6720439I remember my sales training as an IFA in the mid 1990s, it went something like this:

  •   X no of calls
  •   X no of appointment
  •   Build Rapport
  •   Fact-finding
  •   Build Problem (pain) secure solution negotiated close
  •   Next

I sold an intangible product which is not easy; however it was great training in psychology and taught me that rejection was not terminal. I left the industry because I was not happy to spend 80% of my time with compliance focused on internal protection rather than external service.

Business has moved from silos relationships to global partnership and alliances with their suppliers and customers. Customers have more power to influence and choose. Knowing your customers wants and needs, walking in their shoes to build the relationship will make it easy for your customers to say yes.

How Not to Close a Deal

There is so much information easily available so it is inexcusable to speak to potential clients having not done some research into their world so you can focus your pitch. If you put Janicebgordon in Google you can find my business and all that I do, so present an offer that is tailored to my needs.

Yesterday I received a call from a new health and wellness networker; they could not tell me where they got my number from and had not done the minimum level of research to tailor their sales call to my situation. So they told me everything and I was at the other end trying to work out what they wanted from me, I allowed the caller to take-up over 15 minutes of my time. The pitch was all about them, it was completely unfocused and so any relevant bits of the pitch was lost in the other stuff and turned me off.

I have been to a face to face network and ask a delegate what they did only to get an obscure answer that they could not tell me as it was better explained in a 1 hour presentation that they wanted to invite me too. My answer was “if you cannot explain in 1 minute what it is that you do then why do you think I would want to risk a few hours of my time?”

Another caller stated ‘I have your card, I am not sure where we met or what you do, but I was going through my entire card index and wanted to invite you to X’, I was not so polite in my answer. It is just rude, disrespectful and lazy.

I would recommend the following strategies to building a relationship and close a deal:

  • Make a Connection, record source of connection or referral, type of relationship, highlight background and context, and build rapport & engagement before your pitch.
  • Understanding of the Customers Wants and Needs, (ask and listen only).
  • Research your Customers World, STEEP, 5 forces, SWOT look outside the customer immediate world, you may be able to introduce new ideas having a fresh view, at least understand their environment (walk in their shoes).
  • Refine Offer, (Q&A only) sense check, time sensitive only show the customer what is relevant to their situation.
  • Ask Permission, to make an offer ‘would you recommend me to xx?’, ‘if I could present X so that you could Y would you be interested?’
  • Tailor your Solution, to their wants and needs, using their language, be transparent, time sensitive, state your unique value that is relevant to the customer.
  • Follow-up, (buyer remorse) to build the relationship and continue the journey.

Closing a deal gives the impression of a funnel that leads to an end, even if it is a one-off sale, that relationship could bring you many more opportunities and that customer could become your biggest advocate.  The relationship is the journey of continuous solutions to unique problems; the deal is a station stop on the journey that both parties have decided to travel because it is mutually beneficial and easy.

If you like this blog you may also like https://theproblem-solver.com/assets/whats-your-preparedness-to-deal-with-the-constantly-changing-business-environment/

Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.

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