Identify our company’s approach to closing sales
Some prospects are easy to close, some are hard, and some are impossible. A common belief held by many in sales is that is that really great sales people can close anything. This simply isn’t true. Really great sales people know how to get maximum value out of their sales time.
Understand the value that you provide
Make sure that you understand the value that a customer can get from you.
Sometimes the value is in your quality of goods. Sometimes it is in the service and attention you give as a sales person and as a company. Sometimes it is in both of these.
Whatever your value, be sure you know specific reasons why your prices are higher (if they actually are) than your competitors.
Know who your customers are
You must know who your customers are. The easy sales come from the prospects who value what you sell and what kind of company you are. The hard and impossible sales come from the prospects who do NOT value what you are selling and who you are.
You will occasionally comes across a prospect that is asking for bids, and thumbs their nose at your higher prices. These are prospects who do not value what you are selling.
Through analysis of past sales to customers who have been successful with you, you can determine the traits of the prospects most likely to purchase from you.
One of the most important decisions you can make in a sales job is on where to draw the line on which prospects you won’t spend your valuable sales time with.
You need to get very clear on what is most important to your customer. You do this by asking:
- Why are you planning to buy this (product) now What is most important to you in a new (product) Why is this important NOW
You also need to figure out who the competition is… there is almost always someone with an inside track. One way to do this is to inquire about similar or related purchases in the past. Who have they bought this sort of product from in the past and why did they buy from them
Ask them if there is any reason they wouldn’t be buying from that provider this time Have they gotten quotes from this provider
A good question in this regard is “why don’t you buy from ABC Company They gave you good installation support last time which you said is very important to you.”
By asking them about their preferences for their past providers, you will find out if there is a real opportunity for you or if they are just gathering information to use as leverage with their current provider or to cover off a requirement for competitive evaluation.
Change the rules when possible
There is an exception to this rule. Some prospects don’t fully know what they want, what they need, and what they value. If you can influence their purchasing criteria, then it is worth it to try and change how they make their purchasing decision.
In the case mentioned above, it would make sense to try show how your higher quality materials could result in lower costs over time when maintenance and replacement costs are factored into a “total cost” scenario.
Often times quality products with a higher initial cost, can be shown to yield a lower total cost over time due to the costs of labour, breakdowns, etc.
The most obvious recommendation is for you to find prospects who value the reasons for your higher prices, and to stay away from the cost conscious driven prospects.
When you make this mind shift of not trying to close everyone, you will find that your sales closing ratio goes up significantly because you are selling to prospects more likely to make a purchase from you.
- Discussing and Identifying Customer Requirements (agreeing Scope)
- Product Recall
- How to use bottlenecks in your business to help you write effective standard operating procedures (SOP)
- SOP Software to help you manage your standard operating procedures (SOP)
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