your product or service, prospect, and competition. Make sure you deal with the company’s major decision maker, too.
Combine the above strategies with excellent presentation skills and you should see an increase in the number of successful sales.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.
Photo by Christina