Closing Time: 4 Ways to Secure a Sale when Pitching a Lead
Entrepreneurs are always looking for new leads. Getting people interested in your brand is the first step to generate more revenue.
The most critical factor comes right in the middle of those two areas, however. In between convincing a lead that your product or service is perfect for them and cashing the check, you actually need to close a sale.
Some — albeit few — people are naturals. These true masters are the ones who can proverbially sell water to a whale.
But for the rest of us, the art of closing a sale is something we must learn. Getting someone to sign on the dotted line and hand over a check will never be easy, but the following four tips are sure to help you achieve this goal faster and much more often.
1. Know Your Audience
In the beginning, junior sales people are often given a script to read and memorize. This can be effective in the sense that it teaches you a simple route that can often get you the result you want.
Unfortunately, in the real world, different people will react differently to different tactics. Some people need reams of information before they make a purchase, others demand an emotional appeal, and there are those who require a sense of trust more than anything else.
Though it isn’t easy, work to identify what type of potential client you are dealing with. If you put yourself in their headspace as you present your pitch, closing time will come much quicker.
2. Talk to the Decision Maker
While making the right type of appeal is essential, it won’t matter at all if you aren’t talking to the right person. Your words will be wasted entirely if you aren’t in front of someone with the authority to make a final decision.
All sales people have fallen into this situation. It definitely doesn’t help that so many mid-level managers will gladly go listen to your pitch for hours over dinner or drinks just to feel flattered and get a free meal.
The best bet is to do your research before hand. Try to identify the right person before you start trying to make the sale. If this info is hard to come by, just be direct. In your opening inquiries, don’t be afraid to state that you want to speak with an actual buyer. Though this can seem overly blunt, if your product is good enough to buy, the company will be happy to listen to your offer.
3. Use the Right Sales Method
There are many, many different types of sales strategies that entrepreneurs can employ. While most have their advantages and drawbacks, certain techniques can be a better fit for certain people.
Direct sales, for example, has a proven history of success and offers a person-to-person retail methodology that often aligns perfectly with eager people who flourish in face-to-face encounters.
Amway is a great example of a company that has incorporated this strategy into its operations, even among scam allegations that have led the company to publish Amway pyramid scheme facts. This home and health focused company teaches business people how to sell locally and close deals within a global market. Because direct sales strategies are so universal, you can easily cross borders and count on closing no matter where you go.
4. Understand Your Market
Any lead that is serious about making a purchase will likely already know what other options are out there on the market. You must come equipped with this information as well.
You cannot simply expect them to fawn over your product or service. They will want to know what advantages you have over the competition and where you may fall short. And in this respect, honesty works better than trying to pretend that your company has created the best product in human history.
Of course, you want to hype your features. But if price is where you shine, don’t be afraid to say that. Honda can’t compete with Ferrari on performance — and it doesn’t try. By excelling in other areas and promoting these features (such as price, safety, and longevity), it moves millions of cars every year.
Learning How to Close
There are many steps along the way in any sales process, and they are all important. Each requires smarts, savvy, and stamina. But there is a reason that the golden rule is to “always be closing.” This final step is the one that most directly leads to revenue, and this is what you need to do if you want your company to thrive.
Fortunately, there are some good ways to improve your ability to make the sale. Know your audience, talk to decision makers, chose the right sales strategy, and understand your market. If you nail these four critical aspects of the closing process, you will soon see your sales grow by leaps and bounds.