Some of the best and most effective closers understand that the close is not come at the end of a sales call. We all have been taught in some form of fashion that a sale starts with prospecting, qualifying, introduction, needs assessment, reinstate and close. This is a great blueprint for sales professionals in any industry but this is a stock sample. The first lesson in sales that I was ever taught that has been the foundation that I’ve built my career around is the sales scripture, “sales is an emotional decision backed up by logic!” Regardless if you are acquiring clients online or offline, this very rule applies today and will always be relevant in the future. Every sales professional has seen Glenngary Glenn Ross, Always Be Closing…You Close or you HIT the Bricks! The truth about that term is so true but you need to understand that Always be Closing should be taken one step further which is always be closing throughout the sales cycle!
There is nothing worse than spending hours with a potential client going through your spiel and when you get the end for the grand finale…nothing happens. Empty face from your prospect leaving you no direction to go. You are fishing out objections so you can overcome them but nothing you say or do will sway the client into conducting business with you. As good as we may be, every sales professional throughout their career will experience this awkward moment. How do you prevent yourself from running into the wall? Well…it’s called test closing!
Where and when do you begin using test closing? From the beginning of every sales cycle! Keep in mind, in the beginning of the sales cycle your prospect is the most “curious” about how your solution whether product or service can solve his need or else he/she wouldn’t be sitting there with you in the first place. So strike while the iron is hot and I’m not saying tell them to sign the agreement. What I mean by this is ask questions geared towards bringing out the pain of why they are where they are. This is the emotion you begin to reel out because as stated before a “sale” is an emotional decision backed up by logic. Once you get them to that emotional level, you can begin to tie it in with reinstating where they are, why they’re there and what you can do to help them change their situation. Questions I normally ask in my industry is, “When did you notice the drop in business and what do you think was the cause of this?” After the client addresses the question, you are able to reinstate the question with getting their buy in or using a test close such as “So, you noticed the drop in business about six months ago when your phone stop ringing and you think it’s due to some of the poor reviews that showed up online as well as you cutting your advertising budget by 50% is that correct? So, in order for you to prevent experiencing times like this again in the future, you agree it’s important to identify the real issue at hand by taking a look at your previous advertising campaigns, study the analytics and address the negative reviews online ? The prospect agrees to it which is another “Yes” which builds and supports your solution.
Once you get a few of those, you are in the clear to assume the sale and finalize the transaction. As long as you focus a majority of your sales call on asking qualifying questions and revealing “pain points” you will increase your closing ratio and avoid wasting your time and the prospects time by not bridging his needs with your solutions. Clients sell themselves first even if you think it’s you that sells them. So the next time you are in front of your prospect…test the waters early in the sales cycle.