The intensity of this time of year can make selling for a living feel a bit like the playoff season! Here’s three proven strategies you and your team can use to close more sales opportunities, set the right end-of-the-year game plan, and make the final “inning” of your team’s fiscal year pay off.
This is a special bonus episode, a look back at this year’s Sandler Summit and one of our opening keynotes by Andy McCredie. He is a Sandler trainer from the UK and did a killer hour-long talk on closing the sale. The full talk is available in Sandler Online. Here are some quick tips on How to Succeed at Closing more Sales.
Hamish Knox, Sandler trainer and author, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful with body language. Get the best practices collected from around the world.
Think about your last purchase, why did you make the purchase? Perhaps the first things that come to mind are, "It was on sale, so you saved money," "it will allow you to get things done faster," or possibly "it will improve your health.” These are logical reasons. The reality is these are not the reasons you bought, it is how you justify the purchase.
While many salespeople put forth great effort into mastering the art of presenting, a few key myths can hold people back from closing the sale. Below I’ve identified three common misconceptions about sales presentations and how to avoid them in order to close more business.
The more opportunities you have to interact with your prospects, the better, and the end of the year is an opportune time to reach out and reconnect with your clients and prospects to get in front of them prior to the new year.
Jody Williamson, Sandler trainer and author of the Contrarian Salesperson returns to the podcast to talk about the decision step and how to deal with influencing factors and additional decision-makers.
Many salespeople are this time of year. When October, November, and December roll around, and you find yourself on edge because you’re a little (or maybe a lot) behind quota, please don’t do what most salespeople do. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “Well, it’s the end of Q4; let’s face it, that’s always a tough time of the year for me.”
As the New Year begins, it’s natural for sales teams to start thinking about ways to fine-tune their sales forecasting process. Below are some simple rules that will help you and your team improve the accuracy and efficiency of its forecasting.
Welcome to Selling the Sandler Way, with your host Dave Mattson, the president and CEO of Sandler Training. He is a five-time bestselling author, speaker, trainer, and consultant to hundreds of international organizations. In this show, he talks to other Sandler trainers about the Sandler selling system.
But, that’s exactly what many salespeople attempt to do when they engage with a new prospect. Typically, it plays out in one of two ways. Either the salesperson attempts to force his solution on the prospect (after nothing more than a cursory analysis of the situation), or he allows the prospect to dictate the solution (again, without a proper analysis of the situation).
The primary questions looming in the minds of prospects when they first talk with salespeople are, “What do you know about my company?” and “What do you know about my industry?” If, in the first few minutes of conversation, you don’t convey through your questions or comments that you understand something about the company’s goals or the challenges it faces, the interaction will be short-lived. You’ll be perceived as “just another salesperson.”
Do you talk too much? Many salespeople do. How do I know that? Because I use to do it! But more significantly, when I visit a store and indicate my interest in something it seems the sales clerk takes that as a cue to talk too much.
Remember this rule when meeting with potential customers at your trade show booth: The essence of selling is not telling; it is asking questions and sharing third party stories that will help your prospect self-discover his own need for your product or service. People do not buy features and benefits; they buy solutions to problems. If you want to stand out from your competition, stop overloading prospects with information and brochures. Start asking thought and emotion provoking questions.
Reaching out to customers via mobile messaging has proven to be an effective strategy to grow both revenues and customer loyalty. If your business doesn’t run a mobile messaging campaign, then may be time to start.
If your closing rate is suffering or it’s taking longer than it should to close sales, you may be sabotaging your own efforts. Take a close look at how you interact with your prospects and make sure that each interaction adds value to the relationship, is focused on defining the opportunity, and keeps the selling process moving forward.
At Sandler Training, we believe in not solely talking about features and benefits during your sales call, but rather focusing on the prospect’s needs. However, there is a time for presenting, once you have qualified the opportunity. Once a prospect is fully qualified in Pain, Budget, and Decision, then it is time for you to make the presentation, and you want to make that presentation as persuasive as possible.
Many sales managers attempt to manage their salespeople by “managing” their numbers. You can track numbers, but you can’t actually “manage” them any more than you can manage the weather. But, it is from the observation and analysis of the numbers that you can identify pathways for improved performance.
If you've heard the any of the following statements from prospects, then keep reading to learn more about how to determine when to walk away and when to continue investing time and energy.
"I need to confer with other managers here."
"I need more time to decide."
"Call me in about a month."
You're meeting with a prospect. You've asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect's problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analyzing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, "No problem. I have exactly what you need."
Does the prospect gasp a sigh of relief, utter under his breath, "Thank goodness," and pull a purchase order from the drawer? Perhaps in Grimm's version of the story, but not in the real world.
I read an article recently that slammed sales people for using the "hard sell" tactic of asking for a decision at the end of a presentation.
To paraphrase David Sandler, don't make presentations without a prior commitment to make a "no" or "yes" at the end of the presentation.
Two valuables a sales person possesses are information and time. Making presentations without a commitment by a prospect to make a choice between "no" and "yes" at the end is a waste of both.
Now, there are two instances when asking for a decision at the end of a presentation is a hard sell tactic
Clients and prospects tell on a regular basis about how they spend 5 - 20 hours a week preparing proposals for business they are "hoping to get;" however, most of the time their efforts are unsuccessful. Why are we compelled to provide proposals when our 'gut' tells us we are wasting our time?
Let's explore some of the reasons we feel inclined to provide proposals:
The prospect asked for it.
'If I don't provide the proposal I definitely won't have a chance at getting the business.
Have you ever killed a sale by bringing up an irrelevant feature to your prospect? Something you, or probably your marketing department, thought you prospect should know about before they signed up?
At Sandler, this is known as "painting seagulls in your prospect's picture." Unfortunately, your seagull can quickly turn into an albatross.
Traditionally trained salespeople who sit through hours of product training before being let out in front of prospects can't wait to share all their product knowledge when they get in front of anyone, qualified prospect or not
There are a lot of great movies that have been written about selling. In fact, Amazon lists the topten sales movies when you search the site, and, unfortunately, none of them present the sales profession is a very favorable light. Movies like Boiler Room, Used Cars, Tommy Boy, Wall Street, Tin Men and even The Godfather come to my mind when I do a quick scan. Yes, The Godfather! Who can forget the memorable sales pitch from the movie, "I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse."
What do you really learn by getting a "yes"? Job well done. Keep doing what you're doing. Get comfortable. Right? That's all fine, but realize that while your "yes" may make you happy, it doesn't necessarily make you a better salesperson.
Acronyms, industry buzz-words, technical jargon — we've all used them at one point or another in our jobs. But if you've been using them when you're first getting to know your prospect, you may have made a big mistake.
The prospect said no. That's the end of the sales process, and you've somewhat succeeded in a sense that you at least got an answer. It's not a "yes," but your job is technically done now, right? According to Sandler Rule #39, you should think again.
Countless people go through sales training seminars every year only to emerge with slick tricks, a few doses of confidence and a belief that they'll be able to bully any prospect they meet into signing on the dotted line. While this may do just fine for the quick, lucky payday, it is not a system that builds long-term, profitable relationships.
Through any sales training seminar you may have attended or any job training you've experienced, people seem to put a lot of energy into teaching you how to avoid or resist one word: "No." The fear of rejection alone is enough to drive the timid and easily — bruised away from sales altogether.
I propose a ban on proposals! I find them to be an enormous waste of time as no one has ever in the history of sales purchased anything solely based on the proposal.
We unwittingly taught all prospects that they simply have to ask and we will provide them with all the information they need in order to deal with their problem
Twenty years ago, when I was a young salesperson just starting out, I was fortunate enough to get sent to quite a bit of sales training. All of the training programs seemed to center around the "Three Big Steps to Selling."
The "Three Big Steps to Selling" are: