Thoughtful Thursdays – A sales process to consider – Part 5 – The close
You have assessed the situation, determined needs, offered potential solutions and presented your recommendations.
If you have been following Thoughtful Thursdays for the past few weeks you will know that the next step in a Sale Process to Consider is the close.
In my experience, attempting to close the sale has resulted in success, failure and everything in between. I am pleased to say I have enjoyed more success than failure. Having said that, I have learned more by not making a sale than being awarded the business.
Getting back to the thought for the day, there comes a time in the sales process when closing is the next step. The prerequisites for this part of the sales process are that the Make Recommendations step has been executed and was supported by the information and insights gained during the Gain Approval stage.
No different than any of the other parts of the sales process, first determine your objectives. The obvious is to make the sale. But what will you if faced with an objection? You want to be prepared for that eventuality as well.
Here is a list of questions you may want to consider as you prepare to ask for the business:
- Am I in the right frame of mind?
- Am I talking to the right people?
- Do I have all the information I need?
- Have I anticipated objections and worked on responses?
- Have I decided on the approach to use?
The number of approaches available are as numerous as personality types. Some are motivated by a call to action that takes advantage of a limited time offer. Others want assurance from you that you are the best source to deal with. Still others will be waiting for you to simply ask for the order.
The choice of your approach will be guided by your experience and the insights gained from the previous steps in the sales process. You will have established a level of rapport by this time that will help you determine what will most likely work best in your situation. You may also have other resources to tap into such as co-workers and colleagues.
I stated earlier in this post that I had learned much from my unsuccessful sales efforts. The first learning was to accept that not every target was going to result in a sale. Knowing that helped me to form a habit of knowing why I did not get the business. Sometimes it was obvious, in other instances it involved further probing to get the answers. Once the reasons are known, you will be better prepared for future. Experience can be a great teacher if used productively.
My first sales mentor always reminded me to ask for the order and be sure your prospect is ready, and able to act on your recommendations.
Next week – Sustain
Have a question about sales? Contact Sakanashi and Associates Inc. and I will respond.
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