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Seal the Deal: How to Close the Sale

Author: Elizabeth Cotner Date: April 20, 2011

Small Business SellingClosing a sale is ultimately the culmination of you asking for a potential customer’s business. But trying to close before the customer is ready to make the commitment can be a big mistake, and might even cost you business. 

The conversation you have with a customer should help you determine whether or not he or she will say yes before the close, says Jason Copeland, sales manager at SurePayroll Inc., a provider of an online payroll solution for small businesses in Glenview, Ill. You can direct that conversation to maximize your chances of making a sale. 

Copeland offers techniques you can use to seal the deal:

Ask Qualifying Questions

Ask questions to make sure the customer is a good fit for the product or service, whether if it’s that they can’t afford it or are already satisfied with something else. Look for reasons why you wouldn’t be able to sell to them. Determine this up front so you don’t waste time. 

Look for Emotional Motives

People make most purchasing decisions emotionally, Copeland says. Ask questions to determine a customer’s pain points, such as frustrations with the product or service they’re currently using. Ask them questions like, “What improvements are you looking for?”

Customers are more likely to convince themselves that they need to make a purchase when they explain their needs. “Get them talking,” Copeland says. “Get them selling to themselves rather than pushing the sale.”

Close Like a Kid

Think like a three-year-old child when it comes to making a sale: Kids have no inhibitions about telling people what they want. A lot of salespeople make great presentations, but then hesitate to ask someone to make a purchase. Don’t be afraid to pop the question.

Counter Objections

If a customer hesitates to make a purchase, use the information you know about their needs to convince them otherwise. For example, remind a customer that he or she wanted to spend less time in the office or reduce the amount of time spent on payroll.

If the person continues to say no, ask them why they’re hesitant. If cost is an issue, look for ways to explain that the benefits of the product or service will outweigh the hard dollar price. “If you have a lot of information about the person, you can drive their decision to pay for it,” Copeland says.
 

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