How to Close the Deal = Know Your Prospects
Sep 05, 2013
Your sales team needs to know your products and services inside out, but when it comes to closing a deal, they need to be just as well-versed in your customers’ needs.
Suppose you hear from a prospect you’ve been targeting for a long time. Just because you’ve been contacted doesn’t mean a sale. Customers are likely to be looking for an idea of how your products or services are going to beef up their bottom lines — in other words, if they buy, what’s in it for them?
You need to give answers that demonstrate how you can bolster the prospect’s operations, productivity and — above all — profit.
Here’s a three-step strategy to help seal the deal:
Spend as much time as possible learning everything you can about the customer’s company and projects it may be starting that need your products or services. Study the company’s Web site. Find data on finances, operating methods, history, products, services, top executives and industry standing. Ask the customer for any relevant written material, explaining that you need the data to scope out the needs of the business.
Using your research, prepare six questions you want to ask the prospective buyer. Make the questions open-ended so they elicit lengthy answers. The goal is to uncover problem areas in the company.
When you finally sit down with potential customers, let them do most of the talking and listen carefully. This helps you come back with insightful solutions and suggestions. It’s all positioning: by knowing your prospective customers’ businesses and needs and providing solutions to their problems, you position yourself as a professional who is concerned about their success. Once they see that, the deal is more likely to be clinched.
Solid research can help cut the number of calls you make and boost the percentage of leads that become done deals. Remember, the more money you help customers make, the healthier your bottom line will be.