How to close a sale
Every business revolves around its ability to sell and do it well. Rebecca Kincade contacted every strong sales person she knows to ask them for their secrets to closing out a deal. This is what they said.
- The two most difficult parts of any sale involve getting the first meeting and the closing. Develop empathy with the customer, listen better than everyone else, focus on providing high touch, robust quality and the second cheapest offer (no one wants to be the cheapest).
- You ‘gotta’ know when to fold or hold. Generally at the end of a successful sales process there is a deal to be had and more often than not it comes down to price at this stage. Weigh the scales to your advantage: do you know what commercials your competitors generally stick to? How price sensitive is this client? How much do they want the added value you presented throughout the middle of the process? Do they like you?
- Know your ‘walk away’ and stick to it. There is no point in working for nothing, you devalue your brand and buyers actually respect you less if you do this. Responsible buyers take a healthier approach. Conversely some of our best business has been won by saying no with the line ‘well if your chosen supplier fails please give me a call in six months’ time.’
- You must have clear decision making parameters from your MD/FD and know when something needs to be escalated before you sign on the bottom line.
- If a client is still undecided, keep communicating to the bitter end. Silence equals a lost sale. Ask open questions like ‘What do we need to do to win your business?’ or ‘We can’t go any lower in price but what else can we do for you that could make the deal work?’
- Ask for a final face to face meeting – it’s easy to get rejected by mail. Get in front of the client.
- Watch the legal contract. Often template conditions are not relevant or have not been mentioned before. Watch for trip clauses or grey areas – keep asking for clarity until you are content.
- Always ask for feedback, whether you are successful or not, and get as detailed as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask cheeky questions.
- Always make sure to call a client after sending them a proposal, it’s always easier to talk a client through any aspects of the document they need more information on.
- After an initial client meeting I send across a proposal within 24 hours as I feel that I have to strike whilst the iron is hot.
- Send proposals on Fridays if possible. I have done detailed research on when my proposals are signed off by clients and people seem to be more likely to sign off advertising proposals at the end of the week.
- Most of my work is retainer based. After work has started I make sure to send emails and call at the end of week one with a short report detailing the work carried out. I find when I invoice at the end of the month that I can compile the weekly reports and present a detailed document to the client.
- Don’t be disheartened when a client says “no”. This is sometimes better than a client saying “maybe” and getting your hopes up. If you can work out how many “no” responses you need before you get a “yes” then you can work out how many calls and visits you need to make to regularly make sales.