For salespeople, sometimes getting a sale feels like pulling teeth. In those moments, you may wish for a way that prospects would close the deal themselves. Believe it or not, there is a sales strategy that if you nail it down, will improve your closing ratio like magic…
Planting Seeds to Close the Deal
As I said, there is a step in the sales cycle that makes you an infinitely stronger closer when perfected…
THAT SAID, IT RELIES ON YOUR WEALTH OF PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE TO WORK.
The reason why that is will be clear in just a moment. But before we go any further, you must know everything about your products and offers.
Otherwise, your chances of closing deals will be slashed before you even start.
The sales process builds upon itself. That means if one piece is weak, the whole deal can fall apart.
For that reason, you have to plant the seeds to close the deal early on with the buyer. In fact, getting customers to close starts much sooner than most salespeople think.
It begins with asking quality, qualifying questions. Then getting real answers during your fact-finding…
How Fact-Finding Helps Clients Close the Deal
Many sales professionals rush through the fact-finding process, That’s because they don’t fully understand its purpose.
There are two main objectives to fact-finding…
- Discover the customer’s needs and how they make decisions.
- Determine which product to present and how to demonstrate it.
A true understanding of what the prospect needs and how they make choices are clues to closing the sales deal.
For example, the guy who leased his prior truck is more than likely going to do the same on his next one…
Or, if he loves his current vehicle except that it’s a manual — show him something similar with an automatic.
PEOPLE WILL SHOW YOU EXACTLY HOW TO CLOSE THEM IF YOU KNOW WHAT TO ASK.
On top of this valuable data, qualifying questions also save you a lot of time as you move through the sale.
Yes, you save time by finding the “right one” in your inventory that solves their problems quickly. But, you can also get ahead of future obstacles…
Solid Questions Identify Problems Sooner, Rather than Later
Unfortunately, potential customers have become wary of salespeople because of the unethical behavior of some in the past…
THEREFORE, BUYERS TEND TO KEEP A LOT OF INFORMATION CLOSE TO THE CHEST.
Namely, important, yet unspoken objections or other decision-makers essential to close the deal.
This is where fact-finding questions are a lifesaver. They reveal the customer’s complaints, stalls, and money issues before they’re a problem and allow the client to save face.
IN SHORT, YOU CAN PREDICT AND HANDLE PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN AND SLOW DOWN THE SALE.
By now, I believe I have made my case for mastering this sales step. So, I’m going to give you what you’re itching to know — the types of questions to ask.
Real Questions that Get REAL Answers
Earlier, I told you the two purposes of the qualifying step — to identify customers’ needs and buying behaviors.
YOU MUST KNOW BOTH TO CLOSE THE DEAL.
As such I will give you examples of questions that determine each of them. Feel free to adapt them to your industry and products.
The secret to these questions’ success is knowing how your product will solve the issues important to the customer. Keep that in mind when asking them to your potential clients…
Inquiring About Needs
As you go through this list, notice the differences in the wording in these examples versus what you use now. Then make the appropriate changes to suit your business…
Tell me how you currently handle (the problem your product or service solves)?
What do you wish you could change about your current (similar product)?
How much time/money would it save you if you could fix (client’s stated issue)?
If you have been paying attention, you will see a pattern here.
ALL OF THESE EXAMPLES HELP THE CUSTOMERS CLOSE THE DEAL FOR THEMSELVES BEFORE YOU EVEN GET TO THE PRESENTATION.
Now that you have got them thinking, it’s time to look at how they make buying decisions…
Discovering Buyer Behaviors
To find out the way your prospect buys, you have to ask about their past purchases. Further, some of these questions may be uncomfortable for you to ask…
GOOD! BECAUSE HARD QUESTIONS WILL BRING YOU CLOSER TO CLOSING THE DEAL.
These are a few for you to consider adding to your arsenal…
Who else was involved in making these purchases other than yourself?
How do you justify an investment of this size?
When was the last time you bought this kind of product/service? (Get answer) Great. Tell me about that.
All of these follow-up questions are designed to get you real, powerful information that supports the close later on.
However, none of it will help if you don’t retain it. This is why I’ll give you a pro tip that is priceless…
A Bad Pen is Better than A “Good” Memory
I’m telling you that a legal pad and pen are a sales rep’s best friend.
SO, KEEP THESE SUPPLIES WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES AND TAKE DETAILED NOTES.
Your notes should be clear and comprehensive. So much so, that another salesperson or manager could look over them and know everything you covered with this prospect.
Don’t worry about how it looks to the customer either. It just shows them that you have their best interests at heart.
At this point, you are going to take this data and use it to show your buyers exactly what they’ve been looking for…
Showing the Buyer What They Want
Now, it’s showtime — the product presentation. You should have an overall plan for demonstrating your product every time.
AT THE SAME TIME, BASED ON YOUR FACT-FINDING ANSWERS, FOCUS HEAVILY ON WHAT THE CUSTOMER SAYS IS IMPORTANT TO THEM.
Sometimes, you can even skip showing certain product features and get the deal to a close faster with quality client data. I suggest you do your entire presentation until you are a master closer.
But once your certainty — and closing ratio — are high enough, your demos will look as smooth as this…
Remember, practice makes perfect.
So take your time and keep training. Because how well you fact-find and effectively present your offer sets you up for success in the negotiations…
Using Their Words to Close the Deal
Another benefit of fact-finding is that it helps you structure your proposal. Plus, you gain the high ground in the negotiation process.
How this works is simple…
YOU USE THEIR PRIORITIES TO JUSTIFY THE PRICE AND THE CLOSE.
Here are some illustrations of how this works…
The prospect says they don’t like that their current vehicle doesn’t have a leather interior. That validates the extra $1,000 it costs to install it when they say, “The price is too high.” After all, they said they wanted the leather.
Or, they say they are here today because their current washer is falling apart. Well, when they try and stall with, “I need to think about it,” you should remind them their dirty clothes won’t wait.
Of course, you always say these things with a positive attitude and lean on logic. And doing so takes a lot of closing material and roleplay to deliver smoothly.
The takeaway here is even when the buyer knows they want your product and need it, you still must insist on closing the deal…
Customers will ALWAYS Need YOU to Close the Deal
Modern consumers have more information than ever before. Despite this, salespeople will always have a role to play in the marketplace…
BECAUSE IF CUSTOMERS COULD TRULY CLOSE THE DEAL THEMSELVES, THEY WOULD’VE BOUGHT ALREADY.
For that reason, mastering fact-finding and the road to the sale is key to becoming a solid closer.
Either way, the information in this article will supercharge your sales.
So, fact-find thoroughly and be great.
— Grant Cardone
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