Sales Advice

Closing the Sale

Written by Richard San Juan for Gaebler Ventures

Getting someone interested in your product or service is usually easy. The hard part is trying to close a sale, especially if it is a big purchase.

Closing a sale is the most challenging part of selling.

Tips On Closing the Sale

The more expensive the purchase, the harder it is to get people to commit to your product or service. Here are four tips to assist you in making the sale.

1. Lay the Foundation

As small business owners or entrepreneurs, you know that the most important aspect of your job is to determine what your target segment needs and explain to them how your product or service meets their needs. If this process is completed successfully, getting an agreement from the customer will be a natural transaction.

However, if there are obstacles preventing you from closing the sale, make sure you really understand what your customer wants and reiterate the benefits of your product or service. Perhaps doing more of a background analysis on the target segment will help sales go more smoothly and quickly.

2. Find the Decision-Maker

When dealing with customers, specifically corporate clients; it is important to understand who you are selling to.

As a seller, you should determine if the potential purchaser is qualified or has the authority to buy your product or service. In other words, is the person you are conducting your business transaction the official representative of the company when it comes to buying and selling matters?

Usually, if the individual is not the official authority in purchasing, the person will most likely not say "yes" to your sales proposal simply they are not authorized to do so. This should not deter you from not closing the sale. The next step would be to ask that individual to direct you to the real decision-maker.

An indirect approach would be to inquire about financial budgets or previous buying decisions. His or her answers will help you conclude whether or not he or she is a significant person in purchasing matters for the company.

3. Setting a Deadline

If you are dealing with a potential customer who cannot commit to a decision, create a sense of urgency by telling them that your price or service will only be available until a certain date.

For example, if an interested customer states that he or she is interested in utilizing your services but refuses to give a definite commitment, try setting a deadline date. As a person selling your product or service, you must explain to the potential customers that you are only available to them personally for a limited time or you can explain that the price of what you are selling will increase past the deadline.

This is a gamble on your part, because it could lead to a lost sale if the prospective client still chooses not to commit to your product or service. However, it can assist you in differentiating authentic prospects from prospects that are indecisive and hell-bent on keeping you on perpetual hold.

Leading your customers to come to a decision in this manner can be good for your business in the long-run. If they decide not to purchase your product or service, at least it allows you to pursue other prospective clients who also might be interested in what you are selling.

4. Discuss the Consequences of not Purchasing Your Product or Service

Discuss with your potential indecisive customer how much time or money they are losing out on by not purchasing your product or service.

For example, if you are selling calculators; if your customer still insists on doing calculations by hand, you have to explain to the individual how much potential business she loses out on. The cost of not purchasing your product or service can be measured in either costs due to financial loss or cost due to time loss.

Richard San Juan is currently pursuing an MBA degree with an emphasis in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago. He is particularly interested in writing about business news and strategies.

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