The Sales Process, Part 4: Closing the Deal
Now that your prospect trusts you and agrees that your product offers value, it’s time to close the deal. In Part 4 of The Sales Process, we talk about the final stages of closing the deal.
Getting a prospect to commit to a deal fairly quickly is a quality of great sales reps and business owners. The key is making sure the right people with the right approval power are brought into the process as the sale progresses. Reps must continually ask questions, assess the prospect’s needs and reinforce what the prospect is interested in buying. You should ask “Is this helpful? Is this how you envision it?” and other confirming questions. By engaging the prospect with buying power to acknowledge again and again that you’re offering them real value, it pushes them to commit to a deal.
Ask for an order when you are sure the prospect is ready. If you ask too soon, you will appear pushy and high-pressure. If you ask too late, you will appear unprofessional and disinterested in the business. As you gain experience, you will develop the ability to know when this sweet spot is in front of you. Many prospects will try to delay the closing date a few weeks or months, and you or your rep may be trying to reach a monthly or quarterly goal for the team. In this case, establish a timeline, and push the prospect to sign using a compelling event to show how the prospect is missing out on revenue by not having the product in place now. With the right combination of appropriate pressure and value offered, reps can close deals sooner.
Post-Sale Relationship Management
First, it’s important to be appreciative for the business, regardless of whether you think the customer will buy from you again. This is common sense and common courtesy. Sales reps who are genuinely appreciative are the ones who typically grow professionally and become masters of their craft. You don’t want your customers churning later and defecting to a competitor – instead, you want customers who were delighted with their experience to refer you to other customers. Even 10 years later, if you have built your customer base with honor, good service and a thankful spirit, your customers are likely to always be your customers, even when both of you are in new and different companies. Relationships really matter; it’s that simple.
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