Successful entrepreneurs are often natural at sales. But closing a tough sale requires more than a winning personality. As any sales veteran will tell you, closing can be tricky, and there are many places where a false move can delay or derail a sale. You can boost your odds of completing the deal simply by avoiding these three classic closing mistakes:
- Not asking for the business. This is by far the most common mistake in sales. You would think it would be obvious: Either you ask for the business or you don’t. But asking for business is more of an art than a science. Good, clear questions lead to successful closes but are often confused with requests for opinion and ambiguous queries, which do little more than lead to other questions. Rely on these classic closing techniques to help cut to the chase:
- Summarize all the things the prospect said they want from a product or service. Use the notes you’ve collected throughout the sales process to show how buying from you satisfies these needs.
- Highlight the extra benefits that your prospect will receive with your company’s product or service.
- Paint a positive emotional picture of how the prospect will feel when they use your product or service.
- Show that the product is within the prospect’s budget. If the price is a bit lower than expected, get them excited about it.
- Ignoring the prospect’s signals. Selling is more about listening than it is about talking. Your prospect may be ready to buy and you could be too busy talking to notice. After you’ve asked closing questions, stop talking. Let the prospect answer. It’s tempting to keep selling when you should be listening, but you’ll do a lot better if you learn to stop when you’ve said enough.
- Becoming jaded. Attitude is everything in sales. Don’t let past experience negatively affect your closing techniques. And don’t let your successes cloud the circumstances of the current situation. Getting too caught up in the success or failure of each interaction can also be a problem. The best salespeople treat each new prospect as if they were the first and most exciting customer in town.
Check out Tips for Closing a Sale for a few basic pointers to demystify this process.