In my work as a sales trainer and keynote speaker, I get calls and emails from people asking me to help them learn how to close more sales. This is a valid request because sales are the lifeblood of any business.

However, as I talk with them, I often discover that they are putting the cart before the horse. Here’s what I mean…

When I talk to small business owners who want to close more sales, I ask them to tell me how they handle a typical sales call, meeting or request.

More often than not, they state that they tell their prospect or customer about their products and/or services. They usually follow this by asking their prospect if they have any questions. When the potential customer says, “Let me think about it” they nod and say, “Okay, let me know if you have any question or require any other information.”

Then they thank the other person and go on their way.

If this sounds like you or someone on your team, here are the key reasons you aren’t getting the results you could be.

1. You’re not using the right sales process.

Don’t feel bad…the vast majority of people I work with don’t follow the right sales process. You see, an effective sales conversation should open with discovery, not discussion. Instead of talking about your solution, ask the other person a series of high-quality questions to gain a thorough understanding of their current situation and buying motives. This will help you better position your services in a manner that resonates with your customer.

2. You’re pitching the wrong thing.

Several years ago my wife and I needed to replace the windows on our house. After conducting some research we contacted a highly-recommended company and a few days later the sales guy showed up to give us an estimate.

After touring the house, taking measurements, and working out some numbers, he launched into his sales presentation. This pitch started with information about his company. We told him twice that we already knew he worked for a reputable company but he still continued with his canned presentation.

3. You’re not handling objections properly

Objections are a natural part of the sales process. However, many sales people and small business owners are ineffective at responding to them. I’ll talk more about this topic in another post later this month.

4. You’re not closing

Asking for the business is a critical step in the sales process. Unfortunately, many people simply do not ask for the sales. This happens for a variety of reasons including;

  • They are afraid of offending the other person
  • They don’t want to be perceived as being pushy
  • They don’t know how to ask
  • They don’t know when to ask
  • They are afraid of rejection

Asking for the sale can be as simple as saying, “May I have your business?” or “Would you like to go ahead with this?” Summon up the courage to do this step—providing you have done the others first—and you will automatically close more sales.

5. You’re not agreeing on the next steps

Ending a sales conversation with no pre-determined next steps is a huge killer of sales. Saying something like, “I’ll give you a few days to think about and call you next week” is a recipe for disaster.

If you’re serious about closing more sales, you need to confirm and agree on the next steps BEFORE the end of your conversation. You can do that by saying, “Mr. Jones, I know you need to think about this. When would be a good to contact you again?”

If they respond with something like, “call me next week” then you need to gently and assertively narrow down a day and time. Here’s how..

“Sure, does Tuesday at 3:15 P.M. work for you?” Assuming they say yes, follow this by saying, “I will send you an email reminder” or “Let’s both put this on our calendar so we don’t forget.” Then, make sure you follow up and reopen the conversation.

When you change the way you manage a sales conversation, you get different results.
Consistently apply these five steps and you will definitely start closing more sales, generate more revenue and make more money.