Monday, February 6, 2012

Close On Points, Then Close The Sale

If you do a good job at closing on points as you move through the sales process, it should lead to you closing on the sale. That phrase will be repeated throughout this posting for emphasis. Closing on a point occurs during your sales discussion at the end of your comments in QACF, prompting the client to provide feedback. The feedback from the client is usually one of four attitudes: Acceptance, Skepticism, Indifference, or Objection. These attitudes may also be revealed by the client/prospect without you asking.

There are at least 6 good reasons to close on points:
1. It reveals and validates an attitude.
2. It helps determine if you need to ask more questions.
3. It helps you determine if you need to deliver more value.
4. It can lead the customer to sell themselves.
5. Validate your understanding of what they're saying.
6. Demonstrate engagement with the contact (active listening).

As stated before, if you do a good job at closing on points as you move through the sales process, it should lead to you closing on the sale. If the customer rejects the sale, there is most likely a true objection that has not been addressed.

How To Close On Points
Your goal is to get and build acceptance. Ask questions which prompt "yes" responses along the way. Doing this increases the chance of the prospect giving you a "yes" answer in response to us helping them with a Value Opportunity. And, it increases the chance of getting a "yes" answer on the sale. For example, "So, do you see how we can help you with your branding?" and "Would that help you increase your sales?"

Closing on a point can be hard or soft. Media advertising examples --
Hard: "Is that somebody you would advertise to get in front of?" "Would you advertise in order to get customers like that?"
Soft: "Are those the types of people you're trying to get in front of?" "Is that the kind of person who would be a potential customer for you?"

Their response when you present Value Propositions will reveal their attitude. Remember, most salespeople want to hear acceptance. If you can be skeptical and remove emotion from your call to remain objective, you will be better at recognizing attitudes. The degree of their response is directly tied to the degree to which you probe to fully understand their Value Opportunities.

Additional Tips

* Speak to their agenda, not yours.
* Don't assume that a Value Opportunity is accepted. Ask the question to tie down.
* Balance empathy with aggressiveness.
* If you are closing on points properly, you can uncover and respond appropriately to attitudes so that closing on the sale will be assumptive or soft.
* If you do a good job at closing on points as you move through the sales process, it should lead to you closing on the sale.

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.