What is the closing?
What most people think about:
If you want to dig a little deeper and improve your closing skills, you're in the right place.
What is the closing?
The closing, or rather the closing phase, is the last stage of the sales cycle. No more no less.
During this phase you have already exchanged with your potential client, you have presented your solutions and argued to prove that they were the most suitable and you must obtain the client's response to close the sale.
This is the phase where your prospect has to make their decision, and that's probably why it's so misunderstood.
Many salespeople find it difficult to manage this step because they wait for a response from the prospect and do not know how to help the customer meet their responsibilities. As a result, they wait months for a client who “thinks” but a prospect who thinks it does not generate turnover and it can even do a lot of damage.
The closer: the real sales ace?
Since the closing is so complicated to understand, it created the idea that there are good sales people, who are "closers" and the others. The closers would therefore be a kind of salesperson, even superior human beings, capable of transforming a no into a yes or even lead into gold.
If this were true, there would actually already be foolproof sales techniques that would guarantee the closing. These techniques being only a process of imitation of these super closers.
However, there is no closing “technique” that works every time. No sentence, no attitude, no follow-up frequency… None of that!
Closers are simply great sales reps, and they're great LONG BEFORE they're close.
The real challenges of closing
Contrary to popular belief, the goal is not to win every time. It is practically impossible, and when you get too close to it in reality it shows above all that you are not taking enough risk.
There are two key issues during this phase:
- Obtain a response to close the sales process as quickly as possible.
- Identify flaws in our sales process to become more efficient.
There is nothing more harmful than dozens of unclosed sales processes where salespeople are waiting for prospects to magically turn into customers after 6 months of thinking. You need to know whether it's a "yes" or a "no" and fast. It is important for the morale of the sales teams, it is important for their mental load and it is essential for the management and the commercial strategy.
Getting a no is almost as valuable as a “yes”. It is thanks to rejections and your ability to identify the cause that your sales process will become more efficient. Each salesperson who receives a refusal gives you the opportunity to make your entire team more efficient.
So the real goal of the closing is to get a quick response and move the sales team forward.
Closing: How to close a sale easily?
Okay, there is no foolproof technique or magic phrase that changes everything, but that doesn't mean you can't become a closing champion and turn as many prospects as possible into customers. We give you the right method to become more efficient.
The closing is prepared throughout the sales process
Do you want to know the secret of an infallible closing?
It's very simple, master the entire sales process to perfection.
All sales processes are divided into three main phases: qualification, value proposition and closing.
A good closing is prepared from qualification, in fact refusing to initiate a sales process with a customer who does not emit the right buying signals or when our product responds poorly to the prospect's problem is the best way to improve your closing rate. We do not waste time with prospects who are not and it is essential!
Then if you have identified a serious prospect, you have asked him questions to fully understand his problem and the value of this problem, you must convince him! The value proposition is successfully demonstrating to your prospect and all secondary decision-makers that your solution is well suited to their problem and will solve it effectively.
Here there are many sales techniques that can help you, Q2C selling of course but also CAP soncas, the CAB method or the SIMAC method.
If you have done your sales work effectively during these first two phases, it will be much easier to close.
Techniques for a successful closing
To succeed in your closing, the best technique is Q2C selling. This method allows you to structure your sales process but also gives you tools to improve your chances of success.
The closing conversations
The different phases of the sale are all built around conversations between the salesperson and his prospect. The closing phase is no exception.
By reaching this stage you have 4 conversations to have with your prospect to meet your objective.
Three conversations to win:
The conversation on the offer: The objective here is to bring out the contractual objections and to deal with them, to recall the problem, the way in which you are going to solve it and how the collaboration will take place.
The conversation on the cost of inaction: you must show your prospect how not taking action, not implementing the solution you are proposing, can generate costs for him and his company.
Conversation on the ultimate obstacle: now is the time to take action! You must identify and eliminate the last elements that can put your prospect off on this move to action.
A conversation to progress:
The conversation about failure: Failed to bring your sales process to fruition? Fine, but you shouldn't stay on a failure and understand how you can improve your process for the next times.
The use of stories is above all and above all to help your prospects to project themselves and so that they can evaluate the impact of your solution. Beyond stating the facts, you will create a link with your interlocutors and allow them to more easily remember the elements discussed during client meetings.
The objective remains to trigger decision-making.
The cost of inaction story:
Your prospect must understand that his worst enemy is inaction. You need to address the cost of inaction right at the end of the value proposition, and be natural. Play on both the costs that your prospect's problem will generate and the fear of missing an opportunity.
The “if it goes wrong” story:
ideally, everything should go well but we are never safe from one or more obstacles. You should not leave by saying that everything will be fine, if your prospect tells you about his fears it is because they are legitimate in his eyes. You must therefore show him that you have mastered them to reduce their scope.
Content to enrich your closing
At the closing stage, you can, but you must, use the so-called conversion content. This content is there to defend your offer and to help you trigger decision-making while eliminating any remaining obstacles.
But not only ! Conversion content also influences the decision-making of your prospects and their teams outside of client meetings. It is your ally during this time when you will not be able to interact with them. There are several including:
Customer cases and testimonials:
A client case or a well-crafted testimonial are relevant to convert to closing. But it is still necessary that the client case or the testimony correspond to your client and that he can find his way around in solving the problem.
The business proposal:
It is an essential element of the closing which will reflect the quality of your sales process. A good business proposal should talk about your prospect, their problem, and your solution. Form is as important as substance.
Simulators can become very good content to demonstrate the impact of your solution for your prospect. If the situation lends itself to it, do not deprive yourself of it. You must then present this impact to him in a clear and concise manner.
Of course there are many others, be creative and above all show that your solution is the one your customers need.
How to progress after a negative closing
Your closing was not successful? Do not dwell on a failure and try to learn from it. The objective is not to create a miracle recipe to win every time, but to succeed what can be and identify what cannot be. Understanding why you failed is what will make the difference.
Namely, the closing is above all the result of the two previous phases: the qualification and the value proposition. If they are poorly done, you will have little chance of closing your sale. To avoid chaining failures and progress, you must start from your negative closings and review the course of your process.
Indeed, it is a job to close correctly! Already, you must be 100% certain that your offer is clear so that you no longer find yourself with gray areas at the end of your sales process. She must :
- respond to the customer's problem,
- agree with your sales process,
- and have a suitable format (the form is as important as the content).
Similarly, if you do not put your prospect in favorable conditions for action, he will have a hard time making a decision. That's why you shouldn't be afraid to be direct to get your answer. At this stage, your prospect has all the cards in hand to make a decision quickly. Because a negative closing is also a closing that takes too much time and causes you to lose money.
Obviously, you will not be able to achieve a win-win situation. The goal is not to satisfy everyone but to sell your offer. So yes, you will necessarily have to go through negotiations, but they will have to be balanced. And always ask yourself: how could you have avoided them?
To understand the origin of your failures, here is a summary table of the elements to keep in mind: