So you're not satisfied with your numbers? Want to close more sales, but don't know what sales practices will get the job done? There's a lot of information out there, to be sure, and a lot of it will lead you astray. Strategies that close more sales today can send your career into the gutter in the long term, and strategies that seem slow can result in a long term bottom line that your peers can't come close to. In this article, we'll be covering three sales practices every sales person needs to be utilizing to close more sales, three strategies that the best of the best use every day and that the mediocre and the terrible dismiss without a thought.
Utilize a Sales Process.
Making it up as you go is perfectly viable for some sales people--to a point. Eventually, you're going to hit a wall, or at least find yourself climbing an increasingly steep incline with no tools to ease the trip. Putting together a defined, reliable baseline sales process gives you the tools you need to break that wall, to scale that incline. Not because 'following a script' works better than exercising your creativity, but because with that baseline all the hard data you collect can mean something truly useful.
You can spot anecdotes that play well with certain demographics, differences in return rates with certain tactics, and similarly minor-but-important details. Then, you can make tweaks to your process, tweaks you could never have made if you hadn't codified it in the first place, and see big returns for the smallest efforts.
Convince Prospects To Buy In Early.
Few sales practices close deals as quickly and consistently as the early buy in. What's that mean? It means getting your prospect to invest in you, your company, your product, as early as you feasibly can. An investment in this sense doesn't need to be monetary, although that's best. It can be something as simple as convincing the prospect to fill out a survey for a quote, set up an appointment for a follow up call, or send over a few documents.
You want the prospect to invest time or resources in YOU, because once they've done so, they'll be inclined to do so again. It's a universal personality quirk: humans don't like to waste investments, so they'll look at the time and resources they've spent on you and commit to following through. It's the sunk cost fallacy at work and it's vital to learn if you want to close more sales. Few sales practices have applications as broad or as potent!
Pursue Relationships, Not Sales.
This is where the big sellers stand out from the rest. Superior sales people know that satisfied customers that like you and your company benefit you infinitely more than a slightly larger number of customers who don't care or grow to dislike you. The classic sales cycle has one stage, often forgotten by undertrained sales people and experienced ones that should know better: the remorse stage. After you close a sale, a customer will begin to doubt their purchase.
If you rushed the sale without building a relationship, you face the risk of return, negative word of mouth, and the loss of repeat business. If you built a relationship, however, your customer will come out even surer of their purchase after consideration, provide positive word of mouth, and likely become a repeat customer. This is one of the core sales practices anyone looking to close more sales needs to master. It may be the single most important sales practice for developing your career in the long term, if you're in B2B sales--being the person at your company that brings on important clients, that they ask for by name as someone they'd like to deal with, is something that works wonders for any sales person looking to move up the ladder.