How to close the deal with an effective Sales Conversation
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Are Your Goals SMART? - By Edward Abel
Sales are a key component to building a thriving business. However, many people who start businesses are not natural sales people. If you find yourself in this category, try following the below step-by-step sales process. Though you'll need to adjust it for your particular business, it will provide you with a framework to closing more sales.
Step 1 - Establish rapport: To establish rapport, begin your sales conversation with a smile on your face and warmth in your voice. Find something in common and discuss it briefly. Continue building rapport throughout the sales conversation by listening actively to what your potential client is saying and responding appropriately. Remind yourself that you are having this conversation to attend to their needs. Encourage your potential client to do most of the talking throughout the sales conversation. You should be doing about 1/3 of the talking, and your potential client should be doing about 2/3s of the talking.
Step 2 - Uncover the client's situation / problem / needs: Before you start talking about your business or what you offer, ask the potential clients open-ended questions to uncover the situation, the problem, or his/her needs. Open-ended questions invite the other person to open up and to give a lot of information. These questions encourage long answers. This is your chance to understand your customer. It will take some practice for you to determine the best set of questions that gain the most information. Below are some ideas to inspire questions that will be more appropriate for your business:
- What situation are you facing?
- What problem are you looking to solve?
- What kind of solution are you looking for?
- When do you need this solution?
As you share information about your offering, emphasize the features and benefits. A feature is a fact that tells something about the solution. A benefit is what the solution will mean to the client. Benefits appeal to people on an emotional level. Benefits highlight exactly how your offering will solve a problem - what it will do for the client.
Step 4 - Discuss the next steps: It is a natural progression to describe what you offer and then discuss what needs to happen next. The next steps depend on the nature of your business and your product or service. Here are some possible next steps that you can adapt to your business:
- The client pays for the product or service.
- The client fills out an application.
- The client talks to the other decision-makers.
- You prepare a written proposal that describes the details of your proposed solution.
- You research more possible solutions and make another appointment
- I'm assuming you're ready to fill out the application. Is that correct?
- Shall we have our first meeting on Wednesday at noon or Thursday at 5 pm?
- Would you like the blue dress or the red dress?
- Shall we get started on the paperwork?
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Are Your Goals SMART? - By Edward Abel
About the Author: Edward Abel
RSS for Edward's articles - Visit Edward's website
Ed Abel has invested more than three decades learning how to build a successful, thriving business. At age 24 with a $5,000 loan and the energy and passion of a young entrepreneur, Ed was ready to take on the world. And he did, only to emerge seven years later at the top of a $36 million organization with 585 employees. Inspired by the challenges that led him to success, Ed went on to build other multi-million dollar businesses, yet he missed the passion he experienced "in the trenches" of his formative years.
Determined to find a way to educate and advise others in the construction and sustainability of a vital business, he founded ABEL Business Institute. Over the course of this process, he developed The SkillPreneur Business System, a systematic approach to the construction, maintenance, and growth of a business's--an approach that has become the philosophy and methodology of ABEL Business Institute.
Ed is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurial studies at New York University (NYU) as well as the Director of the business division at the world class Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). At iPEC, Ed directs the business division that is responsible for supporting the graduate coaches in their business development process.
Click here to visit Edward's website.
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