I don’t know a lot about herding sheep, but I do know a lot about closing sales.  Sheep herding is not as easy as it may seem and neither is closing a sale.  Now don’t get me wrong, both of these activities can be a lot easier if you know what you are doing.  They tend to be very difficult if you go about it doing what you think is right, without knowing for sure.  Actually, most things in life are easier if you know what you are doing.  Let me spend the next few minutes explaining how to make closing a sale easier, and then you can figure out how to herd sheep on your own.

Here is a list of ten thoughts and principles that if followed, will take a lot of the stress and fear out of closing a sale.

  1. Closing a sale is a process, not an event.  Completing the sale is the natural and logical conclusion of all the events leading up to the close.
  2. Build rapport from the first moment you meet a prospect.  Referrals transfer relationships from the referrer to the referee.  If you don’t have referrals, you will need to spend more time building the relationship.  Remember, people buy from people they believe, like and trust.  There are no exceptions to this principle.
  3. Selling isn’t telling.  Ask questions to truly discover what the prospect needs.  Don’t take their word for it.  Take the time to diagnose their specific needs and understand their situation so you can analyze the need in connection with their overall operational plan.  You are the expert and therefore must know how your product or service will impact their current condition.
  4. Discuss your proposal in detail.  Create a dialogue to openly evaluate your solution as it pertains to their need.  The scope of understanding is often clarified during the dialogue.  Pros and cons, pluses and minuses, do’s and don’ts are often lost without the dialogue.
  5. As you present your solution, ask plenty of questions to solicit their feedback.  You need to know, with each point of the presentation, where they stand and if they have concerns.  Deal with concerns as part of your presentation before they become objections.  Remember, people don’t buy if they have unresolved objections.  Get it all out in the open by asking for their approval with each point of discussion.
  6. Cover all the obvious qualifying bases which include: budget and ability to pay, time frames, decision makers and exact needs.  Get all parties involved as early as possible to save time and to avoid passing the decision or authority to someone else.
  7. Once there has been a nod or acceptance that your proposal meets their needs, then ask for the business.  Don’t be surprised if they tell you they want your product or service even before you ask.  Once you know that you have provided the right solution to their needs, ask for the sale.
  8. If they are not ready to pull the trigger, romance them until they feel comfortable enough to purchase, or until the timing is right, or until the money is available.  Romancing the sales provides you an opportunity to be in front of them at that precise moment when they decide to make the purchase.
  9. If they are still not ready to make a decision, continue to show them value in your proposal and the benefits of using your product or service.  Build the relationship and demonstrate that you truly care about their success and that you are available to assist them in any way possible.

Remember, selling is a process.  Don’t stress closing the sale, just follow the process and it will be as easy as herding sheep has become to the shepherd.

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Copyright: The Business Performance Group, Inc.
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