How many times have you had this kind of experience selling your products or service…?
You get a phone call from a potential prospect. You chat, and there seems to be a real connection. They’re interested in what you offer so you schedule that first, free “get-to-know-you” meeting or no-charge consultation.
The meeting goes great! You like each other, and it seems you do indeed have something they need. Now you’re on a roll and excited about this awesome new client you’re pretty sure you’ve landed.
Then that’s it. Even though they seem to like you and want what you offer, they don’t hire you or buy. And no future meetings are scheduled. Somehow the hungry fish you had on the line just slipped right off your hook (again), and you’re not entirely sure why.
4 Simple Steps to More Sales
Frankly there could be any number of reasons why you lost the sale. But rather than focus on the negatives, let’s examine a simple 4-step formula that works like a charm to close sales.
Best of all, it works for even the most sales-phobic entrepreneur, because this method isn’t about trying to sell at all. It’s about getting to know your prospect’s wants, needs and problems, making a connection, and explaining how you can help.
Step #1: Forget About You and Focus On Them
Get to know your prospect by asking questions, and listening much more than talking. Find out what they do, what their goals are, and why they haven’t been able to reach them yet. Try to uncover their biggest problems and desires, and what they think they need.
Step #2: Problems, Solutions and Benefits
Once you understand their problems, wants and needs, simply explain how you can help. Ideally give examples of how you’ve helped others with similar problems. And use stats and specific numbers whenever possible when discussing results (e.g., “In 3 months I was able to help so-and-so double their revenues.”).
Remember, it’s still not about you and what you do or sell…it’s about them and what they need. So focus on results and benefits more than processes. Prospects must understand what’s in it for them or they aren’t going to buy.
Step #3: Check In
Let them know what you believe you can do for them. Then ask, “If I could do X for you, would that solve your problems or help you achieve your goals?” (Feel free to paraphrase here.).
If they say yes, you’re one giant step closer to making the sale. Move on to Step #4.
If they say no, you need to find out why. Chances are you’ve either misunderstood their wants, needs or goals, or they didn’t share a critical piece of information. So return to Step #1, ask more questions, and then go through these steps again.
Step #4: Use the Assumptive Close
Once you’ve offered a solution they agree will help them reach their goals, it’s safe to assume they want to move forward. Who wouldn’t, right?
So don’t ask if they want to hire you or buy now. Tell them what happens next (e.g., “Great! I’m looking forward to helping you X. I’ll send you a proposal/contract tomorrow and we can get started”. Or, why don’t we go ahead and schedule our next meeting now. What days are best for you?”). Then make it so.
Voila! Sale closed.
Close the Loop & Close the Deal
If, for some reason, they start trying to wriggle off the hook now, you need to find out why so you can address the issue. So go back and start at Step #1 again.
Keep in mind, much like you won’t always catch a fish on the first cast, sometimes it’s going take more than one meeting or contact to make the sale—especially if what you’re selling is high priced. So be sure you have a solid process for following up with a thank you card, phone calls, and helpful information (NOT just sales pieces) via email and print.
Then, each time you speak with them, follow this simple process until you’ve closed the deal.