Customer Experience News & Trends

6 ways to increase your sales closing ratio

There’s a fine line between a “yes”’ and a “no” or a stall. Sometimes, it just takes a few tweaks to your company’s approach to prospective customers.

1.      Visualize a successful outcome before you make the call. This is a time to run through your entire presentation in your mind. Review steps you’re going to take and the points you want to make. Picture yourself coming up with new benefits as you learn more about the prospect’s needs.

2.      Make your presentation interactive. A good way to do that is to ask questions throughout the presentation. Good questions may sustain your prospects’ interests, stimulate their thinking and modify their concept of you and your product or service.

3.      Qualify up front. The time it takes to qualify a prospect as someone who has a high probability of buying is nothing compared to the time that could be wasted on a prospect who has no need for the salesperson’s product or service. A standardized set of qualifying questions can often alleviate any doubts about the prospect’s qualifications.

4.      Look at your proposal through your prospect’s eyes. Two steps are necessary to adopt this customer-centric approach. Align your product or service to meet the customer’s needs as clearly as possible, instead of trying to force your products or services into the customer’s current situation. Then step into the customer’s shoes and demonstrate an awareness of both his or her specific requirements and how you can fulfill them.

5.      Recognize that all prospects are not created equal. Some prospects want advice and help; others want a close relationship with the salesperson, while some just want your product or service. But all three have one thing in common: they will only buy from you if they perceive value in what you offer. Until you investigate prospect needs, you won’t know how to add value. It’s not a good idea to offer a solution until you know what problems you’re trying to solve.

6.      Before you put a proposal in writing, make a list of things you want to focus on and get rid of everything else, no matter how clever or special they may seem to you. Use single ideas and short sentences, getting to the point in the first paragraph. Avoid technical details when possible. Try to maintain an upbeat and conversational tone throughout your proposal. The summary should focus on solving their problems, not trying to address yours. Conclude with what you think the prospect’s next move should be. Make your last sentence a call to action.

Adapted from The #1 Sales Team by Stephan Schiffman (Adams Media, Avon, MA). Stephan Schiffman has trained more than 350,000 sales people at such firms as AT&T

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