"I'm sorry, but in the end we won't be working together". Avoid this situation thanks to the 5 essential practices to conclude your sale.
1) Mass prospection is over
You were almost there! And yet, this contract escaped you at the last moment. What's happened? This worst-case scenario can be avoided by targeting and segmenting your prospects early in the process.
Don't aim in all directions with the risk that you'll leave all your energy in the wrong direction, with no results. Segment, target, analyze your market. What is your added value? Your priority segment?
Why not follow the evolution of your prospects, are they mature enough for your solution?
Yes, then let's go!
Not yet? Try again later.
Has he/she already found his/her solution? Never mind, go to the next one.
In short, put your efforts into quality, targeted prospection, which is always more interesting and profitable than mass prospection.
2) "Where's Charlie?", meeting the decision-makers
Segmentation, check! Now you know who to contact. Well, almost... Do you really know who you're talking to? Failing to get this close can also come from an over-stretched sales cycle, the time it takes to get back to the decision-makers. So make sure you qualify your prospect. Is your contact part of the top management (director, president, etc.)?
"No, my contact is not the final decision-maker.
No problem, it's up to you to be proactive by scheduling a meeting with the right people.
"Yes, I am in contact with the decision-makers.
Good news, you're getting closer to the goal! But beware, you're not quite save yet. You now need to keep an eye on the influencers, the people who... influence the decision-makers. It's time to start looking for Charlie.
Now that you've put the puzzle together, talk to the right people with the right speech. A speech that is too technical and purely product-oriented may not be the most convincing to directors. What do you think about bringing them the experience of other customers according to their desires and needs? Personalize your speech.
3) Houston, we have a problem!
Let's talk about those needs. Do the exercise, think of a random prospect, can you summarize his problem in one sentence?
Stop, it's time to let your prospect talk. The more he talks, the better.
He's not very talkative? Ask him questions:
- What are your needs?
- Is this a priority project for you?
- Is there competition?
- Do you think I understand the problem?
Nothing better to get the conversation flowing. It's time to analyze the issues. Don't put the cart before the horse by wanting to sell right away. Listening is an art and you might even identify other needs that he/she might not be aware of yet.
4) Is it serious doctor?
From now on, his/her needs have no more secrets for you, well done! But is your contact person really ready? He/she might not tell you. So don't try to close the first meeting at the risk of scaring him/her away. Do you remember that time when the salesperson in the store was insistent on one of your purchases? Not cool isn't it? It's the same thing here, let's not squeeze it like a lemon.
On the other hand, see with him what has been tried in the past? What are his associated losses today? Your mission is to quantify the urgency of his issues to justify the investment. Then, let him think about it and agree on a deadline at the end of which you will contact your prospect again.
5) No offer without personalization
While he is thinking about it, prepare your offer, you now have everything you need. The prospect must recognize himself in the solution you propose, otherwise the time to conclude may be extended and no decision will be taken. Tell him what will be included in the offer before writing it, so you can correct it. Unsurprisingly, the signature should only be a formality.
The sales process is obviously more complex than these 5 practices. Nevertheless, by thinking systematically about these elements, you should put all the chances on your side to avoid that at the last moment, once the offer has been written and the prospect is ready to sign, he or she may retract.
Think the signature should be just a formality if you have:
- opted for a targeted prospection;
- met with the decision-makers;
- identified the issues and the urgency;
- proposed an offer in line with its needs.