Experiencing rejection and/or being stuck trying to close a sale is one of the most frustrating situations that can interrupt one’s focus. Wondering thoughts of not being good enough or asking yourself “are they going to go with this agreement” can cause significant anxiety. Plain and simple, this can totally disrupt a salesperson’s ability to move on mentally and look for other opportunities. Any agreement that has stalled creates a loss of control, and can even cause pure desperation to do anything before the white flag is thrown in.
Closing is the “be all” and “end all” in sales. It’s the moment when all your efforts come together, the big payoff, the win. It’s the moment when all your time and energy you’ve spent is rewarded – but what happens if you can’t close? There’s nothing more frustrating to us as human beings then seeing an opportunity get stuck to your shoe like gum that stretches and sticks but won’t come off – and sometimes sales agreements that are stuck or lost can stick in someone’s mind far past the end of the sales process.
Closing is the easiest thing to do when you have the right thoughts that have been planned out to guide you, and is the most difficult obstacle to overcome when you don’t. Once you are able to TRULY put yourself in the customer’s shoes and understand their fears and concerns as if they were your own, you will surge to an incredible level of success in your efforts.
Here are the 5 key components to consider during a difficult sale:
- What are the positives to what you’re proposing? What’s the return on investment? The return on value? Prestige vs efficiency? Be able to clearly and efficiently communicate the positive aspects of your proposition.
- What is the cause of the customer’s fear of making a change? MOST people fear change, and that is something that has to be addressed not by pushing the sale, but by taking the fear away ONE PROBLEM AND ONE SOLUTION AT A TIME.
- Emotions vs Logic. Is the person an emotional buyer or a logical one? How can you best appeal to their way of thinking?
- Keep it simple. Sales can be exhausting for the potential customer – and the more complicated you make it, the more the fear of change will flourish into a stalled opportunity or even a total loss of the sale.
- Have you addressed their POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE TRIGGERS? Nothing will make closing a sale take longer than when a potential customer thinks that you don’t understand them and their concerns. If the sale won’t close, then that is due to AN OBJECTION that has not been tapped into and sufficiently resolved. For example, if the customer had a bad experience in the past, uncover what it was and then problem solve – thereby unlocking the door to building trust by building value mutually in both the customer and yourself.
To delve even deeper, here are the questions you should ask yourself during the process:
- Are you flexible? Are you presenting only one option to go with, or have you prepared several different possible choices to select from? Think of this analogy: If you’re a pitcher on a professional baseball team and you only know how to throw one pitch, think of how much that limits both your effectiveness as a player and your value to your team. Without being able to present the customer with a range of options to choose from, then the only other course of action besides the one you’ve presented is to not close at all.
- Do you understand the positive power of “no”? All the word “no” means is “not right now” – or even better, that you’ve uncovered something that the customer could be very concerned about. Think of the word “no” as the customer saying the following: “Take away my concerns one at a time, and give me something I can say yes to.” If the customer doesn’t like any of the options you’ve presented, then you still have learned how to better streamline your approach for the next time, and you’ve made a new contact in your network.
- Are you burning your bridges? A customer who says “no” today might say “yes” next month or next year. Thank someone for their time, even if they don’t say yes that day. Many times, when someone observes that you behave graciously and respectfully even after a rejection, it raises your esteem in their eyes and makes them more inclined to say “yes” the second time around.
- Are you following up? Follow up with a customer after you’ve closed them (and even if you haven’t closed them.) If they didn’t say yes, follow up regardless to thank them for their time and ask them what you can do better! It’s very important to understand that this is the real learning curve.
Remember this: Failure is just disguised success. A first “no” during a sale is nothing more than just a temporarily delayed “yes.” By empowering yourself with the right tools you will be able to turn any sales situation into a victory, and enable yourself to reach even greater heights in your career.
– Tim S. Marshall, Author of “The Power of Breaking Fear”
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