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When you hear the word “sales”, what kind of imagery first pops into your head?
Please close your eyes and take just 5 seconds to imagine the scenario…
Well, what did you come up with?
Like most of us, you probably pictured an office space filled with hundreds of cubicles and salespeople frantically speaking on the phone, all at once. As they hurriedly try to convince the person on the other side to make a purchase, they make quick scribbles on paper with their pen and start punching numbers into their calculator. You can even hear multiple phones ringing on the other line with no one left in the office to answer them.
Scenes from popular movies like the Wolf of Wall Street or the Boiler Room tend to influence how we think of sales in the real world. As exciting as these scenes may be, however, they only represent a small percentage of what a sales team really does. In typical Hollywood fashion, the more time-consuming, mundane aspects of reality are edited out, leaving us with just a small glimpse of the truth.
Not only is the entire sales process much longer and more complicated than how it is portrayed in the theater, but the relatively short act of closing is too. While high-pressure tactics may pay off on the big screen, having patience and using discernment are far more effective when it comes to closing. In fact, being too pushy and too aggressive with a sales prospect is the easiest way to convince them NOT to buy.
Here are 6 great habits that every closer should develop:
#1: They’re intentional from the very start of a conversation.
You would never show up to a big presentation or meeting without preparing beforehand, so why do it on a sales call? The stakes are simply too high to “wing it” and speak to a prospect without direction—especially when you consider how much it already cost to get them to this point. A top closer always begins the conversation with the intent of closing the deal. This means properly framing the talk from the start and reminding the prospect why they called you, or vice versa.
#2: They create urgency and aren’t afraid to ask.
If it weren’t for urgency, nobody would ever make a decision. Highlighting time-sensitive issues and problems are just some of the ways that top closers motivate a prospect to come to a decision. Perhaps they’re losing money or experiencing setbacks every day that they don’t use your product or service. Focus on the benefits of making a decision now, rather than later. Using discounts and price cuts, however, should be an absolute last resort for creating urgency, as it hurts the bottom line.
#3: They thoroughly understand the prospect’s needs.
By knowing the prospect’s pain points and truly understanding their problems, a closer can begin to build an effective argument for what they are selling. Without this knowledge, you’ll just be shooting in the dark and throwing out too much information, hoping that it will stick. Rather than guess, top closers define the problem before moving on to crafting a sales pitch.
#4: They identify all gatekeepers and decision-makers and get them involved at the beginning.
There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve closed the deal, only to discover that the final gatekeeper or decision-maker hasn’t been involved in the sales process. To avoid the frustration (and possible waste of time), you need to make sure that everyone who has a say in the purchase will be involved from the beginning. If you convince middle management to make a purchase, but the CEO hasn’t made a decision yet, you run the risk of getting turned down at the last minute. You also run the risk of leaving the closing to an amateur, who will ineffectively pitch your idea to the real decision-maker.
#5: They evaluate each step of the purchase process.
Successful closers create a game plan and map out the entire path to purchase. By doing so, they’re able to show up prepared for the meeting, knowing exactly what challenges the prospect may face. When selling to businesses, in particular, making a purchase isn’t as easy as pulling out a credit card. There are processes and gatekeepers that stand between you and closing the deal—even if the prospect would like to close right now.
#5: They negotiate pricing while maintaining the bottom line.
Keeping the bottom line is essential to sales, as discounts and price cuts can negate much of the hard work that the sales team has put into lead generation and closing the deal. Great closers recognize that leads come at a cost and that a discount should be the last weapon in their arsenal.
#6: They close more than once.
Did you know that getting a second meeting, scheduling a phone call, or even catching up for lunch count as “closing”? That’s because every time you convince a prospect to take a specific action, the more likely they are to take the next. In psychology, this is called the “Ben Franklin effect”, which we covered in a previous article. As you continue to build rapport and trust with your prospect, you’ll have an easier time asking them to make the final purchase at the end.
Closers are undoubtedly some of the most valuable members of a sales team. They take leads and turn them into real customers. However, there’s also a lot of groundwork that goes into creating leads and prospects. Before leads are ever passed on to closers, they must be identified, nurtured, and scored, first.
At Sales Buddy, we handle the entire lead generation process for you and allow your sales team to focus their efforts on creating conversions. First, we create high-quality content that accurately represents your brand voice and encourages interaction with your target market. Second, we build you a custom marketing technology stack to optimize the entire sales funnel and automate time-consuming processes. Third, we distribute your content across our social media channels and our own, exclusive B2B network.
Finally, you’ll get a custom dashboard to monitor your campaign from your devices as hot leads are automatically sent to your inbox/CRM for the sales team to close.
To learn more about how Sales Buddy creates leads for your business, schedule a quick chat with Corey, today.
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