Closing the sale is a vital attribute for a good salesperson. However, most people have had to convince someone about something, which is similar to closing a sale. When you persuade someone to accept your position, you are applying a good pitch and sale. You have built trust.
Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, maintain that rapport, trust, and mutual respect inherent in a long-term relationship take off some of the pressures with closing a sale. Therefore, we all have a little bit of salesperson in us!
We do not know the customer’s price threshold where he is willing to purchase. Johnston and Marshall further argue that the customer will seldom buy a product based only on a presentation, despite how well it is done. Knowing this missing information, I would ask the customer if he or she has a price range in mind. This would better assist the salesperson in tailoring a solution to the specific need.
The authors also explain that customers will develop objections to various aspects of your proposed solutions, even if there is a long-term relationship. In fact, an objection is simply a customer’s concern with some aspect of your solution to his or her need. This can include price, delivery time, terms of agreement, or a myriad of other components.
According to Johnston and Marshall, there are nine basic strategies for dealing with customer concerns: (1) question, (2) direct denial, (3) indirect denial, (4) compensating for deficiencies, (5) third-party endorsements, (6) bounce-back, (7) defer, (8) feel-felt-found, and (8) trial offer. The most confrontational strategy is direct denial.
Although there is no magical pill for closing a sale, there are some fundamental components to a successful sale close. A great sales pitch should explain the value proposition; showcase the advantages and benefits of the product/service; enhance the customer’s knowledge about the company, products and/or services; and create an unforgettable experience.
Johnston and Marshall further maintain that a salesperson must clearly articulate the value proposition to the customer. Why do I need the product or service? In fact, a salesperson must have the skill to alter the sales pitch based on the customer feedback during the call to action. Therefore, the process starts and stops with the customer as the focus of this process.
Please discuss closing the sale with customers from your own professional experience.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green