Any good entrepreneur has to be able to sell. After all, a business just isn’t a business without a customer. To make sure your business is healthy and has a consistent revenue pipeline, you have to be closing the sale on a regular basis.
This is where a lot of business owners get hung up. Closing seems tricky. Should you ask for the buy outright? Gather more information? How long should you wait before making your ask?
I hear from a lot of clients who have a hard time with this, the final step of turning a prospect into a customer. I tell them that it all comes down to what their pain points are and what their impulse points are. Then I outline four back-of-the-napkin tactics they can use to dramatically improve their close rate.
Prepare for the signature.
Come to the pitch prepared for the client to sign off. So many sales reps bring a pitch or a PowerPoint but not a proposal. How are you going to get a signature when they’ve got nothing to sign?
Whenever you can, bring a proposal. Look like you know this game and have done it a million times. If you’re in a PowerPoint environment, when you’ve completed the presentation bring the proposal out and place it on the table. The client will know what it is because it should be the last slide of your deck. Pass the proposal out as you get to the last slide so everyone can follow along as you explain the offer. Connect the experience to the purchase.
If they hesitate, get to the bottom of the issue.
Sometimes your prospect may seem like they are going to turn into a pumpkin right before you thought you would get a signature. If they tell you they’d like to move forward but will revise the proposal and send it back via email, that may cause a lag in your sales cycle or even lead to the sale growing cold and going bad.
So what do you do? Simple: revise your already prepared proposal via pen, have them sign, and offer to send a final once you get back to the office. If they insist on the email process, ask them before you send it over if there is any reason why they might not commit. Tell them you want to be thorough and solve any issues they may have so you can address all of their pain points. You’ll learn a lot about your offer and your pitch by asking this question, so listen closely to how they respond.
Try not to leave the room without a commitment. Dedicate yourself to it.
Be direct but not too sales-y.
You want to make sure everyone knows what your job is, but you don’t want to come across as aggressive or in-your-face. The best way to do so is to get them excited about their experience. Become vested in their lives. How will your product or service shape or change their lives? Get excited about that change for them. Your eagerness to close will then come across as genuine because it is genuine.
There is a bonus to this: if you don’t care about your customers, that’s a sign that you aren’t living the life you want to live. So take note of whose life you want to get involved in and you will have a better understanding of whether or not how you are spending your time is fulfilling to you.
Accept feedback and adjust your pitch.
None of us are perfect at closing the sale. It’s a lifelong art form you study and improve over time through knowledge and understanding of the prospects you are selling. Over the course of your career, you will see all kinds of different potential buyers. Use each experience of each pitch to improve the next sale.