If you've ever attempted to close a major sale, you'll know that dealing with
prospective clients or customers can feel just as daunting
as stepping into the ring with Lewis or De La Hoya. The following
sales scenarios can be devastating blows to a salesperson.
So if you've ever experienced a knockout in the sales ring,
read on to find out how your skill and dexterity can lead
to a comeback and a sale.
You can't get your foot in the
door with a prospect.
Aim for the top.
knows how challenging it can be to get face time with a prospect. You
could be selling calorie-free cheesecake to the diet industry, but if
you can't make contact with the right person, you'll never close the
Most salespeople start low in the organizational structure and hope
they'll eventually get referred to the decision maker. But
why not start at the top and contact the CEO directly? In
most situations, he won't take your call, but that's not the
point. Most CEOs will refer you to someone else in an attempt
to get you off their backs. And because CEOs deal with individuals
higher up in the organization, odds are you'll get referred
to a VP or manager. If you're really lucky, that person, seeing
that the call came via the CEO, may give you extra consideration.
There's very little differentiating
you from the competition.
Paint a picture of the industry.
In a competitive
situation, most salespeople focus on the superiority of their product
or company. Unless you have a truly unique product (and despite your
corporate mantra, very few companies actually do), these differences
are insignificant to your prospect. She wants to know how your product
can benefit her company she doesn't care how long you've been
in business or how many people work in your manufacturing facility.
If you really want to knock out the competition, turn your pitch around
and focus on your prospect's industry and company. Spend a
few minutes discussing recent industry trends, facts, figures
and predictions. You want your prospect to think of you as
an industry expert who's working with her to find a solution
to her problem, rather than as a salesperson trying to close
You can't seem to connect with
Ask the right questions.
Often the key to
closing a deal is to ask the right questions. Most salespeople ask questions
about the prospect's wants, needs and means, but fewer salespeople keep
asking questions as a way to connect with their prospect.
At the beginning
of the sales cycle, you want to get your customer talking. Resist the
temptation to inundate him with product information. Instead, ask open-ended
questions what, where, when, who and how.
Later on, you'll
want to get an idea of what your prospect is thinking and how close
he is to making a decision. Close-ended questions beginning with Do
you, Will you, Would you or Have you will help your prospect gather
his thoughts and focus on specific concerns.
If your prospect
is having trouble committing to your product, but you can't pinpoint
his concerns, ask hypothetical questions to get him to open up. If price
were no object, what solution would you implement? If you could invent
your own technology to solve this problem, how would it work? Anything
that will get your customer to stop focusing on the details and start
thinking about the big picture.
1. International Communications Industries Association, Inc.