Let’s look at several ways to improve your closing ratio. First, let’s assume you ARE following a sales cycle and USING a carefully crafted sales script.
One of the easiest and quickest way to improve your closing ratio is by utilizing Quality
Name-Based Rapport! This is also referred to as 3rd person selling.
You should know EVERY single customer you work with by name, and know several facts about each customer that will enable you to “tie their name” to any Prospect you approach. For example, where are your customers from (It’s a small world!). What groups or associations do they belong to? Where do they go to church, what clubs are they in, do they have kids, where’d they go to college, what are their interests, etc! Learn as much as you
Increasing your Closing Ratio by Improving Your Sales Cycle
Decrease or even try to get rid of “cold-calling!”
If you’re finding yourself spending half your week making cold-calls, consider implementing a referral plan (check out my Course 303: End Cold Calling Now)
Very common mistakes made during the initial contact (whether via phone or in-person) include:
a) Not knowing your prospects first and last name when talking with the secretary. “Hi, can I speak to Jim” is INFINITELY better then “Hi, can I talk with your purchasing agent?”
b) Not having any credible rapport with the Secretary. Try to know her name ahead of time. All you have to do is ask or get this info from a referral! Even if you get shut down the first time,record her name so you know it next time!
c) Trying to “sell your product” during the first 5 or 10 seconds in talking with your Prospect versus using lead names to establish interest!
d) Failing to go for the appointment once you have the Prospect’s interest. DON’T get cold feet once you have your Prospect on the phone and are getting interest or “buy-signs” from her or him! Go ahead and say, “I’ll be over there on Thursday. Why don’t I stop by around 2pm.”
e) Failing to try to “sit-down” with a prospect prior to going forward with the Presentation. Remember, your goal of a sales contact is to set the appointment (unless you’re in telemarketing,) and your goal of the in-person contact is TO SIT DOWN someplace quiet where you can gain the Prospect’s undivided attention!
Are you letting your Prospect “Off-the-hook?” Are you deflating the pressure? Make sure you’re creating an AWESOME, laid-back atmosphere with your Prospect to ensure that he or she is feeling ABSOLUTELY NO PRESSURE!
As mentioned in most of our training series, this is where the “Rubber Meets the Road!” Most people stumble with this one (and the procrastination part) and seem to get weak-kneed!
Make sure you’re adequately qualifying your Prospect, and make certain he or she is VERBALLY responding to you that they are indeed (or not) the person to handle the “call.” Try to avoid like the plague using words like “decision,” “commitment,” “sign the contracts.”
And to help qualify your d.m., tie in your 3rd person names like this: “Ted, over at RR Company is the purchasing agent and he told me this was right ‘up his alley,’ and that he’d be the one handling the project. Is that kinda like it is here? I mean, would you pretty-much be the one who would handle something like this?” (get VERBAL REPLY) Find out more about qualifying your prospect in my Course 200: The Cycle Of Sales.
Just like Qualifying, this seems to be really challenging for most direct sales people. More than likely, to get to the next step in selling, all you have to do is start practicing this one. Most people don’t do this step or even try it! I can assure you that once you try it and start practicing it, it gets to be NO BIG DEAL; and you’re gong to LOVE the results of not getting “put-off” very often!
So again, using 3rd person names, try it this way: “Bill, over at RR Company was amazed at how many clients I’ve picked up. In fact, I try to keep my schedule really organized. So like I told Bill, if I could show you this today, and you were REALLY excited about it- to the point you thought it was a no-brainer, is there any shot you might be able to give me the yeah or neah today? (get VERBAL RESPONSE)
Finding Or Uncovering Needs
When it’s time to talk about your Prospect’s need(s), you have an incredible opportunity to really trigger the intellectual side of the sale. Make sure you do your BEST to crystallize the need. It’s simply not enough to say, “what do you need,” and move on. You need to really break it out clearly for your Prospect.
Many times by really digging in to what your Prospect needs, you will uncover other needs that he hadn’t thought of!
Remember- never “invent” or “create” a need that doesn’t exist. This will backfire on you!
Make sure you’re asking temperature questions throughout your presentation, and make certain you know where your Prospect is on the Buy-Line way before leaving the Presentation!
Product or Service Demo
Have some fun with this! If you follow this sales cycle as instructed, by the time you get to the actual product demo, your Prospect should be salivating to finally get to see it! You can really have some fun in your demo- and NOW is when you get EXCITED! If you find yourself unable to get excited about your product or service, you might have a problem on your hands!
We don’t promote a “heavy” or “hard” close. I close TO TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF! I honestly believe that one of the most pressured things you can do to a Prospect is to NOT CLOSE! Have you ever been with a sales person where it got incredibly awkward when it came to the moment to make a decision?
So we close quickly and softly. BUT WE CLOSE. Which is the point of this section. YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR CLOSING RATIO by making sure you:
ALWAYS ASK FOR THE ORDER!
Let me repeat:
ALWAYS ASK FOR THE ORDER!
I mean ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ASK FOR THE ORDER.
5) Payment Arrangements
If you close your client and now have a signed contract, you can feel free to go through with the Payment Arrangement options. As we’ve mentioned throughout our series, always be completely clear with your Prospect/Client about the payment options. NEVER be misleading or dishonest.