In the good-old-days, sales was all about the sales close. In fact, corporate sales teams had manuals stocked with various phrases and tactics their sales reps could use to close the deal. They had the Ben Franklin close, the Puppy Dog close, the Assumptive close, the Columbo close, the Now or Never close…
However, in today’s environment, the sales close should be thought of as a natural progression of your sales process. Don’t separate it out and tack it on the end of your process. Use the momentum you build throughout your sales process to reach a point where you can ask your prospect, “are you ready to begin” in total confidence.
Here’s a tip: Ask your prospect permission to move forward in your sales process before transitioning between stages. Use these trial closes to build momentum towards a logical decision.
Sales Training Exercise – Building Momentum to Reach the Sales Close
Here’s your exercise this week. In five of your sales calls, ask your manager to join you if possible. If your calls are on the phone, make them conference calls and invite your manager to listen in. The goal is to get someone to give you an objective review of your sales call.
In these calls, your sales manager will be listening and observing for trial closes in your sales process. These closes take the temperature of your prospect, determining if they have enough attention, interest, and trust to move forward in your sales process. For example, if near the beginning of the sales process when I’m getting the prospect’s attention, I’ll ask, “Do you have time for a few questions” before moving to the questioning stage in the sales process. In the diagnosis stage, I’ll review the challenge as both of us have explored and ask the prospect if the review is a fair assessment before prescribing a solution.
At every stage, you want to gauge your prospect’s interest and discover if they are with you. Because if you aren’t bringing them along in the process, then you don’t have momentum and haven’t earned the right to close the sale.
After the call, get with your sales manager for a debrief. Review the number of times you used trial closes to bring your prospect along in the sales call. At the end of the five calls, review them all for call quality and results. I think you’ll find that regularly checking in with your prospect will build momentum and drive your results.
Are you ready to test your knowledge of the sales process? Take our online sales assessment here and discover if you have the away-game advantage.