Oh, the art of the sale. Some people have the skills, and others sadly flounder. Some can generate new business after new business, and others struggle with hitting their goals. Why is this? What does it take to get that customer from being interested in a product or service, to getting them to sign on the dotted line? We’ve scoured through information about this subject and researched to bring you what we think are the five main tips for getting that signature from a customer, and closing the deal, every time.
1. Find a problem
You can’t solve a problem unless you know what the problem is in the first place. Blindly trying to sell affordable website design, for example, very rarely works even if it’s a great product, especially for companies that have a very specific niche. Imagine trying to cold call customers to purchase custom labels. The market for custom labels is quite specific, so just randomly trying to sell these, rather than pinpointing your market, is a horrible idea. But, if you happen to know that a large label company has gone out of business, you’ve got yourself a problem, and therefore a possible sale opportunity.
What we mean by this is a market gap, or in simpler terms, it’s a problem. Customers want X material or service, but there aren’t a lot of options out there. Finding these gaps in the market will better help you close your deal, because you can sell it to someone better than if a bunch of other people offer the same thing. Here is a good and simple guide for getting started with completing gap analysis.
Finding a problem also means doing the research to find what’s already out there. First, identify exactly what product or service you’re offering and what your strengths are, then compare it to your competitors. Find what you do differently, like proven online lead generation for example, and capitalise on that.
2. Get all the details from the customer
The more you know, the better you sell. Getting as many details from your customer as possible is important for multiple reasons. First, you want to know what you’re going to be able to pitch to this person. For example, if they have a budget of $1,000, but you’re pitching a $2,000 product or service, you’re already punching above your weight and will likely lose the sale quickly, even if you do have a product within their budget. Know things like if they’re part of a body corporate administration, or if they’ll need to get final approval from someone else. Find this information out first in order to tailor your pitch from the start.
Try and find out who the actual buyer is if there’s a group of people, and hone in on their needs. But it’s also extremely important to talk to everyone in the party to make them feel included. If you’re speaking to a wife about a product, for example, try and include the partner if possible, as the more buy-in you have, the easier it will be to seal the deal.
3. Know the objections ahead of time
This one is super important. The last thing you want to have happen is for you to be close to getting that coveted signature on the dotted line, and then your customer thinks of something that makes them stop. Try and figure out what all the objections will be to your product or service before anyone steps in your door. For example, a customer being too busy to want to purchase something right then and there is a common objection. Or, perhaps they already use a service that is similar to yours.
A really great idea is to brainstorm all of the reasons someone might not want your product or service, or even run through practice sale scenarios with your colleagues multiple times. Try and nail down all of the objections so that you’ve got a perfect solution to them, and aren’t stumped out of nowhere. When it comes down to it, preparation is your absolute best friend.
4. Create a bit of urgency
This is definitely a classic sales technique, but is a good one to refresh on. We aren’t talking about the old fashioned car salesman, “last car on the lot” urgency, but a more successful strategy. Fake urgency and scarcity will likely be picked up on, as we’ve all been pitched that a million times. Today, we respond much more easily to FOMO situations (fear of missing out), than we do to a product never being available again. Capitalise on FOMO by showing that other people are buying, and create popularity in your product.
5. Be ready with next steps
The end is just as important as the beginning and middle bits. This is where you really close on that signature on the dotted line. To get them past their objections and within their budget, and finally realising that it’s important they buy soon, is enough to get them to make a decision, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a sale. They could easily put it off or still leave the deal altogether.
To get that signature, you need to provide them with next steps right away. Make it easy and simple for customers to know exactly what comes next and what they need to do. Not only will this make a customer feel at ease with their decision, but it also sets them up for a successful service or product, creating a trusting and hopefully long relationship.
Okay so this might not be a comprehensive list for all the ways to make a sale, but it is definitely a start. We think these are the five base tips for closing a deal that you absolutely have to implement in your day to day. After that, it all comes down to your charisma and personality, and honestly just your talent for selling things. And that, we can’t teach, sorry!