Great product? Fair price? Qualified buyer? Ability to convey the benefits of your product to customers? Check, check, check, and check! Then why isn’t the customer jumping to close the sale?
There are any number of reasons that you might not be able to close a sale as soon as you’d like, but on the other hand there are several skills you can utilize to overcome obstacles. Let’s explore…
Tip #1: Ask for the Sale
Once you’ve given prospective buyers all the information they need, it’s your responsibility to ask for the sale. Yes, literally ask.
That advice may sound obvious but in fact, many salespeople don’t actually ask for the sale. Instead, they assume that the buyer is the one who should make the next move.
For example, here are a couple of ways you might move the sale forward:
“Ingrid, we’ve gone over the requirements of your system and we’ve discussed how QuikQuell will produce the results you need. Can we go ahead and place your first order?”
“I’m so glad to hear you say that the program would be a fit for your students. Will it work for you if we schedule the first on-site sessions to start next month?”
Tip #2: Acknowledge the customer’s feelings (or opinion).
When potential buyers don’t commit to a sale, it’s important to let them know that you’ve heard them. Rather than jump in right away with an attempt to overcome the hesitation, take a moment to acknowledge how the customer feels. You might say something like…
“I don’t blame you for wanting more information…”
“You’re right—it is important to be sure…”
Acknowledging the customer’s feelings may not always win you the sale, but this simple act will at the very least help you build a good relationship.
Tip #3: Ask A Question
By asking a question when attempting to overcome a potential buyer’s reluctance to say yes, you continue the conversation, which in turn allows you to hear more about the buyer’s situation. The more you know, the more you can tie the benefits of your product to the buyer’s needs. Here are a couple of key questions you might ask…
“What can you tell me about that decision?”
“Is there any additional information I can give you that would help you feel ready to buy?”
Tip #4: Determine whether the buyer is resisting or objecting
Resistance and objections are two different things. Resistance comes when the buyer hesitates to take the next step. An objection indicates that the buyer doesn’t yet see enough value to make the purchase.
To win over a resistant buyer, clarify the reason and do your best to nudge the buyer beyond it: “I know you feel strongly about the importance of an environmentally sustainable solution. Let me show you a little more data on how we meet that criteria…”
To overcome an objection, offer value that outweighs it: “This would work out to savings of $2,700 a year. Does that make you more comfortable about making the initial investment?”
If you’re not able to close the sale, don’t be discouraged. If you’ve got a valuable product or service, there are bound to be many buyers out there who need what you’re selling. Sales is a continuous game of matchmaking—tying customers’ needs to the benefits of your product. So have fun, learn from each interaction and move on to the next prospective buyer!