In sale strategy, everything comes down to one simple word: yes. But how do you get to a yes? What tools can you implement to not only help get to a yes, but do it quickly? Assuming you have a strong value proposition, the following selling strategies can help you build relationships and get to the magic word: yes.
Engender Goodwill — Strong, meaningful relationships start with building rapport and trust. Your relationships will move forward by leaps and bounds if you engender goodwill. For example, you can arrange for an introduction between the prospect and an expert in your network. If you know a venture capital influencer, making an introduction could help the prospect receive funding while putting you in a good light. Or, connect the prospect with a brand or business marketing strategist to take their business to the next level. You could also offer an initial exploration for free so that your soon-to-be client a clear understanding of how your capabilities align with their needs. Giving a little in the beginning of the relationship demonstrates your willingness and dedication to the prospects’ business and needs.
Wine & Dine — It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it’s an effective selling strategy. Think of wining and dining prospects not as an underhanded bribe, but a way to build and strengthen relationships. “Courting and building relationships over time are the only guarantees of succeeding in closing a deal,” says Raymond Gunn, managing partner of entrepreneurial consultant Wingspan Partners in an article on StartUpNation.com. Indeed, those with strong relationships will more likely get to a yes and wining and dining helps you get there.
Keep Momentum Going — Your goal is to close the deal as quickly as possible, so you need to keep momentum going. To do so, each step should have a clear next step. For instance, after a sales presentation, agree on a time the prospect should make a verbal agreement. To narrow the time gap, create a sense of urgency, such as a 5 percent early signing bonus or additional features, but avoid being intensely pressuring or desperate.
Make a Clear Offer — Spell it out. For the sales prospect to say yes, they need to know everything involved in the decision, which means crafting a clear sales offer. What product or services will you provide, at what rate, what results should the client expect and when will it be delivered? To help highlight your points, you can develop your proposal in PowerPoint to convey your points in a succinct and concise way.
Provide Incentives – After your PowerPoint with highlights and images of your product offering, you are close, but did you get a yes? If you really want the client, provide sales incentives such as a free trial offer of your service and/or product samples. You might make a little less in the short-run, but in the long-run you’ve gained another client.
Throughout the entire closing-the-deal process, you must not only provide value, but also have patience and persistence. Closing a deal doesn’t always happen overnight. You have to build credibility and commitment over time and keep your product in the prospect’s purview. And always be prepared to lose. Though you might put an incredible effort into closing a sale, the unfortunate truth is many deals fall through. For instance, if four short-listed ad agencies spend $100,000 to win an account, at least $300,000 will be lost. But following the above can enhance your chances of avoiding common sales pitfalls to close the deal.
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