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EXPERTS SHARE EFFECTIVE TIPS FOR CLOSING SALES ::: FSG LINKS

Signature_350_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

This week’s resources are focused on Closing Sales.

Below, you’ll find commandments, reasonssigns, and research to help you grow in your ability to more consistently close a growing number of sales.

Return to this blog daily, and especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

EXPERTS SHARE EFFECTIVE TIPS FOR CLOSING SALES :::


Grant_Cardone_130x130Entrepreneur Magazine

12 Commandments for Closing a Sale
This classic article from sales ace Grant Cardone (@GrantCardone) is from three years ago, and is written to small business owners and marketers, but we can all benefit from reading and applying his rules for closing more sales.

KEY QUOTE: Always treat prospects like buyers

Some of these are reminders, but we can become lax with the basics at times. Apply these rules in your sales conversations today. #AlwaysCloseLikeAPro

[Reading Time of This Post: 3:30 minutes]

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John_Ruhlin_130x130Entrepreneur Magazine

The 3 Main Reasons You’re Not Closing the Deal
Founder and CEO of Ruhlin Group John Ruhlin (@ruhlin) gives us 3 points to review and consider in relation to your own closing habits. Some of this information will be good reminders for you, but there will also be something specific you needed to read. Find out what that is for you.

KEY QUOTE: Sales cycles can last months or even years. Follow-up is where people drop the ball. The best sales teams in the world know they can’t control the timing for when someone makes a decision, but they can control how they stay top of mind with the prospect. People do business with those they like and trust, but also key is staying creatively top of mind.”

Don’t miss reason number three, then put this helpful advice into action for your next opportunity to close the sale.  #GrowingPains

[Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]

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Leslie_Ye_130x130HubSpot Sales Blog

5 Signs Your Sales Deal Is Ready to Be Closed
HubSpot blogger Leslie Ye (@lesliezye) recently put together this very helpful list of indicators to watch for when looking to close a deal

KEY QUOTE: It’s easy to tell when to ask for a close if you know what to look for. Learn to spot these five indicators that your prospect is ready to become a buyer, and you’ll never be caught by surprise again — or worse, miss an opportunity to get the deal done.”

Know what to look for, and what to do when you see those indicators, to gain more sales #EarnYourCoffee

[Reading Time: 4:30 minutes]

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Graham_Winfrey_130x130Inc. Magazine

[Infographic] The Best Day to Close a Sale
Staff writer for @Inc magazine Graham Winfrey (@GrahamWinfrey) wrote this helpful article toward the end of last year, but the data still holds true today. Learn which days of the week are best for converting sales in specific countries around the globe. It’s fascinating data.

KEY QUOTE: “As a business owner you’ve no doubt heard the expression ‘always be closing,’ but it turns out that certain days of the week are better than others for converting sales prospects into customers.”

This isn’t a prescription for working harder on certain days of the week. Instead, take what you can learn about closing deals worldwide and take it into consideration when looking to close deals overseas. #ItsASmallSmallWorld

[Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

 

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HOW TO CLOSE A SALE WHEN “YOUR PRICE IS TOO HIGH”

Objection_334_shadowClosing a sale after you’ve been told “your price is too high” is all relative.

Albert Einstein, in his theory of special relativity, determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and he showed that the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels. [source]

Sales are being made every day around the world after sales professionals are told their prices are “too high.” You are either accelerating along with that trend or you’re simply an observer. The sales will still happen and go to someone, whether it’s you or a competitor.

The key to winning those sales comes down to painting the picture of relativity for them, and I found someone who can clearly and quickly explain his approach to us.

Speaker, sales trainer, author, coach [and professional stand-up comedian] Butch Bellah (@salespowertips) recently wrote an extremely helpful post about “How To Answer, ‘Your Price Is Too High.'”

Relativity comes into play right away because Bellah’s advice centers around this phrase, and rightly so:

“Compared To What?”

THE CAVEAT
Allow me to state what we both know. Each one of us currently has an approach to handling this specific objection. Butch’s post gives us value because we can essentially sit in on him having this conversation with a buyer and observe how he turns it around into a true sales opportunity.

Seeing how others effectively handle a common objection can spur on ideas to help each of us close more sales.

HOW BUTCH DOES IT
Why do we hear this objection so often? Most buyers use it in an attempt to leverage lower price. Others simply don’t have the budget, so they will need to settle for a product or service of lesser quality. Still others seem to say it out of habit more than anything else:

“It seems as if some people say it before you even get the price fully disclosed—it’s more of an automated response than an actual objection. They know their lines and they are going to get them out. But, it’s still an objection, isn’t it? We still have to overcome it, don’t we?”

The next words out of your mouth need to be, “Compared to what?”

Butch then goes into the variety of ways the buyer tends to respond and how to respond to those answers. This is where this post really gives us high value.

It’s critical that you maintain the attitude of someone who’s genuinely interested in knowing the answer to that question. Don’t allow yourself to become defensive. Don’t attempt to rush toward fixing or convincing them they’re wrong.

The only way they’ll change their stance is if they do so by hearing their own words in response to your questions. So, make sure your questions the right ones to ask.

Read Butch’s post now to understand all of this in the context of his example conversation with a buyer. It’s well-written and well-explained, and worth your time in reading it. [Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]

BONUS: You can get more ideas in another post by Bellah, titled: “5 GREAT Closes For Handling Price Objections.”

GET EXCITED!
Now that you’ve read Butch’s approach regarding how to respond to being told your price is too high, you not only don’t need to fear hearing this phrase, but you can look forward to it. A perceived locked door becomes an open one when you know how to work through this very common objection.

The next time you hear, “Your price is too high,” get excited! Because you now have them exactly where you want them at that point of the conversation.

QUESTION: What advice do you have for other sales professionals about what to do or say when you’re told your price is “too high”?

Let’s talk about it…

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SALES EXPERTS SWEAR BY THESE CLOSING TRICKS

coffee_bags_313_shadowIf coffee is for closers, then you’re about to read some recommendations from 5 coffee magnates…

It appears Fergal Glynn (VP of Marketing for @docurated) recently spent some quality time researching what some of today’s top sales experts have shared about closing sales. He put it all together in a post for HubSpot’s Sales Blog titled, “9 Sales Closing Tricks That the Experts Swear By.”

I highly recommend reading it today.

Glynn’s opening paragraph paints the picture well. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to the moment of truth that is the closing of the sale:

Closing deals is an art. Most sales professionals have their own unique styles. Combine these with their company’s specific sales process and the individual customer’s needs, and closing deals becomes a highly individualized process.

Okay. Before we really get started here, there’s something that needs to be said…

A BRIEF 30-SECOND INTERLUDE…
Please allow this old[er] gentleman a moment to express that I’ve firmly believed, since the beginning of my career, that there is no bigger misnomer in the field of sales than the phrase, “Closing the deal/sale.”

In my opinion, the sale actually begins to take on its life after the sale is birthed with a signature. What happens on the other side of the signature is what makes the sale a true win for all parties involved.

It’s more than a matter of semantics. It’s led too many sales reps astray. To think of the idea of the closing as an ending has led far too many sales professionals to work hard only up until the sale is signed, but not after it…at least, not with the effort they put forth to obtain the signature.

To put that in baseball terms: They’re running TO the base, not THROUGH the base…and that will eventually cost you some base hits, and gain you a poor reputation, if that’s how you play the game.

That reputation affects/hurts the reputation of every sales professional in the industry, because that perception is cast upon the rest of us. This creates an additional hurdle for us to help the prospect clear.

That hurdle can be removed during subsequent sales if you truly proved your value after the previous sale was made official.

That’s what we need more of in our sales industry: exemplary service after the sale as well.

BACK TO GLYNN’S POST…
Glynn offers a great quote about the wide variety of answers you would receive from a poll of sales leaders:

As sales careers expert Thomas Phelps explains, “If you asked 100 sales professionals for their best tips on closing a sale, you would get 100 different responses. You would hear the old school crowd preaching the benefits of the assumptive and Colombo closes. The newer breed would claim that a sale is simply the result of the relationship and rapport you have built with the customer.”

That’s okay here since we’re speaking with specific sales leaders who have proven their advice can work over the test of time.

You’ve surely heard some of these before, but we’re kept sharp by reminders like these along with a few new angles to keep us growing and trying new things.

First up is a pair of tricks from speaker and author Jill Konrath (@jillkonrath). Then, two pieces of advice from international sales expert Grant Cardone (@GrantCardone).

Next, co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, among other ventures, Neil Patel (@NeilPatel) also has a pair of ways he’s been consistently successful.

The post ends with two tricks from account strategy expert and author Tom Searcy (@TomSearcy) and a final word from author, speaker, and entrepreneur Brian Tracy (@briantracy).

Now, I haven’t told you what each of these sales stars offer because, as you know if you read this blog with any regularity, I have no interest in stealing the thunder of authors such as Fergal Glynn. Read his post in its full intended context to learn best from this very helpful resource.

[Reading Time for Glynn’s Post: 2 minutes]

QUESTION ::: What would you offer as a trick or tip for consistently closing sales?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

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ARE YOU GIVING AWAY THE FARM WITH YOUR SALES DISCOUNTS?

Horse_Farm_318_shadowA discounted sale is better than no sale…right?

Certainly not always, and most likely not as often as you may think.

A common frustration among leadership above sales teams is that their salespeople give away too many discounts.

They’re giving away profits they could have retained if they were better prepared to respond to the steady stream of requests for discounts they receive from buyers.

Sales trainer, keynote speaker & coach Don Cooper, a.k.a “The Sales Heretic” (@doncooper), recently took on this issue head-on with a very useful blog post titled, Nine Reasons Salespeople Discount When They Shouldn’t.”

Cooper gets it right when he writes:

Buyers will never stop asking for discounts, for the simple reason that it’s in their best interest to. Salespeople need good reasons to be able to say no.

The post goes into the most common reasons why sales professionals give discounts when they really shouldn’t do so. Copper explains each one of them convincingly, and I agree these are the typical reasons why discounts are given.

A few of them include:

  • Fear of losing the sale
  • “Everybody does it.”
  • Unable to articulate the value

It’s the final reason, #9, that really sums up what’s needed at a foundational level. Addressing this issue with this one solution takes care of the other 8 reasons why discounts are too often given.

You’ll need to read Cooper’s post to find out what that ninth reason is.

With all of this said, are there times when discounts can or should be given? Yes, those situations certainly do exist. But, over time we gain experience and understand better how those moments are fewer and further between than we once thought.

[Reading Time: 1:30]

QUESTION ::: Can you think of a time when you gave a customer a discount when you really shouldn’t have done so?What was that situation and why don’t you believe a discount was the right call?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS ::: WRITING IT DOWN, SECRETS OF BARISTAS & DERAILING THE SALE

Coffee_342_shadowThis week’s links are about having greater effectiveness through note taking, the metaphor of the barista, the power of FREE and 5 great ways to lose a sale.

Come back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

BE MORE EFFECTIVE :::

The Sales Heretic
Eight Ways Taking Notes Boosts Your Sales
Did you know there are at least 8 beneficial reasons for taking notes during sales meetings? Don Cooper“The Sales Heretic”(@doncooper) put together this list that’s both efficient and effective in explaining why you need to be taking good notes during every sales call.

KEY QUOTE: “Reviewing your notes after the conversation can enable you to make connections you previously missed and trigger questions that didn’t occur to you at the time. This gives you a great reason to follow up later with meaningful questions and valuable ideas.

Personally, I used to simply write on the notepad in my portfolio, but I switched to a more premium moleskin journal. I believe it has been yet another way to improve a prospect’s perception of me, and I’ve been asked about it many times at the close of meetings. #noted
[Reading Time: 1:30]

Sales Equity Blog
How Your Client Experience Can Rock Like A Barista Does
We have an inherent desire to be known by others. Not by everyone, but by a select few. The barista connects with customers on this very foundational level. The simple act being known by name and by our coffee preferences connects us to a brand like few other things do.

We need to be those kinds of top-notch baristas to our customers.

I enjoyed reading and later thinking about this post by Fernando Ramirez (@fredlistens). I believe you will as well.

KEY QUOTE: “For a Barista, it is as simple as recognizing customers by their first name or how they like their coffee. Be the barista that customers care about and know. Remember, customers aren’t just buying a cup of coffee. They are paying for the experience & your expertise that comes along with your product offering.

“Focus less on the transactional aspect of business (product features, pricing, etc.), and more on your clients’ business challenges and the kind of help you can offer them. It’s the relationship that matters the most.”

What needs to change in order to make your customer relationship experience less like a salesperson and more like a barista. #grandequadnonfatonepumpnowhipmocha #cancelthat #takeitblack
[Reading Time: 2:00]

CLOSING THE DEAL :::

Saleskick Blog
5 Tips to Making a FREE Offer to Close a Sale
Depending on what you’re selling, giving something away free, even for a limited time, may not be possible or the best thing to do. But, there are some situations, perhaps some you haven’t yet thought of, where the right free offer seals the deal.

Jim Logan (@saleskick) writes about the importance of timing, using the right offer and delivering full customer service to prospects who accept your free offer.

KEY QUOTE: “If you build the case for your product or service – benefits, difference, reason to believe – and close with an offer to try it for FREE, it demonstrates supreme confidence in everything you’ve presented. If you open and push the FREE offer, you run the risk of appearing desperate. Sad, but true.”

Again, this isn’t for every situation. What might you be able to offer that you haven’t yet been offering? #youarefreetoclosethesale
[Reading Time: 1:30]

WHAT NOT TO DO :::

The Center For Sales Strategy Blog
Derail the Sale? Five Sure-Fire Ways
Steve Marx (@SteveMarx) offer 5 strong reminders worth reviewing [every week] before setting off to make the most of your sales week.

KEY QUOTE: “In some cases, you can learn about specific challenges they’re facing or opportunities they’re chasing. And information about specific people at the company that you might approach? If you want to stay in the dark about them, be sure to steer clear of LinkedIn.

Not only is it easier than ever to qualify a prospect, but these days many of the best prospects are raising their hands and qualifying themselves. But never mind all that: Derail your sale by investing gobs of time in an unqualified prospect.”

Be honest with yourself and look for ways you may be guilty of 1 or more of these, at least in part, then make the changes needed to be more effective at what you do best…getting the sale#salesFAILs
[Reading Time: 2:00]

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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WATCHING ‘SHARK TANK’ & CLOSING THE SALE

Shark_Tank_290_shadowHave you ever wondered when Shark Tank will inevitably “jump the shark”? [reference]

There aren’t any signs of that happening soon. The hit TV show Shark Tank has definitely caught the attention of mainstream America, leading to scenes such as a father, a housewife, a 14-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son all yelling together at the TV set, “TAKE THE DEAL!!”

“It reflects a human’s natural tendency to want to haggle, exchange large sums of money and of course share in the success (or laugh at the failures) of others.” [source]

I was reading a blog post by Lori Richardson (@scoremoresales) last week titled, “How Shark Tank Teaches How To Close Deals.” I gave the article a chance because it was written by Lori. I’m glad I did.

In the post, Lori points out a recent example of someone who came to the tank trying to make a deal. His product was great, and the sharks seemed to love the idea, but the common issue of having too high of a valuation led each potential investor to utter the phrase, “I’m out.”

Mark Cuban decided to give the presenter a pep talk before he left the studio, and that was when the big lesson came into play. In that moment, it took a confident, persistent salesman to take advantage of the opportunity he was given.

To his credit, that opportunity would’ve been missed by nearly everyone who’s ever presented on the show in the past. He was able to get his deal done because of his ability to rewrite the unwritten rule about what “I’m out” meant.

I would tell the lesson to you now in black and white, but I really like the feeling it gave me when I read it in Lori’s narrative, so I encourage you to go and read it right now for yourself.

Then after you read it, apply it today [and tomorrow, and the day after that, and…].

It’s not revolutionary, but it’s a vital reminder of a foundational aspect of being successful in our field of sales. We need to remind ourselves of this every day before we talk with a single prospect.

QUESTION ::: As a sales professional, if you had an opportunity to present on Shark Tank, what would your strategy be?What do you believe is the biggest mistake presenters make when attempting to pitch their product, service or idea?

Let’s talk about it…

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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