Why “closing the deal” doesn’t work
Sales people are always being told to close the deal
There is no shortage of advice for sales people on this topic. Apparently, if you say the right sentence you can move straight into closing the deal. Here are some of the phrases that are recommended according to one blog article that I read recently:
“Is there any reason, if we gave you the product at this price, that you wouldn’t do business with our company?”
“So when should we get started on implementation?”
“If we throw in [freebie], would that convince you to sign the contract today?”
“Why don’t you give it/us a try?”
“If you sign the contract today, I can guarantee we can do [special request the buyer asked for]. How does that sound?”
“Ready to move forward? I can send over the contract right now.”
How many of you would actually be persuaded to place business just because the sales person came out with a line like one of those? Most of them would actually put me off purchasing their product or service. You can’t close a customer unless they really want to buy from you.
It’s better to let the prospect make the first move
Sales people who try and close a deal, rather than letting the prospect do this, usually end up having to deal with buyer remorse. The buyer has second thoughts about placing the business. That means they no longer trust you. Your long-term relationship is in jeopardy, along with future business. In a worst-case scenario, the customer may decide to cancel the order that they have just placed.
Sales people that let the customer make the first move end up with stronger client relationships. They have a better chance of controlling a pipeline of business. They will achieve more from winning the business.
Getting the prospect to make the first move is harder than it seems
There is a simple reason for this. Most people who are in the business of selling focus on themselves. Just look at the average company brochure and website. It is all “me, me, me”. Most copy focuses on the company, not the customer.
Sales people are taught to focus on features and benefits. They are encouraged to spend the whole time talking about the company, the product and the service. They have been told to handle objections if the customer doesn’t seem keen.
The whole process is focused on making the sale. Everything is in the company’s interests, not the customer’s.
Here’s a more productive way to get a prospect on board
Focus on their world. If you are writing website or brochure copy, it should say “you” rather than “we”. That means it has been written about the customer other than the company.
A good sales person will understand the challenges the their clients and prospects face. They will talk to them about these issues. They will talk to people about how solve these challenges and the results that they achieve for the customer.
The whole approach of the company and the sales person will be about helping their customers. It won’t be about filling their order books. However, they will find that there is an interesting side effect from this approach.
“Here are three ways to start creating a customer-focused sales message” https://t.co/s3xGK8k3P7
— Matthew Parker (@PrintChampion) November 25, 2016
The conversation will move away from commodity products and pricing
Adopting a customer-focused approach nearly always means that you end up selling solutions rather than products. This means that prospects and customers start to focus less on price and more on value.
It also means that the sales person has a rather easier task. They are no longer facing a commodity price war with their competitors. They have a way to differentiate themselves from other companies.
So how do you create a sales message that achieves these results for you?
The most effective approach that I have found is to use the TPD Principle. TPD stands for target audience, pain and difference. It means that you focus on selling to a certain type of person or business. You understand their world and you understand the problems that they are facing. Most importantly, you understand how your products and services help your clients overcome these issues. You also know what makes you stand out from then competition.
If your sales message contains all these elements then you have a good chance of creating a customer-focused message that moves the conversation away from price.
Here are three ways to start creating a customer-focused sales message
- Talk to one of your customers. Find out more about their business. Discover why they use you and the results you help their business achieve.
- Create some brochure/website copy where “you” overrides “we” – you may find this turn out to be harder than it sounds!
- Invest in How To Stop Print Buyers Choosing On Price. In this book, I show you how to create a sales message based on the TPD Principle.
There’s just one more thing
Make sure you don’t use any of those horrible closing lines. Buyers hate them!
PS Are you looking for other simple but effective strategies to help you connect with today’s buyers? Download this essential resource. You’ll also be signed up to the “Views From The Buyer Community” at no cost, where you receive useful resources, tips, rants and stories three time a week.