If you’re not a native of the North East of England, like myself, (otherwise known as a Geordie) there’s a good chance you won’t have heard the phrase ‘shy bairns get nowt’
Loosely translated it means, ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’. Geordies are known for being ‘cheeky’ and for brazenly asking for what they want.
Perhaps you and your sales team could do with an injection of Geordie-ness into your closing strategies to ensure that you too, get your just reward?
You’re in business, I’m in business, the purpose of which is to serve our customers, and make their lives better. So why are we so tentative about asking prospects to make a firm commitment and become our customers?
These two words elicit the most fear (and avoidance) from many in the front line of sales. It’s the reason most people (especially those in the UK) try and steer as far away from being labelled a salesperson as possible. We like to think that if we’re ‘nice’ and do our marketing right, customers will simply flood into our business.
‘What if I ask, and they say “No”’, is the thought that most people have when they are entering the closing stages of a negotiation? They would rather have a pipeline of 100 maybes, than three yes’ and 97 no’s.
‘What if you never ask, and you lose the opportunity to serve that customer which would help them solve a really big problem or fulfil a need?’
And what if you really could have helped them? What if they really do have a problem they need solving, and instead of becoming your client they end up engaging one of your competitors – all because you didn’t have the gumption to close!
Closing is the 4th stage in our Sales Secrets© sales training process we teach in all our Masterclasses and in-house Sales Academies. There are, of course, lots of things that you can do and say earlier in the relationship that will help you set-up a Win: Win close.
The client may make an emotional commitment in an instant, but there are a few more stages to ensure they become a customer. Every close is broken down into three parts:
Unless you are in retail or selling purely via digital transactional means, it’s likely that all these three parts of your close will need to be managed as they are spaced out and don’t all happen in some moment.
Most times a salesperson falls at the final hurdle, it’s because they lose control between the emotional part of closing the sale, and getting the legal signature on the relevant paperwork.
In all these cases there are, of course, skills, particularly linguistic skills that you can learn, together with a well thought out strategy for each of these stages that works for your type of market and sales channels.
IF YOU DO NOT GET YOUR HEAD AROUND THIS, YOU WILL AVOID MAKING THE CLOSE FOR FEAR OF PERCEIVED REJECTION – THIS MINDSET KILLS SALES!
And finally, learn from your No’s. Do you need to improve your UDP (Unique Defining Proposition) so you offer better value, or do you need to attract more of your ideal clientele? Do you need to improve your closing process and streamline your internal systems to be able to react faster? Or do you and your team simply need better closing skills and strategies?
Nicola Cook is an award winning entrepreneur and twice published international best-selling author on professional selling and personal & business growth. She is CEO of Company Shortcuts, a business devoted to improving business results by injecting skill, passion and strategy to help those entrepreneurs and sales enthusiasts achieve the sales results they desire.