Monday, May 14, 2012


The process of getting new business has several components including networking to meet new people, getting referrals of people who might need your services, letting these people know how you can help them in solving their problems and last (and probably most difficult) closing the deal.
Closing the deal is the part of the sales process that makes business owners most anxious because this is the stage that sometimes takes the longest and has the biggest potential of falling apart.
Yet, there are ways to make yourself a better “deal closer” even if you’re not the natural networking type and aren’t up on the latest sales techniques – Here are some techniques that really work:
Get beyond “yes”: Time is your enemy. Once you’ve gotten your target to agree in principle that you’re going to make this deal, move them as quickly as possible toward getting it into writing. That’s because into the narrow opening between “yes” and signing on the dotted line can creep things like second thoughts, competition coming up with a counter proposal or unforeseen events. So if you get a verbal expression of interest then move as quickly as possible to a written agreement that hopefully closes out the sales cycle.  When meeting with a client always bring at the very least a preliminary contract or letter of intent and get it signed.  Getting the deal agreed to and signed on the bottom line quickly is the goal.
Create a sense of urgency: Sometimes the person on the other end of the deal will be happy to close it – when they can get around to it. Timing may be much more important to you then to them. So if necessary, you want to create a sense of urgency to get their commitment, and that may require some final concessions to refocus their attention. This may involve offering a 2% greater discount if the sign on now, net-30 terms instead of net-10 requirements, or offering a two-year service agreement instead of one-year coverage. Give them a reason for signing today rather than next week.
Use the threat of competition: Unfortunately, in order to get the other side to close, sometimes an entrepreneur will have to get them to understand that if they don’t do the deal with you, you’ll do the deal with someone else.  Sometimes this involves bluffing, sometimes enhancing the appeal of what you’re offering.  The important thing to remember is to let the prospective client know that you have other clients and as much as you want their business you can’t wait around forever until they make their decision.
Generate “late-breaking news”: Throughout the relationship-building and negotiating process and beyond, be funneling helpful new information to the prospective client. This might be a press release about a new product, a copy of a story about your business that you’ve managed to land in the local newspaper, the result of a new independent test of your service, or that one last testimonial from an existing customer that you’re keeping in your back pocket.
Be prepared to not close: The reality is that most deals don’t close, if you measure by the number of potential relationships and transactions that your company pursues. Something happens. There isn’t a fit. The timing isn’t right. You must disdain losing any deal and fight hard to land every last one. But you also need to be sober about the percentages – so you can raise them.
Of course, every deal worth its salt must not be lopsided – it should stem either from mutual compromise or a true “win-win” scenario. And empathy goes a long way.
When negotiating remember
§  The deal is actually closed before the deal happens. Courting and building relationships over time are the only guarantees of succeeding in closing a deal. And that can take years
§  Be the best listener you can. Hear the other person’s pain and think about what you can you do to solve it? Focus on the positive
§  Tricks are never good: If you need them, you’re not in position to close the deal anyway. Create true value. That’s what will help you sell faster at the price you want.
§  Don’t talk too much - don’t be afraid of silence. Produce an order form, don’t rush anything, remain confident and make eye contact. When the customer signs, and the sale is made, keep friendly and resist any urge to sell them anything else. Leave on a friendly note so you can keep a long-term relationship.

We would like to hear from you about your “closing techniques”…

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