The Sales Consultancy Blog
Closing a Sale in 5 Minutes
25 August 2011
How frustrating is it when you put in lots of hard work for little or no reward?
Perhaps you’ve been working on a tender for a big contract only to see it cancelled, or awarded to a competitor? Or you’ve given a fabulous sales presentation, only for the meeting to grind towards its end with no sign of a sale?
Maybe you’ve quoted and you just can’t get an answer no matter how often you contact them? What about when you think you’ve been fobbed off - they probably don’t want your products but they won’t tell you outright so you keep contacting them ‘just in case’?
We’ve all been there - it’s frustrating and time consuming. The dilemma - do you chase old ‘maybe’ business or spend more time generating new enquiries?
Closing a Sale in 5 Minutes…
The meeting’s gone well. You’ve got a fabulous connection with your prospect. Rapport levels are high. They seem attentive. They seem interested. You’ve impressively answered some minor objections that came your way. Yet there’s something that’s holding you back from asking outright for the business.
What to do next?
Three Killer Questions. Before you embark on the first question, make sure you have good levels of rapport with your prospect. If there is any ‘edge’ present, these questions won’t work. With fabulous rapport, they always deliver.
So, back to your meeting. It’s coming to an end and you need to close the sale.
Question Number 1
At the end of your conversation, ask:
On a scale from 1 to 10 – 1 meaning “it’s over…don’t darken our door again” and 10 meaning “we want you to start straight away”…where would you say we are?
THEN…SHUT UP! This is critical to ensure you give the silence that allows your contact to think.
Give them time. Allow your prospect to respond. They will give you a number. Don’t be too attached to the number. The golden nugget is their response to the next question.
Question Number 2
What would need to happen to get us to a 10?
SHUT UP! Again…this is critical. Give them more time to think.
Allow your prospect to respond.
You have now identified the gap between what you’re offering and what your client needs from you before they can say ‘yes’. You now know how close you are to securing the deal.
If you are able to resolve the gap immediately you’ll be able to close the deal there and then.
Some answers will alert you that these prospects are unlikely to ever buy. Disappointing yes but good to know there and then not several weeks and many follow ups later.
Question Number 3
What would you like me to do next?
Their answer is usually like all the jigsaw pieces falling into place. They are explaining exactly what the next course of action is - talking as if you’re already on board.
Agree on the next course of action and be sure to maintain your control by agreeing when you will get back to them.
Asking these questions will change your sales results! They identify how close you are to a sale, they identify how big the gap is - and exactly what you need to do to bridge the gap. And you both decide whether or not you have the means to bridge the gap. All usually in a few minutes.
By slightly tweaking these questions you can use the ‘out of ten’ technique in other situations - for example staff appraisals and job satisfaction surveys come to mind.
Hope this technique brings you lots of success.
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