sales closing techniques

How To Quickly Kill A Sale In 2021

Sales Mistakes to Avoid in 2021

It’s easy to quickly kill a sale especially in 2021 when the world is a bit more confusing already.

Some of these things are mistakes I’ve made, even with being in sales for a long time. Because we are forced to do things differently to stay relevant and keep selling. There are times I make a mistake, or do or say something I wish I could take back, but it’s too late and now I’m in damage control. 

And I’m going to talk about the mistakes I see myself and other salespeople  making in 2021 – so you have the most up-to-date information. 

How to Quickly Kill a Sale
How to Kill a Sale

Mistake number 1 – not being prepared for the sale.

I think the biggest mistake is to not have everything you need ready and where you can find it easily.

Let’s talk about virtual sales calls –

Make a list of anything you might need, including email addresses and phone numbers. There are times during a virtual call that someone will ask me to email them something they need immediately, while we are still on the call.

Actually, I like to have two computers, or a computer and an iPad going at the same time. That way, I can stay on the zoom or WebEx call with them, and email them anything they ask for right then.

My goal is to not give them any reason to end the virtual call, or to have to set another meeting. Because I have found when this happens, it can go on forever, back and forth. This increase the chance of killing the sale. Being prepared can shorten the time of the sale significantly and increase your odds of closing the sale quickly.

I’ve also used this strategy so that I can email and send a link to someone else my prospect says should be on the call, after we have started.  Even though I always ask this when I set the appointment originally. But things happen… Surprise!

So instead of rescheduling, I will reach out to the third party with the second phone, email them a link to the meeting, and get them on, too.

It feels like command central—two devices, two phones. I try to plan for anything I can do to stop any objections that are easily solved. It is so easy for the prospect to find “2020″ stalls. So be prepared –

Also, make sure you are both in the same place at the same time. Avoid quickly killing a sale before you even have a chance to start.

Confirm in advance with a link to the meeting and make sure you are both in the same room.

 Mistake number 2 – not following up on sales presentations.

It’s easy to get frustrated with the amount of times you have to follow up with some people. This is not anything new for us, but having that CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program, like Salesforce, to remind you to call or follow up with someone, will make your life so much easier.

It’s like having a built-in personal assistant to help you get through the day, and remind you about what you need to do, right? 

It also helps me to ensure that I get a certain amount of prospecting done each day. 

I’ve always liked the 10 before 10 rule. 10 calls before 10 AM. And if I don’t get that done, then I do the 10 at 5. It helps me keep the pipe my pipeline full, ensures I get to follow up with everyone, and I don’t leave any unclosed sales to fall through the cracks, or even worse, fall to a competitor because I didn’t follow up when I said I would.

People are looking for someone they can trust, now more than ever. And a quick phone call can go a long way to earning that trust and saving a sale.

 Mistake number 3 – not doing the research before you reach out to your prospect.

Find out as much about your prospect as possible, before you call or reach out to them. Without stalking them, of course. Are they on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram? The more you know, the more you will know the right questions to ask them. Which leads to…

Mistake number 4 – not asking the right questions

And I’ll add not listening carefully to their answers. There’s nothing worse than asking a prospect the same question twice, or asking a prospect something that they already told you five minutes ago.

By asking relevant questions and retaining the information they share with you, it shows you care enough about them and respect them enough to give them your undivided attention.

Write things down so you don’t forget. And put it in your seat or CRM later.

Prospects are impressed when you remember their dog’s name, their favorite sports team, or their favorite restaurant. It also gives you something to talk about later on. Just make sure you enter the right information under the right client—or you will quickly kill the sale.

Mistake number five – not creating a solution that will work for your prospect.

This, to me, is really a continuation of mistake number four, because if you don’t ask the right questions and listen carefully to the prospects answers, how can you offer a solution that is customized for them?

If you do not offer a solution that the prospect feels will work for them and solve a problem, the prospect will not buy from you. Give the prospect a chance to say yes instead of offering nothing relevant and killing the sale.

Mistake number 6 – not pressing the right buttons as you complete your sales presentation.

In our digital information age of entering information into our computers and creating a great proposal, make sure you have pressed all the buttons. Review the choices with your prospect before you show them the total, so you don’t have to readjust your final proposal.

It’s an instant trust (and sale) killer, especially if the updated total is significantly higher and you have to backtrack to explain why.

Reviewing your numbers first is also important when explaining financing terms. Quickly review your numbers before you give your prospects the information.

 My last way to quickly kill a sale is 

How to Kill a Sale Quickly in 2020

Mistake number 7  –  not showing the prospect The Next Step.

Including asking for the sale. Don’t assume that because your prospect is sitting in front of you (either in real time or virtually) and looking at your proposal, that they know what to do next.  Because most of them don’t.

There’s always that one that will say “Great, how do we get started?” But usually, you have to make the first move.

You can ask a simple closing question like, “Do you want to go with the extended payment or would you prefer to pay in full?”, or “So, what do you think the next step should be?” (It works — I was surprised, too!)

Or, if you have created the agreement/contract as you were doing your presentation, by pressing those buttons, just keep going. Create the agreement, give them the pen, and let them start signing.

By asking questions throughout your presentation, getting their buy-in with the mini-close questions, like “Which one do you prefer?”, many of your objections should already be eliminated by the time you ask for the sale.

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How To Ask For The Sale – Closing Techniques in Sales

Why Salespeople Don’t Ask For The Sale.

When you are coming to the end of your sales presentation, do you remember to ask for the sale? Do you tell your prospects what the next step is to work with you? I know it sounds simple, but is an important step that many of us miss, or even intentionally avoid. You may be a reluctant salesperson.

In the early days of my sales career, when I was so intent on giving that perfect presentation that I often lost track of how my customer was feeling. I hear this from customers all the time. And I quote this directly from a conversation with a prospect. “He or she (the salesperson) was so intent on their presentation, that they didn’t even ask what was Important to me (the customer). So after 30 minutes of us listening to them, (the salesperson), I had to go, and I didn’t do anything.” 

This is a real conversation, people. And unfortunately, I’ve heard it from more than one prospect! At which point, I get to work. Giving them what they want, and making the sale!

Why Salespeople Don't Ask For The Sale
Why Salespeople Don’t Ask For The Sale

While your presentation is very important, it’s more important to listen to your customer. If they tell me when we first start that they only have 30 minutes, I am going to quickly determine if I can help them in 30 minutes, and get them on their way. Maybe I need to reschedule at a time where I can better serve them, if what they want requires more than 30 minutes. 

It’s a tough decision, yes. But our job is to make difficult decisions and help the customers. Possibly spend a few minutes, listen to them. Tell them the next step, share about how long it will take, and set another appointment. 

There are many reasons we don’t ask for the sale

or let the customer know the next step, other than just not paying attention to the customers needs. 

Another reason could be…

Fear. Are you afraid of rejection?

Of the prospect saying no? If you are afraid of rejection, the easiest way to avoid that is – just don’t ask for the sale! And don’t be surprised when you don’t get the sale. 

I ask three times, because sometimes people will tell you the real reason they are not buying after the third time. And sometimes that reason is just that they didn’t understand something – like the fact that you have a payment plan for that thing they cannot afford to pay all at once. 

Did you know you could overcome an objection just by asking for the sale?

Again, it sounds so easy, but it’s true.

Before you sell to your prospects, you have to sell yourself.

Some salespeople don’t ask for the sale because they don’t believe in what they are selling. I remember one sales position I had where it took me three months to understand and believe in what I was selling. After the switch got flipped, I became very successful, but it took a while. 

Maybe you don’t understand the product or its benefits to the people and prospects you’re speaking with. Or perhaps you don’t understand why your product might be a higher price than what your competitors’ offer. You have to believe in what you’re selling.

Sometimes sales people are not sure the right time to ask for a sale

or they are afraid that they might make a mistake. They wait until the time they think is just right, for example, at the end of their presentation. Again, they are so focused on that presentation that they missed the buying signals from the customers 30 minutes earlier! 

If the buyer literally asks you, “What’s the next step?”, 5 minutes into your presentation, stop and show them the next step! Sometimes sales people put off asking for so long that they just give up on ever asking at all.

Are You a Reluctant Salesperson?
Are You a Reluctant Salesperson?

Reviewing each sales call and presentation afterwards.

Analyze what you did right and what you could have done better.

Don’t be embarrassed – we’ve all been there.  That’s how you learn. 

I still do this. There are times I still want to kick myself for missing a signal or not taking the next step.  It’s OK.

I’ve had some fun putting this article together because I recognize myself in so many of these reluctant sales tendencies.

In a perfect world, after my perfect presentation, my ideal customer would tell me what they want and hand me their credit card. However, in the real world, I have to spend a lot of time with the prospect, finding out what their needs are, finding the best possible solution, and asking for the sale. 

In the beginning, I just had to get out of my own head, overcome the reluctance – the fear of rejection, the fear of saying the wrong thing, and even the fear of cancellations.  Take a deep breath and spit the question.  You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  Because if you never ask, no one will ever buy.  

I remember what it was like, and it was hard. I also remember how I felt when I got over my fear, and closed the sale, and provided an amazing solution for my prospect, and got not only the payment, but a hug. 

Because they were so grateful that I took the time to understand their needs and provided the best solution possible to help solve their problem. 

If you recognize yourself in any of these reluctant salesperson tendencies, please leave a comment and let me know. Or head over to the contact me page and send me an email. I’d love to hear from you!

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Silence Is Your New BFF In Sales

Silence Is Your New BFF To Helping You Close a Sale…

Are you afraid of those seemingly forever, awkward silences that happen when you’re speaking with a potential client? That silence is actually very healthy and should be a part of your sales strategy. Well, meet your new BFF to help you close a sale!

“Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence.”

Leonardo DaVinci

How to use awkward silences in your sales
How to use awkward silences in your sales

There are three different types of silence to help close your sales that incredibly powerful, and you can use them every day. They’re really simple to use, but you do have to practice them and learn how to stop talking … really.  

The first type sales tool silence is listening.

I am a talker, if you haven’t noticed. However, I’ve learned to bite my tongue and listen. Sometimes silence in a room where you’re not alone is very uncomfortable. It used to make me want to fill the silence … now I’ve learned I can sit it out and wait. 

I am sure that, in the beginning of my career, I lost sales because I didn’t know when to stop talking. When I believed that when my prospects were too quiet, AKA AWKWARD SILENCE, that that was my cue to explain more about what I wanted to sell them. I was sooo wrong. And I know I talked myself right out of a few sales.

Think about the people in your life that you consider very wise.

From my experience they usually don’t speak much at all. And when they do, such wisdom pours out of their mouth.

I have found that they don’t speak because they’re actually listening. They’re taking it all in and deciding if it’s worthy of their time to contribute to the conversation. And if they decide it’s important, then they share their wisdom. 

Let’s think about that wise person. Do you also consider them an authority figure? In a sales situation, YOU want to be the authority figure. 

As salespeople, talking is our job. It is important to ask our clients questions so we can learn where they are and what they want. If you ask questions that they find valuable – that’s where they talk. 

You are their guide to keep them on track.

Guide their journey through learning and confirming to themselves what they already know they want. By being that person who listens to them. They will learn to trust you in you, because who doesn’t like someone that listens to them talk about themselves? 

If you ask someone a question and you feel you need more information and they’re either holding back from you or they’re just not talking then, then wait a few seconds after they finish speaking.

It may feel like forever, especially at first. But most likely, your prospect will probably keep on answering the question you asked. Because they, like most people, are very uncomfortable with silence. After listening to them, you, the wise authority figure, will give your solution (your proposal), with their permission, of course.   

Once you give your proposal, allow silence. Listening—silence type number one.  

The second type of silence is active silence.

The definition of active silence is, the strategic use of silence to achieve a result… it can be antagonizingly painful, but do your best to wait after you present your proposal. Wait for your prospect to speak first. 

I know I’ve said this before and so have many others, I am sure. But, he who speaks first looses. It’s not that they’re loosing. Because  they’re going to get the benefits of what you’re offering.  

The point is don’t talk.

Smile at them, nod your head like you’re waiting for them to talk. Maybe even write something down on a piece of paper, and eventually your prospect will talk. They may answer with a question or maybe with a comment. Maybe with an “Okay, let’s do this”. 

Your silence gives them a chance to think.  It forces them to think about your conversation and process the information. Remember your silence is your new sales BFF.

We don’t get a lot of silence these days.  Information is constantly being processed by our brain  in massive quantities,  so much that we never have time to process it. So give your client a chance to process . Active silence—silence type number 2.  

The third type of silence is the dramatic pause.

I didn’t do that right. Let’s try that again. The third type of Silence today is … … the dramatic pause. Use this during your conversation or presentation to grab your customer’s attention. 

It’s about 5 seconds of silence. You can count – 1000, 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005 – do that in your head, not in front of the customer. Just think about your new sales BFF and remain silent.

What you say next really needs to be pretty valuable, so that you reward the customer for waiting for you to speak.

Use it sparingly, before you say something that you really want them to remember.  

If you use it too much, it looses it’s drama.

Another good time to use the dramatic pause

is if you feel the person you’re speaking with is drifting away; you can use this short dramatic pause. It pulls the person back, it gets their attention with your brief silence, and gets their attention back with you. 

If you are talking so much that you’re loosing someone, it’s also time for some interaction and questions to get them back involved and engage with you, 

Because most people are very uncomfortable with silence, when you become comfortable with silence by learning how, when and where to use it, it provides you with a new sales tool that you can use everyday in your interactions with people.  

You can also use it when someone asks you a difficult, or even a not so difficult question.

It’s okay to wait several seconds before you give your answer. It either gives you a chance to form your answer or gives you a chance to just help keep control of the conversation and keep the conversation moving forward in the direction that you want it to. 

Silence is Your BFF in Sales - Using Awkward Silences to Close the Sale
Silence is a powerful sales tool when you know how to use it.

Let’s review the three types of silence you can use to increase your sales.

Listening, to learn information from and about your prospects. 

Active silence—to allow your client to think.

The Dramatic Pause—to emphasize your point and keep your potential engaged and in control.

Try using one or all of these this week. They do require practice.  and sometimes nerves of steel, but in the end you will find that allowing silence to be your new BFF will increase your sales and get more referrals. Through these silences, people will come to know you as a listener and someone that truly cares for their best interests.  

When you find yourself talking too much in your sales presentations, remember your new sales BFF, silence, and stop talking.

To learn more about other types of non-verbal communication skills to help you close sales, you can watch my YouTube video by clicking here.

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I‘d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please post your message in the comments below.

How To Close Your Sales With Confidence

How to close your sales with confidence

Confidence and closing go hand-in-hand.

While it is possible to close without confidence, confident people close more often. Confident people expect to close, so they do. Unconfident people aren’t so sure. Learn how to close your sales with confidence.

Are you confident in your abilities? I have found that I am more confident when I am comfortable, or when I am in my comfort zone. When you are not closing, you may start to doubt your abilities and close less.

Are you afraid of success? Could that be what’s holding you back?

When I am at my peak, selling everyday like crazy, it’s not any more work than when I’m not selling and spending my time prospecting all day long. And selling is a lot more fun than prospecting, don’t you agree?

Projecting confidence with your sales prospects

We all know you have to believe in what you are selling. But is that enough? In my opinion, no. What you were selling has to light you up. For example, I love my iPhone. In fact, I love all things, or almost all things Apple. Do I want to sell phones or computers? – no, I don’t.

Find something you believe in, and that lights you up. Because when it lights you up, you will happily work 24 hours a day, and it won’t feel like work.

Another part of it for me, and many other sales people I talk to, is learning. If I feel like I am learning and growing, I’m happy. If I feel like I’m not learning, I feel stagnant and bored.

 On that positive note, let’s move into closing techniques.

Close your sales with confidence.

You have to be comfortable and confident asking for money, no matter what you were selling. Close your sales with confidence means being able to create urgency and being comfortable asking for the money.

When you really believe in what you’re selling, or offering, and you believe it will make a difference in your prospects’ lives, then it is your duty to share that with them. Whether it is something they need or want. 

Will it make their life better? Will it give them physical or mental peace or happiness?Remember it’s how you make them feel. If they feel good about what they are doing with you, they will buy what you are offering.

To quote Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

How to close sales with confidence

Creating urgency.

Do they want to feel good now? Don’t we all? If they bought your product or service today, would they feel better about themselves or their situation?

In this world of immediate gratification, it amazes me how many people put stuff off. Like making a decision about buying something that would make their lives easier. Like a bigger, or smaller house, a gym membership, or a reliable car. 

Where are they in the buying process?

Find out what do they want to do or what are they are looking to accomplish. Then help them find the best way to close that gap. 

Just because they know they have a problem, does not mean that they want to close the gap. There has to be a need, a want, and a trust that you can help solve their problem and help make their “pain” go away. 

If all three of these things are not in place, you will not get the sale. They may have a need and know that you could help them, but they don’t want help. Or they have need and want, but no belief in your offering. If it’s the latter, you stand a chance. Because, through conversation you can find out why they feel that you can’t help them. What is missing that you aren’t giving them?

You have to be confident to ask the difficult questions.

This, my friends, is where your confidence comes in. Ask for the sale more than once, in different ways. Not by pounding the sale out of them, but finding where the disconnect is. 

Sometimes it can be so simple, like they didn’t understand how your product or service would work for them. Just by asking “What are you looking for that you don’t feel my product or service can’t do?” Direct questions. Maybe they are right, and your product or service is not for them. 

And maybe they missed something you said. One simple question, but you have to ask.

If you ask that question, and nothing is missing, you can ask, “Why would you not do this today?“ or, “What is stopping you from doing this today?”

Most of the time, if you have gotten this far but they still won’t buy, it is because they are afraid they are going to make the wrong decision. Or that they will make a mistake. Do you like making mistakes? I don’t. And neither do your customers. At this point, can you offer them a money-back guarantee that might make them feel more comfortable?

Next is money.

When I ask for money, I write down the dollar amount, and I put it in front of them. Then I don’t talk. It’s even better if I can show them two numbers. Place both numbers in front of them, and watch their eyes. Again, don’t speak. Which number are they more drawn to? Before they even speak, you will know their answer. Because their eyes will linger longer on the number that is most appealing to them.

Let them speak first. If you find they are avoiding both numbers, they fidget and can’t look at either number, then they don’t like what you are showing them. If this is the case, and you’ve been quiet, you now have my permission to speak up and say, “Would you like to see payment options?” because they may not know that you can offer that. Don’t assume anything, because something that seems so obvious to you, may not be so obvious to them. 

If they say no, ask another question. Assume the sale and let them know your payment options. Just take a deep breathe and say, “Would you like to pay that with a check or a credit card?”. If they stop you, you can ask them what is stopping them.  Ask for the sale boldly and unapologetically and close your sales with confidence.

If they have been honest with you with their answers to your questions, and they still aren’t buying, it’s a pricing problem, and you haven’t established the value of your product or service. Go back and find out what you missed. Again, you need to create the confidence to ask the tough questions

Remember, be the guide to help them get what they desire, and you will be able to close your sales with confidence.

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Thanks for stopping by. Please leave your thought or questions in the comments below and I’ll be sure to respond quickly!