Customer Experience News & Trends

Recovering from a blown sales closing

Anyone can close an easy deal, but it takes a real professional to recover when things start to go badly in the close.

Maybe a competitor has decided to drastically reduce its price to get the job. Perhaps a new competitor has unexpectedly emerged, or the customer’s budget has dried up.

Rescuing wounded deals

Top closers are able to rescue these wounded deals. It begins with planning. They anticipate what near-fatal objections or obstacles could come up before the close, and make response and recovery plans

They’re rarely caught off guard, even by an unexpected turn of events. Here are essential factors they use to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Share them at your next sales meeting.

1. Early warning. You can’t know too soon that something has started to go sour.

2. Intuition. You need finely honed instincts to tell you when something is not quite right with the “perfect” deal. Indicators that your intuition should activate include a prospect who doesn’t return your calls or one who doesn’t ask the detailed questions that should be asked.

3. Persistence. Never say die. You’re only defeated when you admit you’re defeated. If you refuse to give up on the deal, your prospect will see your determination and your confidence in your product or service. Don’t accept defeat.

4. Swift response time. Quickly respond to a failed close by addressing each issue raised. Try to include a nugget of new information that’s relevant to the prospect. The point is to bring in new ammunition.

De-installing your competitor

If a competitor is holding up the close, try de-installing the competitor as soon as possible. Here are three strategies that may help:

1. Direct. Take the competition on head-to-head. Try to come up with superiority in certain key areas.

2. Indirect. Create slippery footing beneath your competitor at the eleventh hour. This is often the most effective strategy, but it takes timing and knowledge. Study your competitor closely and look for any dissatisfaction. Find weaknesses and exploit them.

3. Redirect. Instead of focusing only on how you can beat your competition, try to come up with competitive advantages for your prospects. It means helping prospects beat their competition, which is significantly different than trying to beat your competition.

Follow-up consistently

The more you follow up, the better your chances of rescuing a wounded deal. Sometimes, the timing becomes better for the prospect to act than when you first tried to close.

Keeping in constant touch increases your ability to be in the right place at the right time. Timing doesn’t just happen because of fate or luck – you have to make it happen with creative ideas and lots of follow-up activity.

Adapted from The Art of Closing the Sale (Thomas Nelson, Nashville) by Brian Tracy. Mr. Tracy is an author and sales trainer.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.