8 Critical Sales Tips To Closing

For salespeople, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to close a deal, especially when you thought you just gave a persuasive pitch. You have confidently and enthusiastically run through the features and benefits of your product, yet you often end up with prospective clients telling you, “I have to think about it and get back to you.” Only you never hear from them again.

Here are some tips to turn your sales presentation around and handle objections effectively, so that you will sell to close.

Effective sales presentation

Follow the 80/20 rule – 80 per cent should be about how you plan to solve their challenges, while only 20 per cent of the presentation should be about your product and company. Customise your presentation to target the prospects’ needs, show you care about their problems and make them like and trust you.

1. Find out about your prospects.

You need to understand the prospect’s challenges, needs and wants, so you can determine how the product can solve their problems and satisfy their desires. The sales presentation must come after this discussion, not before it. In this way, you can make your pitch relevant by addressing the prospects’ primary concerns. Don’t spill out every benefit your product has to offer since prospects only care about the product features that address their specific challenges.

2. Ask questions.

When you ask the right questions, the prospect realises the value your product can bring. Some questions you should ask:

  • Who else besides yourself might be involved in the decision-making process?

  • What are the challenges you face with the current product (if they are replacing a product)?

  • What would solving these challenges mean to you?

  • What would you like to change about the current product?

  • What specific needs do you require?

  • What could you see investing to accomplish that?

3. Build Rapport.

Effective communication is 55 per cent body language, 38 percent tone and only 7 percent words. Build tonality into your words and use body language to influence the prospect and lower the barriers to trust. When speaking, you can adopt different tones such as using a presupposing tone to make a benefit of using the product obvious; emphasizing on important words; dropping your voice to imply scarcity; and using an engaging, interested tone to ask questions. Match and mirror the other person’s actions and maintain eye contact to establish instant rapport. Using gestures while speaking to illustrate your point also makes the presentation more impactful.

4. Use effective language patterns to influence.

A powerful technique is to use presuppositions. Always talk as if the sale has already been made, for example, say, “After you’ve used our product, you will notice...” Another persuasive technique is to match the preferred sensory modes of your prospect, so they are more likely to trust you and listen to you. People process information using their senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste. So if your prospect is more visual, paint a picture of him and his family enjoying the product and feeling happy with his purchase because of the products’ benefits.

Handling objections

Before acting on the objection, understand the thought and emotion behind it, whether it is based on fact, past experience or perception. Here are some techniques to overcome objections.

5. Feel, Felt, Found.

Empathise with your prospect, then tell them about others who felt the same way, and share how these people found the reason to take up the product. For example, say, “I understand you feel about that. Many others have felt the same way. And what they have found is that...”

6. Reframe.

Reframing can alter perception by changing a negative viewpoint or weakness into something positive. For example, if your prospect thinks your company is too small, you can reframe this by sharing examples of other clients who also had the same concerns, however they now realise the benefits of working with a smaller company that is dedicated, quick to respond and willing to listen to individual concerns.

7. ‘Tipping the bucket’.

This involves asking for more objections when your prospects object. This will give you the advantage of knowing all their reasons not to buy, and enable you to reframe the situation instead of having to fend off more objections later while trying to sell.

8. Show Them The Value.

You would have found out what’s important to your prospect from your questions. Show them what their business or personal life would be like without your product. When you uncover a pain point, encourage the prospect to quantify the problem in business and personal terms, and then show them that purchasing your product can resolve the issue and is therefore worth the investment.

- Leroy Frank Ratnam, CEO and Master Trainer, Sales Excellence Institute

Country Director, Sales & Marketing Institute International (SMI) -