How to close a deal.
Long gone are the days when being a salesperson automatically meant you had to grow a forked tongue and a pair of horns. Today’s world of sales is all about relationships and trust. Which is all well and good, but how do you go about sealing the deal in this age of niceties? SPOT THE SIGNS It may be subtle, but people will give off signals when they’re ready to close, says Shane Gibson, president of Knowledge Brokers North America and author of Closing Bigger: The Field Guide to Closing Bigger Deals. “Non-verbal buying signals would be the fact that their posture has changed from closed to open or they’ve got continual positive body language, like open arms, nodding their heads, good eye contact,” explains Gibson. Questions about financing options, discounts and warranties also indicate the buyer is ready to commit. ALWAYS BE CLOSING The old ABC of selling is often misunderstood, says Knowledge Brokers North America’s Shane Gibson. It doesn’t mean you have to constantly push a sale, but that you seal the next step. “Where most salespeople fail is they’ll have a great meeting and write a proposal for you, but they don’t set up a time to follow up; they don’t close you in the next step.” Close something, urges Gibson. “Close them getting their boss into the boardroom next week. Close them doing a demo or doing a smaller order to get to know you. Close something to keep it moving.” GO HOME If you can get into your prospective client’s home with a consultation, says Dennis Parsonson at Commercial Electronics, you’re almost there. “It tells you they trust you, and you’re going to learn a lot about them when you’re there.” After a visit, says Parsonson, “I’m able to see the products now through the eyes of the residents and say, ‘This could go above your such-and-such,’ or ‘Wouldn’t this match your floor?’ Now you’re their ally and friend and you know what makes them tick.” CREATE SCARCITY Dennis Parsonson, a veteran of high-end electronics sales at Commercial Electronics Ltd., says one of his favourite tactics is to create a sense of scarcity. Once a consumer has voiced interest in a particular model, he’ll say, “This isn’t something we necessarily have. Let me check if we have it” – that’s even if Parsonson knows it’s in stock. “When you come back and say, ‘Yeah, we do,’ then they’re pleased. That sense of scarcity means it’s special and unique.” PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE James Au, who sold more than 300 cars last year at Brian Jessel BMW, says he recently had a customer wanting to buy a car for their daughter. He asked how long they wanted the car to last. Ten years, came the answer. Au upgraded them to a model that cost $4,000 more by explaining, “Over 10 years, $4,000 is $3 a day, and you get a better car. That’s the cost of a bubble tea a day.” The result? “Done, sold!”