1. Find out as much as you can about your prospects.
Do some digging. Know about their history, their previous experiences with services like yours, their leadership, and their most likely immediate needs in advance. Don’t limit this just to what you’re trying to sell them, either. A good working knowledge of your prospect will make you more valuable to them.
Remember: To be interesting, you must first be interested.
2.Practice a powerful and meaningful introduction.
If you don’t sound as if you passionately believe in what you have to offer, why should they? Use your introduction not to just introduce yourself or your product, but to engage the prospect’s curiosity.
3. Ask thoughtful questions.
It isn’t enough just to ask questions that lead toward a close. A lot of buyers have had so many salespeople try to give them the ‘straight line’ that they’re going to be put off by questions that probe for selling opportunities rather than serving opportunity. If you can become genuinely interested in their success, this becomes MUCH easier.
4. Develop genuine empathy and build rapport.
Remember that your prospects and their ‘gatekeepers’ are people. Don’t just highlight your product/service and how it can benefit their business. Listen not only to their questions and concerns, but also listen for signs that they’re troubled, tired, sad, sick, happy, etc. Most prospects dislike egocentric salespeople, so always be mindful that your sales call is really about them and their needs, not about your desire to rack up a commission, and you’ll find yourself connecting with prospects more easily.
5. Hold back on your proposals until you’ve heard them out.
If you’ve got them talking, keep them talking. If you hurry your drive to the close you’ll sound like you just care about the close. For most people, pushing too quickly for the close gives the impression that you really don’t care what they have to say. It’s like telling them ‘Shut up and let me sell you.’ Prospects are people, and people want to be treated like they matter, because they do.
6. Use customer references very carefully.
First, your prospect will believe (and sometimes wrongly so) that their situation or business is entirely unique, and so what you or your product accomplished for company XYZ doesn’t mean a thing to them. Also, if you are too free with other customer’s details, you may be perceived as indiscreet and therefore untrustworthy. Your prospect may also despise your customer for any number of reasons, and the last thing you need is to give them a ‘reason’ not to like you. So keep customer information anonymous unless you have express permission to mention them by name.
7. Don’t be shy about your pricing.
If you are hesitant to reveal your price, you may give the impression that even you think your product or service isn’t worth the price. If you don’t seem to believe in your price, why should your customer.
Remember: Sell your price!
8. Don’t try to dodge an objection.
Instead, see those objections as potential signs of interest, which they often are. An unresolve objection remains an objection. Instead of just using a canned rebuttal, you may consider the following approach to dealing with objections:
a. Clarify what the real objection is.
b. Re-state the objection in your own words, to be sure that you have understood it
c. Pause, don’t just jump on it. No matter how many times you may have heard the objection before, you can’t let your prospect feel that you don’t value their point of view.
d. Turn the objection into an advantage by not merely trying to refute it, but by exploring its potential. For example, if you are selling a comprehensive recruiting solution, but the prospect is loyal to Monster, you could say, “Monster still has a good piece of the job board market, but the reality is that it’s more fragmented than it used to be. 10 years ago there was just a handful of job boards, and now there’s thirty thousand. Some of our clients continue to use Monster, but with our solution they have access to a network of over 5,000 job boards at a fraction of the cost. If nothing else, we’re an excellent option if you’ve got a tough-to fill position. I see you’ve got a posting that’s been live for 27 days. How much of a response are you getting?’ In some cases, you don’t have to close them now, but you can over a few calls ease them out of their resistance, especially as they see that their present solution isn’t working as well as yours would.
e. Use the result of your reply to raise any other objections.
9. Ask for the order!
Closing is an art unto itself, and most astute buyers may know as many professional closes as you do. You may have any number of closes in your arsenal, but often simply asking for the order gets the job done once you’ve built rapport and demonstrated a genuine interest in contributing to your prospect’s success.
10. Know when to finish.
Once you’ve won them over and gotten the order, congratulate them on their decision, assure them that they’ve acted wisely, and then leave! The longer you linger after the close the more time a buyer has to change their mind. This is one of the top ways that sales are lost.