Last month we discussed the importance of clarifying objections in the sales process and getting behind the reason for the objection before providing the appropriate information to satisfy your client. So now that we think we’ve resolved all the objections and our client is looking comfortable. How do we go about closing the sale?
Many salespeople will go straight for the jugular with a closed question such as ‘Would you like to go ahead with that now’ or ‘Do we have a deal?’
We don’t think this is the best way to do it!
If you do ask a question like ‘Would you like to go ahead?’ it’s fine if the client answers ‘yes’, but if they answer ‘no’ you’ve ended up in a place where you didn’t really want to be. Yes you can retrieve the situation but you’ll wish you hadn’t put yourself in the position to get a no to start with. A bit like driving down a cul-de-sac, yes you can reverse out but with cars parked on both sides it will be tricky and you’d simply rather not have gone down there in the first place.
The issue with asking a closed question is that you’re giving your client an ultimatum. Do you want to work with us, yes or no? If they have any further objections, you’re forcing them to answer in the negative.
We think you should ask an open question such as ‘How do you feel about our proposal?’. By doing this you give them the opportunity to raise any further objections, but without getting a negative response. If they do have further objections you want them on the table so that you can deal with them. If the objections stay in your clients’ head they won’t agree to do business with you.
Going one step further back we also believe that the better you explore the needs of your client in the first place (before going into solution mode) the easier closing the sale will be. If you fully understand their needs, recommend solutions to meet these needs and point out the benefits of your solution as they relate to the clients’ needs, why wouldn’t they want to do business with you?
As ever, it’s all about the needs of the client rather than the need of the salesperson to meet their sales target!