I feel that it’s important to know beforehand what the purpose of the call is. Do you want to…
- Set up an appointment?
- Ask for a sale?
- Gather information?
- Make sure your customer is happy with your services?
I think that most people find the close to be the most difficult part of the presentation when in fact it’s possibly the easiest. The truth of the matter is that the close is really about asking for what you want but more importantly knowing what it is that you want. In any business deal you need to be able to “seal the deal” by asking for it. Nothing is going to come to you by being mild mannered. When I teach my workshops, it soon becomes apparent that not only do the attendees not remember to ask for the sale/appointment but they aren’t even sure that they should. You can’t be afraid to ask for what you want assuming that you’ve laid the ground work to warrant a request for a meeting. Hence the reason that asking enough probing questions is so important. Many sales people make the mistake of asking a few questions and then immediately go for the appointment, which I think is always a mistake. The purpose for asking a probing question is to
- Open a dialogue between you and the prospect
- Get the prospect to acknowledge the fact that they need your services
- Get an understanding of what their needs are and the priority in moving the company forward.
- Determine if there is a need for your particular services (just because a prospect needs a graphic designer doesn’t mean they need your services.)
- Determine if it’s a good fit (not everyone you speak with is someone you want to do business with).
Once you’ve covered all of the bases and have gathered enough data to warrant an appointment then it’s time to tell the prospect more about your services before you ask for the appointment or sale (assuming that’s the purpose of the call.). But even before you do that, go through the information that the prospect has given you and read it back to them. What you’re doing at this point is re-affirming to the prospect that you’ve listened and that you have a clear understanding of their needs thereby qualifying the information. After you’ve done that follow up with this statement “based on the information you’ve given me I’d like to..
- Set up an appointment
- Offer a service or product with a price
You always want to sell or set the appointment based on their need rather than your service which is the reason you wait until the close to divulge a lot of info on your services.
Don’t worry if the deal doesn’t go through the first time. It’s all right. The important thing is that you’ve asked for what you want. If the person is interested in moving forward at this time, simply ask “is there any particular reason”? Never ask “why not”? It puts prospects on the defensive. Once you’ve asked the question, sit back and wait for the answer. This technique will not come to you over night so don’t worry if it doesn’t come to you right away. Good Luck
Dedicated to Christine M. Kopacz
A kind and generous soul taken from this earth way too soon.