Whether you’re new to a sales role or you’ve been selling for years, there’s always room to learn new skills and improve your technique, especially when it comes to closing a sale. When you’re about to close a sale make sure that you avoid these common mistakes:
Too many choices
When you’re ending the conversation and trying to arrange for the next steps in the sales process, don’t give the client too many choices. For example, if you’re asking the client when the best time to call to follow-up on their decision is say, “Are you free for a follow-up chat tomorrow afternoon?” instead of, “Are you free for a chat later this week or maybe next week?” The first question will force the client to say yes or no to tomorrow afternoon while the second question gives them more of an opportunity to say something generic like, “I’ll get back to you” or, “I’ll touch base with you later.”
Making it easy
To new salespeople or wholesale distributors it may seem like making it easy for the client to close on a sale is a good thing, but it can actually work against you. When you don’t apply a slight amount of pressure on the client to make a decision, they won’t feel the need to come to one. When you are trying to close a sale make sure to emphasize how time sensitive the special deal that you’re offering is, or how badly the client’s organization needs your product as soon as possible. There’s a fine line between applying pressure and being pushy, so find it and tread carefully.
Waiting too long
In every sales conversation there’s a time where the salesperson can naturally flow into closing the deal. If you miss this opportunity, you’ll find yourself stuck in a zone of endless conversation that may hurt the deal. The more that you talk about a product or service, the more opportunity the client has to ask questions or raise concerns about whether or not they should purchase it. Don’t let clients overthink the deal. Instead, listen closely for the break in the conversation where you can step in and close the deal.
Relying too heavily on sales material
Sales materials are an important part of the sales process, but they shouldn’t be used during the closing part of the process. These materials are used to briefly introduce the lead to your business and pique the client’s interest in your company, but after that you need to be the sole source of information for the client. There is no way that a brochure can answer the client’s questions or talk about wiggle room in pricing. To talk about how their specific needs will be addressed, they need to work one-on-one with a salesperson. Remember, you are much more persuasive than a brochure so you should be the one who handles the closing- not a piece of paper!
Filling the silence
Too much silence in a sales conversation can be a bad thing, but a little bit actually can go a long way. If you ask a client what issues they are having in their business that need to be addressed and they answer with, “none that I can think of” or, “I’m really not sure,” don’t jump in and suggest possible issues. Instead, stay silent for a few moments to force them to speak more and identify their problems. Sometimes using silence in this way will help progress the conversation and move you to the closing stage more quickly.
Have you ever made a mistake that cost you a sale? Share your stories in the comments below!