Do you have problems closing business?
You have lots of meetings with prospects you know could do with your help. But nothing comes of them.
You’ve spent time asking questions to uncover your prospect’s issues/pain/challenges. You’ve found out their hopes and desires. You’ve looked at the implications of them fixing their issues and achieving their desired outcomes.
Your prospect seems interested in what you do, but you still seem to go around in circles.
Frustrated, you leave with the only agreement being to “keep in touch or have another meeting” sometime in the near future.
Believe me it’s a very common scenario experienced by consultants, coaches and even some professional salespeople.
There is a simple way to avoid all this frustration.
By the way, the frustration is felt by your prospect as well. You’ve got them to a place where they’ve acknowledged their pain, they want a solution, possibly feel you can provide one, and you leave them hanging.
Your solution (no pun intended) is to take charge and make a recommendation.
You start by asking permission to present your wares.
Start with an overview of the objectives and outcomes your prospect wants to achieve.
“We’ve discussed your main objectives are getting ABC and XYZ. Your challenges include DEF and UVW.”
“In our experience the challenges you mentioned are very common. I’ve helped many people/organisations with similar challenges and goals. I have a program/product/service that has helped many people/organisations like yours reach their objectives. Can I tell you how it works?”
If you’ve been genuinely interested in them, their story, their challenges and goals, more than likely they’ll say yes.
You’re asking permission to present your services. You’re not manipulating them into anything. You don’t have to come across as a pushy used car salesman.
Now, a word of caution. Don’t wing this. Write it down and follow the methodology below.
Every product or service comes with a bunch of features, each of which have a corresponding benefit.
Present the big overall benefit or outcome first, followed by the feature or process you’ll take them through to get that outcome.
For example, this is what we’d say:
“Our sales program focuses on improving your bottom line profitability by at least 25% over the next year. From your figures that would be in the range of $2M. The program runs for one year and consists of group work and individual coaching with your sales team to improve closing ratios.”
A business coach might say:
“Our coaching program is designed to accelerate results in your business while maintaining a work/life balance. To do this we meet once a fortnight where we work to develop specific proven strategies and mindsets that will take you to where you want to go.”
You’d continue with more granular benefit/feature sets explaining what outcomes your prospect would receive from each.
Between each set get feedback from your prospect to ensure they’re still with you. They may have got stuck or be confused about a point which means they’ll still be thinking about that while you move on. By getting agreement every step of the way you’re engaging in a dialogue not a pitch.
Say something along these lines:
“Does that make sense to you?” Or “Is that clear to you”. “Can you see how this will help you achieve your outcomes?”
As you go along, use stories or case studies to illustrate how you’ve worked with other people to achieve similar results.
None of this needs to be excruciatingly drawn out. Keep it concise and focused and it will go smoothly. It’s just you explaining how your product or service works and what the outcomes for your client will be.
Along the way you could get questions or objections. You need to have good answers for each. Note what common objections you get from clients and work out a response beforehand.
You then wrap up and present the final close. We’ll go through both objection handling and closing in another article, but here are the broad steps for the close.
Once again it’s a process. You’re confirming their commitment, the final close, payment and next steps to get started.
If you’ve handled the meeting well and followed all the previous steps, “closing” just feels natural and neither you or your prospect feels any pressure as they are ready to move forward.
This is just an outline of our process. If you’d like specific help in crafting your own process call us on (02) 9499-7958. We can work singly or with your whole team to improve your sales results.