November 8, 2010 by Bob Hill
Posted in: closing, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, negotiating, sales management, Sales meeting ideas, training, Value
Not everyone can duplicate what makes a sales superstar great, but instilling these four traits in your salespeople could have a major impact on closing rates.
1. The ability to overcome ‘sales inertia’
For some salespeople, the biggest obstacle to closing is the fact that a prospect is reluctant to stop doing business with an incumbent supplier.
Instead of accepting the fact that prospects with incumbent suppliers aren’t worth the effort, top closers conduct precall research to uncover areas where the existing supplier is coming up short.
Top closers may also focus on benefits they offer that the existing supplier can’t, using them as a way of making the prospect consider a change.
In today’s competitive marketplace, there’s often very little that separates one company’s products and services from a competitor’s.
Top closers differentiate their offer by focusing on each sale from the prospect’s perspective. What motivates each prospect to buy? How does the prospect’s buying process work? What are his or her biggest needs and how can your company provide the ideal solution? These are the questions prospects want answers to.
Top closers may even contact others at the prospect’s company to learn more about the company’s goals, its mission and what the prospect values most.
3. The patience to gain one commitment at a time
Great salespeople don’t go into every sales situation expecting to close a prospect, at least not at first. Instead, they work to earn the prospect’s trust one commitment at a time.
The goal of the first meeting may be nothing more than to schedule a second meeting. After that, the goal of each sales call is to move the sale forward with small commitments — a demo, a free trial, an agreement to draw up a contract, etc.
When broken down into these small steps, the buying decision isn’t nearly as daunting, and the salesperson builds a worthwhile relationship at the same time.
4. The skill to develop partnerships
The number one complaint today’s buyers have about salespeople is that they don’t abide by the prospect’s buying process.
Top closers work with prospects early on to understand how their buying process works. Then they create a timeline based on when the prospect is looking to make a buying decision.
The more a salesperson is viewed as an advocate (and an ally), the better the chance he/she will ultimately win more business.
Based in part on the book Sales Presentation Techniques: That Really Work by Stephan Schiffman