It is possible to close every sales opportunity, but it typically never happens.  Even when a salesperson does everything right, the buyer is still the one in control.  They have the ultimate and final word and because of that, sometimes a sale is not made that should have been closed.  Here are ten principles that will help every salesperson close more sales if the buyer is willing and possibly even close every sale.

1.     Selling is a process.  To be successful at selling you must realize that selling is a process and not just doing a lot of stuff.  The correct process should include: 
       a) identifying qualified prospects 
       b) building rapport 
       c) discovering the need 
       d) presenting your product or service as a solution to that need 
       e) resolving concerns and objections 
       f) closing the sale.
2.     All sales activity should fit within your personal philosophy and style.  You need to sell within yourself and your own beliefs.  It is true that you must follow the process, however, every person has his or her own style and personality.  Be true to your own style.  This is a form of social integrity that will make you more believable to your prospect.
3.     Develop a game plan for each sales opportunity.  Don’t just wing it.  Determine exactly what you believe will need to be done to successfully close the sale and then do it.  Every winning sports team follows a game plan and it is no different in selling.  Your game plan will include the specific ways in which you deal with each step of the sales process.
4.     Focus on the needs of the buyer.  Selling is not about you, your company or the product.  It is one hundred percent about the buyer and meeting his or her needs.  Place your attention on what is important to them and help them achieve it.
5.     Romance the sale.  Selling is very similar to the courting process.  Statistics have shown that the average person requires between five and seven contacts before they feel comfortable enough to buy from you.  Romance, romance and romance even more, to increase the reality of making the sale.
6.     Demonstrate the value of the product or service in meeting the specific needs of the prospect.  Show them how others have benefitted from the product.  Share testimonials of happy satisfied customers to support your claims.  Let your current and past customers sell your product or service for you.
7.     In your presentation and subsequent romance visits, create a dialogue with the prospect, discussing how your product will meet their specific needs.  When the two of you are discussing the features and benefits of your product in terms of meeting a specific need, they are more likely to draw the conclusion that your product will be the solution to their problem.
8.     Telling isn’t selling.  Find every opportunity to ask questions that will encourage the prospect to reveal the information that you might otherwise tell them.  Hearing themselves talk about the product and its benefits is more convincing than hearing the same thing from the mouth of a salesperson.
9.     Avoid asking the two most worthless questions in the world, which are: “Have you made up your mind yet?” and “Do you have any questions?”  You need to know the answers to these questions, but the best way to receive the answer is to share additional valuable information about your product.  As you discuss the information, the prospect will naturally share their progress in the decision making process.

Always ask for referrals.  Let a prospect know that referrals are the method you use to grow your business.  Ask them this question:  “If the time ever comes that you become a happy satisfied customer, would you be willing to give me referrals or introductions to people you know who could use my products or services?”

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Copyright: The Business Performance Group, Inc.
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