Wondering why you didn't close the deal?
Closing deals is easier said than done. It's a long process that often involves several calls, an abundance of follow-up emails, and multiple meetings with numerous stakeholders in the hope of receiving a positive response.
But don’t worry, not closing a deal is more common than you think. As Alice Heiman, a veteran sales expert, once said, "There is no magic in closing. There are no magic phrases. Closing a deal is completely dependent on the situation". And although Ms. Heiman may be right, there are some techniques to consider to be able to seal the deal.
Why didn't you close the deal?
Let's examine three common reasons why you didn’t close the deal and the most significant challenges and obstacles that arise, and then we’ll review some tips to improve your closing skills and avoid these mistakes like the boss that you are.
1. You do not understand what the prospect really wants.
To close more deals, figure out what payoff your prospect wants and needs. Then, talk about how your service solves their problems. After all, buyers are always searching for solutions to resolve a pain point.
Sometimes it's hard to remember you're not selling a product or service; you're selling a solution to your client's problems, wants, or needs. You’re selling an outcome, not a bunch of features. The more solutions you can offer a customer, the more reasons they will want to do business with you.
Establish a focused agenda from the beginning of the process to find out their needs and remember to ask the right questions. Some key questions to ask are:
- What are your goals?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What are your desired outcomes?
- What do you perceive as your greatest strength & your weakness?
Clear, concise, and confident communication is essential throughout the process, but particularly in the beginning.
2. You are not earning the buyer's trust.
Like in any relationship, it is critical to establish and maintain a strong bond with your prospect from the beginning. As the saying goes: "People buy from people they like." If your future client trusts you, it will be a much smoother sales process.
Every potential customer has hobbies, goals, a personal life, etc. Get to know them, not only as a business partner but, on a personal level. This will help you in the process of building a relationship, increasing your level of influence, and developing trust.
When you contact your prospect, be empathetic, be a good listener, be responsive, and take their opinions and perspectives into account. Also, show your knowledge and expertise with confidence and determination as you guide them towards a meaningful solution. This will help your future buyer trust you even more.
3. You do not know how to close properly.
This can sound like an obvious one, but it happens. Sometimes you can't close simply because your closing skills aren't refined. This happens when you cannot answer important questions or objections your future client has, or you don't understand what they are looking for and need. Keep in mind there is more than one way to close a deal. For example:
- The Assumptive Close: It's based on assuming you will close this deal. You firmly believe you will achieve this, and your prospect will sense this confidence and positivity. It's also known as the Presumptive Close. We recommend you apply this one when working with familiar leads.
- The Now or Never Close: This is a traditional sale close, and usually, it involves promising something to the client. In the end, it's like that "little last push" your client needs to make the final decision. It's also applies when you tell your client they can obtain your services in a specific period. This works a lot when you can offer discounts, which can persuade and attract your prospect.
- The Takeaway Close: This technique is simple: when you've already laid the benefits on them, but they don't seem interested in certain aspects. Sort of how psychology works: the more you tell somebody they can't have something, the more they want it. It works when the prospect clarifies that they have no use for specific features in your service/product. When applying this technique, we advise you do a soft takeaway.
- The Hard Close: This one is also known as the "Nothing to Lose Close," and it's usually for those interested but want to "think about it." It's not for everyone, but sometimes a client will never buy unless pushed and hard closed. It's blunt, to the point, and effective.
These are just a few techniques. You can investigate others and apply the one that best suits you.
In any case, make sure you apply a successful method that works with the specific selling approach and the type of relationship you have established previously with your future client.
On a final note, please consider these tips:
"Believing in yourself is the first secret to success."
- Remember always to be confident when presenting yourself to your prospects.
- Prepare yourself for each meeting and study your service/product well so you can answer any question or objection effectively.
- Be ready to overcome objections. Prepare for each obstacle you may face and practice the words to say.
- Something very important: differentiate yourself from the competition. Why should the prospect pick you over everybody else? What is your added value? If you know the answers to these questions, you're ready to go.
- Remember to get to know the prospect personally and understand what they need to help them solve their problem.
- Keep in mind you are selling a solution, not just a product or service.
- Treat them like a real key account, and don't just contact them at the end of the year to renew a contract. While you are waiting until renewal, someone else has been calling them all year.
- Prepare and plan effectively. Anticipate questions, prepare your answers, and practice in front of the mirror if necessary.
If you apply these tips, you will avoid falling into these common mistakes and be well prepared to close that deal like a boss!
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Lilia Chica is a bilingual (Spanish and English) specialist in corporate communications, with a degree in Communications and Journalism and a post-graduate degree in Communications Management. She has more than eight (8) years of experience with different communication functions, marketing, and organizational culture strategies. Committed, creative, highly adaptable, and results-oriented.