Over the past few weeks I have written articles intended to help you get better at sales conversion. My focus has been on preparing for the sale via preparing for the steps that happen before you ask for the order (e.g. planning your opening, crafting your key messages and planning for objections). My rationale for this is born from our experience in sales team training. Often business operators engage us to run sales training aimed at developing closing skills when in fact their team’s weakness lies in other areas (e.g. Opening, presenting Features and Benefits, Handling Objections etc.).
Assuming you are well prepared in all of the key stages that lead up to the sale it is then time to focus on specific techniques for gaining commitment.
Why an Incomplete List of Sales Conversion Techniques?
Your list is likely to be forever incomplete for two reasons.
Firstly, in keeping with the principles of best practice and continuous improvement there is no need for your list to be complete. Rather, your list can be a living document.
A list that is constantly evolving as your team find more effective techniques for converting prospects to customers.
That is, for communicating to prospects that your business, products and services have the ability to best satisfy their needs.
Secondly, the list of approaches and subsequent variations to sales conversion techniques is limitless. We are dealing with unique humans tailoring their personalities and skills to other unique humans. The players in each sales interaction each contribute their own combination of history and frame of reference to the scenario.
Even developing a list of Sales Conversion Techniques that is tailored to the various broad market segments that a business deals with can be challenging.
In fact, this challenge is typically outside the scope of what most businesses can do justice to.
The Closing Techniques Register
What we need though, is a short-list of the most effective and most applicable techniques for closing.
The Closing Techniques Register is intended to force you to bring to a head your preparation and analysis of approaches to closing and gaining commitment.
It is simply a document in which you summarise a list of the closing techniques that have been found to be most effective by your sales team. This provides you with a central repository for which your team can draw upon for routine training as well as new sales staff induction training.
As I have mentioned before, the days of brash “sign here and press hard” sales closing techniques are thankfully gone.
However, for most businesses and their sales teams there will be some approaches to asking for commitment that are more effective than others. It is these high-priority Sales Conversion Techniques that belong in your Closing Techniques Register.
The Incomplete List – the first three
Here are three approaches that I have found most effective for sales teams to adopt and apply to a variety of sales scenarios.
- The Direct Close – Yes, you guessed it. This is where you simply ask the prospect for commitment. “Would you like to purchase this/proceed” etc. This technique can be used at any stage in the sales process where you notice buying signals. This technique strikes me as the most honest and straightforward. It is also my personal favourite.
- The Dual Choice Close – This is where you help the prospect bring their decision-making to a close by providing them with two choices. Both choices obviously involve a purchase. This only works if you have completed the ground work to help the prospect understand that both choices have the ability of satisfying their needs. You also need to have received plenty of buying signals to use this technique.
- The Assumptive Close – This is where you literally take a positive attitude to the sale right from the beginning. You take the approach that the prospect has already decided to become a customer and tailor your language and approach accordingly. Again, this technique only works if you have completed the ground work in illustrating that your offering best satisfies the needs of the prospect. Benefits of this technique include putting the sales person and potentially the prospect in a more positive frame of mind.
How to Complete the List?
Feel free to email me or post a comment below if you have additional Sales Closing Techniques to add to this list.
Inside your own business I suggest that you integrate the concept of the Closing Techniques Register within your routine sales training and development program.
Your sales team can then contribute to and build upon a continuously growing and evolving repertoire of Sales Closing Techniques.
Of course to get good at actually implementing your Sales Closing Techniques you and your team need practice. Sales Role-Plays are a very powerful technique for practicing and perfecting your sales team’s skills in closing.
What if they say No?
Of course, if you receive a “No” to your request for commitment be sure to ask “Why Not?”. Or better still, refer to last week’s article on handling objections.
Again, feel free to email me or comment if you have additional Sales Closing Techniques to add to this list.