Few sentences are more frustrating for a salesperson to hear than, “I want to think it over.” Every salesperson knows the pain of this open-ended response. It can cause the sales process to drag on indefinitely with no clear resolution — even after what seemed to be a perfectly smooth presentation.
Fortunately, there are six super-simple selling tricks that can help you close more sales and eliminate the frustration of noncommittal answers. Don’t be one of the many salespeople who overlooks these effective techniques that can help you close way more deals to dominate your competition in sales:
1. Know the decision-making process up front.
Before you begin your presentation, ask who’s involved with the decision-making process, what that process entails, and how long the process typically takes. Failing to find out this key information at the beginning of your sales meeting can easily be the death of your sale. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of your presentation, only to learn there’s half a dozen people you’ve never even heard of who have to approve the decision. This huge pitfall can be easily avoided simply by asking your prospects about the decision-making process up front.
2. Identify your value proposition.
Many salespeople jump into their sales presentations by enthusiastically outlining all the features and benefits of their product or service. This is a crushing sales mistake. Why? Because prospects don’t actually care about any of that. Instead, you should focus on the real value of what you offer. At the end of the day, prospects buy outcomes and solutions — not products or services. So be specific about the valuable results prospects can expect from working with you.
3. Don’t be desperate for a “yes.”
Prospects can sense when you’re trying to get them to say yes. Your efforts at persuasion can make them feel a great deal of pressure and put them on the defensive. Rather than vying for a yes, try focusing your conversation on determining whether there’s a fit in the first place. If you focus on disqualifying your prospects, they’re be much more open to what you have to say. Once they realize you aren’t there to pressure them into anything, they’ll be more comfortable with you and — as a result — you’ll be more likely to close the sale.
4. Become a trusted advisor.
It’s time to remove the words “vendor” and “supplier” from your vocabulary. Instead, you should consider yourself a “trusted advisor” to your prospects and customers. This requires a mindset shift that will transform your selling approach from, “Please, sir, can I have just three minutes of your time?” to “George, I’d like to share with you some of the best practices my clients use to increase sales by over 25 percent.” Stop thinking of yourself as a vendor or supplier who has to beg others for their time. Instead, view yourself as a critical trusted advisor to your clients. Before long, they’ll view you that way, too.
5. Understand your prospect’s challenges.
When you’re only focused on how great your offer is in an effort to close a sale, you’ll never find out whether you’re actually a good fit for the customer. Ask questions to determine your prospect’s key challenges to see if they actually need and want what you have to offer. Not only will this technique enable you to weed out prospects who aren’t a good fit, but it will also equip you to offer a solution that’s more in line with the outcomes your customer needs the most.
6. Challenge your prospects.
When it comes to your product or service, you’re the expert. Most buyers don’t even necessarily know what they need, so it’s your job to question their assumptions and lead them to where they really need to go. Don’t be afraid to challenge your prospects when they’re wrong. This approach will help you stand out from the competition, and will increase your value in the eyes of every prospect you meet with.
Any of these six selling tricks can radically transform your sales outcomes. Start by picking just one to practice, and implement it in your next sales meeting. While you’re at it, check out this special report on three closing questions you must ask to close the sale.