The way consumers make purchasing decisions is constantly changing, so it's important to continually reevaluate your sales strategy with your staff. Selling any type of product or service can be a fine line to walk--you have to find that perfect balance between being persuasive but not arrogant or annoying.
This takes careful planning, but fortunately with a solid strategy in place you can make sure your company is staying consistent and closing more deals.
You have to remember that when trying to make a sale, the customer needs to come first. Below are some of the most effective strategies to help close your sales faster:
1. Identify the decision maker.
No matter what industry you are in, knowing the decision maker is crucial to a quick close. Many times the decision makers will send someone else into the fire to learn all of the information they can about your company. If this is the case, be sure to put yourself into the head of the decision maker so that you can customize your sales pitch to that person's interests, even if they aren't there.
Of course, your best-case scenario is that you sit down with the decision maker. Do whatever you can to setup a meeting with that person.
2. Be real.
A client can sense if you are being genuine during the sales process. In other words, it's important to convey to the client that you care about their business and not just the deal. Coming off too calculated can turn people off; however, remember that there is nothing wrong with being prepared. It's okay to appear like you're ready for every question that comes your way, just simply don't act like you don't care about the customer's best interests.
3. Create a sense of urgency.
Attach a deadline to the deal to help give the client an incentive to commit. Whether it's a discount or something free, make them feel like they have the upper hand. This does not mean rush the customer; it simply means try to give them a little extra reason why your product or service is the right choice, and the right choice right now.
4. Overcome objections.
Preparing the sales presentation to address and overcome potential objections can speed up any deal. If something catches you off-guard, you might need to take some time to think up a solution. In a past Inc. article published here, sales expert Tom Searcy calls this having a "landmine map." By having an outline of anticipated problems and a thoughtful analysis of the risks, you can reduce the resistance.
I highly recommend sitting down with your entire sales team and having each person come up with objections they might anticipate. Give them your sales pitch and see if there are any objections you and your team may have missed.
5. Know your competition.
Competing for business is tough. Knowing the areas that you are more competitive than your competition can lead to that quick close. Again, this is all about preparation. Do your research and make sure that you make note of something that you are doing that your competition is not. This is oftentimes the biggest selling point, so you don't want to ignore it.
6. Watch what you say!
Don't put your foot in your mouth. Keep it to the point and focus on your areas of expertise. You want to be real and personable, but you have to remain professional.