Closing a deal is the culmination of a process, rather than the result of tips or tricks used at the end of a meeting that makes your prospect buy.
The traditional sales approach suggests that we should follow the mantra of ‘Always be Closing’. ABC. ‘Always be Closing’ doesn’t work though.
It’s far too aggressive and it puts too much emphasis on the ‘close’.
‘People buy for their own reasons, rarely, if ever, for the Salespersons reasons.’
Smart Sales People adhere to the mantra of ‘Always be Qualifying’. ABQ. If you qualify prospects deeply you can close deals more easily.
Let’s take a look at the 7 reasons deals don’t close and how to deal with them:
1. ‘We are just not sure we need it’
The sale is made in the ‘Pain’ step. That part of the sales process when you ask questions to understand your prospects challenges and motivation for change. This response is a clear indication that the PAIN qualification step in the sales process wasn’t done properly. You have to get the prospect to discover the real problem they are experiencing and make them aware of the cause; not just the symptoms.
2. ‘We need it, but not today’
This comes down to helping your prospect discover the impact of waiting. Is there a cost in waiting? Will things get better or worse if they don’t change? This is a key part of the Pain’ step in the Sandler Sales Process.
3. ‘I prefer someone else’
If you hear this, can you answer ‘why?’ ‘Why?’ is the most powerful question in selling and is used far too infrequently. You need to be upfront with your prospect and see why they would rather use someone else and where their reservations are with you. Only then can you have an open and honest conversation with them about changing.
4. ‘The moment has passed’
The sales process should be conducted at a good pace. You need to train your prospect early to make and give you decisions. You should be clear with them upfront that you expect them to be honest with you; even when it is a ‘No’. The key to avoiding misunderstanding is the Up-Front Contract, and the Decision Step - these are key parts of the Sandler Sales Process. Have you checked they will be in a position to make a decision when you are at the end of your meeting?
5. ‘We don’t have the budget’
The Budget step was overlooked here - you have to ask the bold budget questions around investment. Questions that help you identify if they are willing and able to invest the time, resources and money needed to solve their problems. It is also key you know your prospects pricing expectations and limitations before you ruin things and end up with this response.
6. ‘I want it - but they don’t agree’
It is often the case that one person can make or break a decision. In order to understand this, you have to be really clear with who is needed to be involved in the Decision making process and make sure they are included. It is incredibly rare to find an individual who truly makes autonomous decisions. Sales professionals develop rapport across an organisation, engaging with all the ‘decision-makers; involved in a buying process. They know how to identify the single person of failure in their deals.
7. ‘Something doesn’t fit’
There would be no problems here if:
1. You were qualifying properly, deeply, comprehensively
2. You checked nothing had changed since you last spoke
3. You set the Up-Front Contract with very specific terms about what would happen next
4. You present something that mirrors what they need
All of the problems here can be fixed by following a structured sales process.
At Sandler, we have a set 7 step process that makes these issues problems of the past.
If you would like to have a free 30 minute consultation with Dave to discuss the 7 Steps further please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.