Browse Tag

close the sale

How to Sell Your Customers More of What You Sell

SQC smallYou know the issues; you see how you have the solution but the problem is your customer doesn’t.  You’ve tried all your closing tactics and nothing is working.  It’s as if they are immune to your efforts.

So it seemed to Phil as he explained during one of my sales training sessions.  Phil sells machine tools and he shared his frustration; “I have this customer who buys a new piece of machinery every two years like clockwork.”  “My problem is that he rotates his business between vendors.”  “I can’t seem to get him consistently purchase our machines even though we have proven to be the most efficient.” read more

Closing Deals In Complex Sales

SQC smallProblem:  Mark was a high tech salesperson, selling complex hardware and software solutions to distribution companies.  Relatively new to the job, his ability to close was frustratingly poor.  But he was in good company, as the other salespeople in the company suffered from the same problem.

Analysis:  Bernie was Mark’s sales manager, and was “old school.”  He was a disciple of J. Douglas Edwards who, along with Dale Carnegie, were early pioneers in sales training.  Bernie has been in sales for 30 years and had learned his craft well.  He was proud of the fact that he had been successful selling a variety of products, starting with vacuum cleaners and progressing to aluminum siding, and then retail computer parts before landing a job with a hard drive manufacturer.  Recently, he convinced the president of this company to hire him to manage the sales effort.  He loved to regale his troops about his closing prowess, telling them that the best salespeople were the ones who could sell something to someone who didn’t need it.  Of course, his techniques were highly manipulative but they worked well in vacuum cleaners and aluminum siding (remember the movie Tin Men?) He subscribed to many sales technique blogs and required his people to memorize the closes.  The sales trainers he hired to train his people reinforced these manipulative techniques.  “Tell them our story and then go for the close,” exhorted Bernie as he rehearsed his people in selling features and benefits.  Of course, Bernie was the problem. read more

Begin With the End in Mind

SQC smallProblem: The biggest challenge salespeople face is closing more business.  Typically, the problem is not the lack of closing skills per se, but rather the job they’ve done prior to the presentation and close.  Would anyone disagree that the better the prospect is qualified, the easier the close will be? read more

Wimping Out

SQC smallProblem:  As trainers, we see this scenario played out time and time again. Salespeople seem to have lost the ability to close!

Analysis:  Selling, from a technical/skill perspective, has gone through a major transition. Years ago, salespeople were taught what we might call the CHAOS System of Selling, the Close Hard And Often ystem. Pound away until you get the order, be extremely persistent, manipulate if necessary, and use one of the many canned closes that worked so well back in the 1950’s. (“If I could show you a way, would you buy it today?” is a typical example of an outmoded close.) read more

Qualifying Proficiency Determines Closing Efficiency

SQC smallProblem:  Salespeople spend far too much time preparing proposals and close far too few.  Of course, closing rates vary but closing only 15-20% of the proposals is not uncommon.  This is obviously very inefficient and causes time management problems as well as feelings of rejection, futility and despondence.  Furthermore, it results in reduced sales and lower commissions. read more

Close the Sale Before You Present Solutions

SQC smallProblem:  Since closing rates are in the 15-20% range nationally, one of the biggest concerns that management and salespeople alike have is a desire to increase closing rates. Although there are several reasons for this problem, one of the most overlooked is the tendency for salespeople to make proposals without knowing what will happen when the prospect gets the proposal. This is like rolling the dice and hoping for the best. read more

The Incumbent Strikes Back

SQC smallProblem: The deal was consummated and Troy had finally displaced his number one competitor at an important account.  Having received a promise that the initial order would be sent the following week, he departed, congratulating himself on his good fortune and ability to land the tough ones.  Then, several days later, he received a voice mail message from his new account.  From the tone of his contact’s voice, he immediately knew something was wrong.  Apologetically, the client told Troy that when the competitor found out that they had lost the business, they reacted with decisiveness and lowered the price significantly.  The result was predictable.  The initial order was cancelled and the incumbent retained the business.  Having been blindsided, Troy was at a loss for what to do.  His company was unwilling to match the new price and he “lost” the deal.  To add insult to injury, his contact was too embarrassed to return his phone calls. read more

“You Haven’t Heard the Best Part”

SQC smallProblem: Jim and Howard were presenting their case for doing business with one of the largest grocery retailers in the U.S.  Their company, Lincoln Inventory Services, sold inventory counting services to retailers.  Associated Grocers represented an important sale for them.  About halfway through their presentation Sam, Associated’s CFO, said, “Okay guys, you’ve said enough.  I can see that your program will meet our needs.  We’d like to sign the contract and get started immediately.”  Jim, the sales manager, relaxed visibly.  They had done it; they bagged the big one; it was over. read more