“Business owners and sales people who don’t realise that their livelihood depends on provoking the twin emotions of curiosity and inadequacy struggle to make and keep their business profitable and meet their goals.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
The 3-Step Framework for a Confident Close
My goal is to empower people and the number #1 tool of empowerment is confidence in your sales skills. Despite what many people think when they hear the world ‘sales’ there is nothing sleazy or negative about a highly skilled sales person… Sleaze and pushiness belong with those who are desperate, needy, and lack confidence in themselves and the value they bring to the table.
If you want a step-by-step sales guide that does not take into account the particular needs of both your prospect and your product, then you’re about 40 years too late. One-size-fits-all selling was an Industrial Age phenomena that has minimal effectiveness today where customization and personality are at the forefront.
My sales framework has several segments but today we’re looking at how to move from introduction to the next step no matter what stage you are at within the framework. It is just as powerful at helping you create momentum when you are first meeting someone at a networking function and want to set an appointment as it is when you are ready for their signature and first payment.
The Power of Curiosity
There are very few people in this world who wake up looking for things to buy – especially in the business world.
That means, that if you want to close the sale, your first task it to arouse curiosity in the minds of your prospects and of your clients. I’m often asked to work with clients to hone their elevator pitch into a brief statement that opens discussion rather than shuts it down. If your answer to the question, “What do you do?” starts with “I am an…” You’re not only failing to answer the question you’re being asked, you’re also shutting down the conversation which is the very opposite to the goal at which you are aiming.
That’s one side of the curiosity equation, and it’s a powerful way of inviting your prospect to initiate a sales conversation or close the deal. The other side of the equation is even more powerful in some ways: that’s the side where you demonstrate curiosity about your prospect or client and find out what they need and where they are feeling pain or lack of confidence.
Questions that Uncover Possibilities
When you ask appropriate questions, you enable your prospects and clients to help themselves see that they have…
- Serious Problems
- Unmet Needs
- Dangerous Levels of Exposure
- Unprotected Vulnerabilities
At this point, you hardly need to sell because they will sell themselves. You just keep silent, listen carefully, and wait for them to say the magic words, “…and that’s why I really need to work with you!”
Along the way, you’ll find the three key sentences that you can use to confirm their decision to work with you after they have finished selling themselves into your program or product.
What are those questions?
There is no ‘one size fits all’, because there really is an art to formulating appropriate questions that will help your prospects SEE the possibilities, FEEL their present pain, and KNOW that you can work with them to solve their problems because you don’t merely have knowledge and experience, you also have insight and wisdom.
Every Interaction Has A Clear Goal
“How will you know when you have achieved your goal?” is a key question that you need to answer before every sales conversation.
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series (you can find that HERE) the business world is shifting rapidly and it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date with your clients and customers and monitor their need and their pain so that you can solve the problems that are uppermost in their mind.
Sales calls aren’t just used to bring new clients onboard – that is the ultimate goal, but along the way there might be other goals.
I’m always worried when I’m conducting an in-house sales training and more than one person says, “I didn’t close any sales this week, but I had X number of conversations and Y appointments.” The only thing that is worse is when they say, “I had lots of conversations and appointments but no sales.” Both of these responses demonstrate that the sales systems and processes themselves need work and that the building and training process will be extensive.
However, when I hear a detailed breakdown of the goals for each call or appointment around areas including:
- Nurturing relationships with clients and prospects,
- Discovering more about specific areas of concern or need,
- Moving the prospect or client from one sales stage to the next,
- Offering clients and prospects an opportunity they might not have heard about otherwise,
- Requesting feedback on existing services,
- Following established systems and processes to create momentum,
- Then I know I’m dealing with an organisation that is truly committed to serving it’s customers and solving their problems and the sales team are usually wanting to take their skills to the next level because they’re true professionals who always want to grow, but they’re working with a system that is supporting their efforts.