Here is an interesting question: Why is it that we, as salespeople spend so long, invest so much time, energy, preparation, and effort on the phone with the prospective and existing customer during the sales cycle only to let the sale fade away or go to the competition? Why is it that we place so much emphasis and commitment on the process of moving the ball down the field but yet design so very few plays to actually take the ball into the end zone?
We need to realize that whenever we do not actually attempt to create some closure–ask for the business–we literally destroy (or at least taint) all that we have worked for throughout the sales process. We give up the connection and trust that we have built, the relationships that we have developed, the enthusiasm we have created, and the momentum of the process. We simply let the sale wither away and die or get taken over by another more assertive, focused salesperson that was prepared (AND took the leap of faith) to ASK for the business!
Do you feel that you offer such irrefutable evidence of value throughout your sales presentations that the customer will simply give in? Do you feel that your features, advantages, and benefits (FAB points) are so compelling that prospects don’t need to be asked to buy them? Do you feel that you will offend your prospect or customer if you were to actually ask them to buy from you? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you need to GET OVER IT! (and possibly consider another career!) Here are a few very key RULES when it comes to closing the sale:
Rule #1—You MUST ask for the business!
Rule #2—You MUST earn the right to ask for the business!
Rule #3—The customer knows why you’re there!
Rule #4—Sometimes the answer is NO! Deal with it!
Rule #5—If you cannot, will not, or do not ask for the business, someone else will!
Ok, so why does it happen? Why do many salespeople have a hesitance to ask for the business?
It is my belief that most salespeople do not ask for the YES
because they are afraid to hear the NO!
Here are some other reasons
Little to no belief in their value proposition, their product, or their service.
- A lack of confidence or self-worth.
- No connection with the customer, thus no trust.
- The customer is in control-asking all of the questions.
- The salesperson doesn’t feel like they have earned the right yet.
- The salesperson has not discovered any motivators to create urgency.
- No time-lines have been discussed throughout the process.
- There is no defined sales process that the salesperson can follow.
- And many others
The good news is that ALL of these are within the control of the salesperson—the right salesperson.
FACT: is that it is not the responsibility of the customers to close themselves. It is the job of the salesperson to get that done! You are not paid to be a professional educator, a professional presenter, a hesitant visitor, or a walking-talking brochure-website. You are paid to move the ball down the field and to score. That’s it!!
The web site, the brochures, the advertising, and other marketing pieces often have very little to do with the Call to Action…but you do! Your territory, products, prices, and your competition are what they are and they do not control your success…you do! The prospective customer knows that you are there for a reason and that reason is to make the sale. Often, the only thing that stands in the way is you! Are you willing to make the changes necessary to stay in the game? If so, take a look at a few suggestions:
Learn how to ask better (more focused) questions to pull out true motivations (Pains-Fears-Desires) from the prospect. Get to the WHY behind their answers! Ask questions to gauge the prospects level of interest, understanding, and continued engagement in the process such as “So far, so good?” “Up to this point, what questions do you have?” “Does that make sense?”
Have a clear purpose for each and every call that you make on the prospect. If you don’t understand what needs to be discovered /uncovered and agreed upon in the sales process, how will the customer? Going on a call without a clearly defined purpose and a clearly prepared Call to Action wastes both your time and the prospect’s.
Learn to “set the pace” of the sales cycle from the beginning. Be in control by constantly and relentlessly moving the deal forward by calling the shots. Get in the habit of thinking—and asking—“So what’s our next step?”