Category Archives: Closing the Sale
Richardson’s annual research survey of field reps, senior sales professionals, and sales leaders across industries aims to paint a clear picture of existing sales challenges and how they are evolving. One of the study questions explored challenges sellers face in closing sales. We asked 350 sales professionals to tell us what would be their most difficult challenge in closing sales deals in 2017. Responders provided the following answers:
24% of respondents said competing against a low-cost provider would be their greatest challenge to closing sales deals in 2017 19% of respondents said positioning competing value propositions would be their greatest challenge to closing sales deals in 2017 16% of respondents said creating a compelling case for change to avoid a “no-decision” would be their greatest challenge to closing sales deals in 2017
While the top three challenges remain the same year to year, the percentages add color to the story. In 2016, “competing against a low-cost provider” took 47% of the responses, showing just how keenly this challenge was perceived. One year later, the ranking among all three challenges is more even, an indication that sellers realize the importance and interplay of several elements involved in closing deals. Creating a compelling case against stalled decisions or “no-decisions” takes understanding the customer’s buying cycle and helping customers sort through what matters most in order to find value among the options.
Richardson’s Closing Sales Deals Insights
In today’s information-rich environment, buyers have the » Continue Reading.
Proficiency using many different selling techniques is a desired objective. It denotes competence, expertise, know-how, and mastery. An over reliance on certain selling techniques can lead sales professionals into traps that sabotage relationships with clients. In this series of posts, I will share four -proficiency traps and how to avoid them. The first was The Technical Trap; the second, The Execution Trap; the third, “The Networking Trap; and this fourth and final trap involves the problem with incumbency mindsets.
A Good Offense can be the Best Defense in Winning Renewal Business
No matter how entrenched sales professionals become in a client organization, at some point they are likely to face competition for renewals. The trap is in taking an incumbency mindset to defend the business as-is instead of forming a fresh deal strategy that is better positioned to win.
When sellers think like incumbents, they want to defend the relationship and preserve everything the way it currently stands. They justify why they should be retained, based on factors such as their long-standing relationship, past excellent service, or the higher costs of transitioning to a competitor.
The problem with this selling technique is its defensive posture. What the situation requires — and what competitors will do — is take the offensive. As an incumbent, we should ask ourselves: What can we » Continue Reading.
Becoming Hardwired to Close Deals
One could argue that the whole point of selling is to close deals. That’s often easier said than done. Many sales professionals struggle with asking for the business or next steps to maintain momentum on sales opportunities.
From my own experience working with sales professionals, I know that by the time you get to the Close, you should already have created such strong sponsorship within the situation that it’s hardwired for the Close. In fact, we tend to think about the collaboration leading up to the Close as just as important, if not more so, as planning for the Close.
The situation we recommend that you are in at closing time is this: your sponsor and you should be in it together. You are creating a plan for how you are going to execute and make the deal happen, going well beyond just getting the right signatures on a contract.
There are several things you can do throughout the sales cycle to put yourself in this superior position to close deals:
Find the right sponsor. Look for someone on the decision-making team who is invested in moving the deal forward. They typically have a lot on the line in terms of wanting to see this through and achieve the desired results. » Continue Reading.
How to Close a Sale? Generate Urgency!
In my previous post we provided 3 closing techniques for getting a client invested in the deal. Today I will review creating urgency in how to close a sale. The Close of business deals can be frustratingly slow. The solution is to generate urgency at every juncture so that you create action that moves the deal forward and, in turn, builds velocity toward the Close.
Consider the complexity of many sales initiatives and the stakeholders involved in decision making. To elevate the urgency, you need to understand what the triggers and dynamics are internally and then build upon that.
Risk is a huge trigger for many clients. While they might consider the risk involved in going forward with a project, you can focus on the risk of not taking action. If you can quantify the risk of not moving forward, that’s even better because that elevates the sense of urgency around action, which gets people to mobilize and commit.
For example, we have recently worked with a company that has a relatively high Net-Promoter score. In this scenario, they want to go from good to great, and to do that, they have to engage with their clients in such a superior fashion that it clearly differentiates them from their competitors. The problem is there has been some leakage in scores that could impact their future. The level of urgency for action is high, » Continue Reading.
Creating a compelling Case Against No Action is Critical in Closing a Deal. Learn 3 Sales Closing Techniques to Help Clients and Prospects Get More Invested So It Feels you’re Closing the Deal Together
One of the skills we reinforce and model during Richardson sales training sessions is the Close: asking for the business or next steps to maintain momentum on sales opportunities. This is something sales professionals struggle with, as do clients who don’t want to be pressured into making buying decisions.
That’s why getting clients invested in the Close early on in the sales process is so important.
How this plays out is a lesson in role play — not the kind we do in our training sessions but in adopting different roles depending on the sales scenario.
Here are three sales closing techniques and roles for getting clients invested in the Close:
Be a cheerleader. Early in a sales call, talk to the person about desired results. Learn what is important to them both professionally and personally. With that information, you can become a cheerleader giving them a pep talk. “You are in a position where this could be career defining for you. Have you ever thought of it this way?” Then paint a picture with examples and evidence to support this statement. People who are fortunate enough to be leading these kinds of projects have the opportunity to make an impact in a meaningful » Continue Reading.
Don’t Let Your Written Proposal Torpedo Your Deal
What I am about to say may be an example of life being unfair. Obviously, a poorly prepared written proposal could cost you a deal. However, the most expertly prepared, well-written, catchy-reading proposal brings no guarantee of winning. To make things worse yet, an overly slick proposal might be a turn off.
Let me give an example of the third possibility, because I know that calling something “too good” sounds illogical. Take, for example, the redevelopment of a low-income housing project. Residents of the project will be represented on the committee making project decisions. Is an expensively produced proposal likely to impress them? Or, will it more likely send a message that you can’t related to them? Someone who kept in mind the human element could be more likely to win.
Great news! You’ve made your final presentation and your customer has let you know you are one of two finalists. The customer started with 38 providers, narrowed that down to six, and invited three to make presentations to a group of 11 stakeholders. The customer will advise you of the decision in one week. The opportunity is large and strategically important. What will you do over the week to increase your odds of winning?