These 3 Closing Tips Will Help You Make The Sale Every Time (Even After a No)
This is by no means going to be an “ultimate guide” to running a sales consultation. In fact, we’re only going to be talking about one small part of the consultation: the end.
You see, there’s a lot that can go wrong when speaking to a potential client, but by the end of it you got the basics down. You spoke about their business, their problems, needs, wants, goals, and you present your solution. But the end- the part where you ask for the sale- that CANNOT go wrong.
If you do these, they will save you a ton of time and money you would have spent on followups, and will result in business you otherwise would not have gotten. Let’s jump right in.
Force a Decision
In the past, I used to finish my sales calls by asking the prospect if I could send a proposal over. I would then proceed to craft and perfect a Powerpoint presentation worthy of a design award, for an hour. I would send it over, hoping they love it and not gawk at the prices on the last page. I would then wait a week, and although saddened that I didn’t hear back from them, send a followup email. Of course the answer was usually no at this point- if I got any answer at all.
Now, everything is different and I don’t tolerate that. I want a decision now. Right there on the call.
Making a commitment to being polarizing in your sales calls will be the best decision you’ve ever made that will increase your sales dramatically. That means telling the prospect: “You need to answer me yes or no, right now.”
When you force a decision on the call, two amazing things are happening at the same time:
1) The prospect sees you are serious about this and not fooling around. This makes them think hard about whether they really want this, and you seem more confident in what you’re offering.
2) You get the deal right away. The scarcity of this being gone forever (or much more expensive) is a huge motivator in sales and I use it all the time. This also means you never have to followup with a prospect again.
Think about this for a moment…
When you’re polarizing on the phone and demand a decision right then and there, none of that Powerpoint-back-and-forth-leading-me-on madness happens. No proposals, no followups, no time wasted. You are literally saving costs as well as you just bought yourself time back to do more sales calls, or forego the need to hire an assistant for followups.
When you’re not polarizing, you get maybes. I would rather get a resounding NO then a maybe, because it means I can move on without having to waste time chasing the prospect. I hate maybes so much that I’ve actually trained myself to keep pressuring the prospect (when I know they’re not interested) until I get that satisfying “no”, and I love it for what the implications are. So should you.
Pro tip: You won’t always get maybes. You’ll usually get objections first, which is a good sign. Try to be completely silent after handling each objection and don’t add on to your previous statement thinking their silence is them saying No. It’s really hard, but I push the mute button on my Skype/phone to make it easier. Let them sit with the pain of their situation until they are the ones to realize they have to come up with an answer in order to break the silence. It’s usually a Yes 🙂 .
Offer an Incentive
Popular sales training books and courses will tell you never offer a discount on your service or product when making a sale. They’re right. When you’re struggling to make a sale, and you throw a discount in an attempt to win the prospect over, you actually seem weaker, less confident in your product, and almost guaranteed yourself no deal.
The proper way to do it is with an incentive. How can you offer an incentive to the prospect without making it sound like a discount? You tell them the reason for giving it them: Getting that yes/no decision right now.
Now you can’t just run into sales calls saying: “Answer me right now!”. You’ll get too many no’s. This is because there is no incentive to answer right now. Well, if you offered that “awful” discount right about now, the scarcity you create is golden. The reason for the discount is not just because you want an answer (they don’t care about what you want), but because you gave them something to care about- a perceived “discount”.
I learnt to phrase the incentive from Sam Ovens (watch the interview and story here) like this:
“I regularly charge a setup fee of $1000 and the service is $2000 per month. However I find that people that make fast decisions become my best clients and we do great work together. Therefore as an incentive for making a decision on the call today, I will waive the $1000 setup fee and it will just be the monthly retainer moving forward.”
Notice how it’s not really a discount on the service, it’s just a removal of a fee (which they probably don’t believe was ever there anyways). But, they have to comply or else they’ll be stuck paying something that they didn’t have to. You offered an incentive, created scarcity by telling them it has to be on this call, and you gave them a reason to believe you’re serious about helping them.
Feel free to use this quote or reword it to suit your pricing. Don’t overthink it- just make sure that a reason is there (becoming your best client) and that you mention the decision has to be made on the call in order to receive the incentive.
Pro Tip: You may be wondering about those scenarios where they HAVE to think about it for a little while. I can’t go over all the possible objections in this post, but the reality is that if you keep pushing someone who really needs time, they will say: “Fine, I can’t decide now so I guess I will be fine with a fee later”, and they will never, ever call back.
So if you do believe their excuse (need to ask wife/partner, need to check bank – anything technical), get an exact time the next day to followup and say you can extend the incentive until then. If you’re unsure, it helps to ask honestly if they have a technical thing blocking them, or if they are just stalling.
The Squeezing Profits Method
So the prospect said No and after you’ve handled every objection, they’re still lingering on the line. They were interested in your service originally, but the price was just too expensive. You couldn’t justify the value or convince them of the ROI, or you didn’t qualify the lead properly before getting on the call.
This is how to turn that NO into a HELL YES!
I discovered this method when a prospect had already said my services were too expensive but he seemed let down by it. He really wanted to work with me, and I did too. I couldn’t lower my price at this point (see reasons above), so I quickly thought: what if I have another package altogether that I can sell to this guy that would make him happy?
And that’s exactly what I did.
The important thing to know about the Squeezing Profits Method is that you are deliberately flipping a switch and going from a value-based price and proposal, to a feature-based package.
In the prospect’s mind, they are now only thinking about the price and weighing the features that you are listing out for themselves. This is completely different than before when they didn’t even know much about what was included in your work, it was all focused on how it would get them to their goals. But that’s okay.
Research has shown that for lower-priced products, it’s okay to focus on features as a selling point and stacking value (Read: SPIN Selling). It’s only once you start selling higher ticket products that you have to focus on the benefits in order to stack value points in order to justify the price.
So if you sell SEO, create a one-off bundle that includes a breakdown of links, maybe some on-page work. To the prospect, this is the same quality work and leads to the same sort of results that you’ve demonstrated you can get to. So they sell like hotcakes.
The best part about this is that it can be completely outsourced in one swift motion. For a while, I was simply copy/pasting packages and pricing from a popular SEO retailer online, sending it to the prospect with a 100-300% markup, and buying that same package to fulfill the service. You don’t have to do this, but make sure the nature of it is one-off and that it doesn’t take too much of your time or resemble the type of work you would have done for your main service.
Always keep a lower-priced package handy for the prospects that don’t convert, so they don’t go to waste (hence the name Squeezing Profits).
Those are my three tips that you can use to ensure you did everything you could to close that deal. The first two go hand-in-hand and the third is a last attempt offer for when it doesn’t work out.
I hope you apply them and start seeing an increase in your sales conversions!
What methods do you use? How would you tweak any of the above? Let me know in the comments below!