Closing is an art. A good sales rep can make the close of a sale feel like an obvious next step. Reps who are skilled at the close will have several sales closing techniques in their arsenal and be able to deploy them with the flow of the conversation. However, some sales reps struggle through the close and often include closing no-nos. Avoiding pitfalls and closing mistakes can mean the difference between a big deal and going back to the office empty-handed. Here are some common sales closing mistakes to avoid:
Failing to provide value
You’ve heard the saying “What’s in it for me?” Well, for your clients that’s an important part of deciding whether to purchase a service or product. What is in it for them? It’s a common sales mistake to sell the product instead of selling the solutions it provides. Your product can be impressive and groundbreaking, but if your client can’t see the value to their specific situation and needs, they’re going to pass. It’s vital that you research your client’s business, what problems they are facing, and present solutions that can help them overcome those challenges. If you’re headed into a sales meeting and haven’t done any research or know any of the pain points your client experiences in order to show the value of your product, you’re doomed to fail.
Talking more than you listen
When you have an incredible product it’s so tempting to sing its praises and take up the entire meeting by talking about your product. This is a common sales mistake. Take a step back, turn off the typical sales spiel, and make time to connect with your prospect. Learn about them, discover their needs and truly listen. It’s been found that top sales reps listen more than they talk, at about a 46% talk / 54% listen ratio. Additionally, listening sets you up as an expert! You won’t have to guess what your client needs because they’ll be telling you everything you need to know. When you ask smart and insightful questions, your client will share more information, ultimately setting you up to be able to make the connection between their business needs and your product. The close will fall right into place because it’s already been set up by the client themselves!
Trash talking competitors
Don’t speak negatively about the competition as the cornerstone of your close. “Buy my product because the competitor’s sucks” is not a compelling closing statement. An article on Entrepreneur notes:
That creates a list of problems: nobody likes dealing with negative people, you haven’t sold them a solution, the person you’re selling to likely has a great and personal relationship with the rep from the company you're bashing and business slander is real and has consequences -- yes, you’re liable for the things that come out of your mouth.
Be an advocate for your services and the solutions they provide. This doesn’t mean you can’t discuss the competition at all if the client asks about comparisons but be truthful and factual about specific features. Berating a product or sales rep should never be part of the sales and closing process.
Failure to ask direct questions
When closing on a prospect, it’s important to ask for what you want. This is true throughout the whole sales process. Hubspot notes that sales reps might not ask for what they want because they are afraid of rejection or might not know their desired outcome. Don’t be afraid of rejection! It’s better to get the “no” and move on than to waste time with a prospect that has no intention of buying. Have a clear idea of what you want from each interaction. Do you want a phone call, an in-person meeting, to get feedback on a proposal or is it time to sign the paperwork? Follow your sales process and create direct closes:
- Are you available tomorrow for a call?
- Is Tuesday a good day to meet?
- Will you be approving the proposal today?
- Will you sign and send back the contract by Wednesday?
- These all prompt a straightforward answer from your prospect and will help you close and move on to the next step.
Only closing once
You must close, and you have to ask more than once. Now, you might not be asking for the big sign off each time, but the sales process should include multiple points of closing, building client buy-in and agreement along the way. Then, when you do have to go in for the big close at the end, it’s not scary. You have a temperature of how the client is feeling about your product, and you’ve been able to address any concerns or barriers to entry along the way, so the final ask will feel natural and moving forward should seem like the obvious next step to your client.
Sign on the Line
Are you ready to get the deal? By avoiding these common closing mistakes, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting the sale. If you fail to provide value, don’t connect with your client or have a missing or weak close, you might not get the results you need. Don’t let these top sales mistakes become part of your sales closing routine.
Want to learn more about what your customers think of the closing process? Call us at SurveyMe. We will get you the insight you need to provide the proper coaching to your sales team for more effective closes.