Asking a customer for their business is a lot like a marriage proposal; getting to "yes" is all about what you do leading up to popping the big question. A sales professional who has done all the right things can have a high level of confidence in asking for the business. One key element for a successful sales outcome is the degree to which you make your customer part of the solution:
3 Steps to Higher Closing Rates
- Explore: Gaining the customer's insight as to their needs, goals and motivation is the first step in collaborating with the customer toward a positive outcome and valued solution. For more detailed information on diagnosing customer needs, read/view more about the Exploratory Process.
- Recognize the Customer's Role: The customer's need or "gaps" should be referenced at least twice in the sales presentation: at the outset during a review of the customer's gaps and during the solution presentation when the features, advantages and benefits of your solution are tied to specific customer gaps. In each instance, be sure to credit customers for their insight and input and recognize their contribution to the creation of a superior solution.
- Use Response Checks: Response checks, in the form of questions or a pause, serve several important functions. First, they encourage customer participation in your sales presentation and, per the above points, in your solution itself. Response checks will also help you gauge understanding and acceptance of your solution and uncover unspoken objections or questions, allowing you to further explore, understand and address the customer's concerns rather than continue with a blind spot that hinders your delivering the optimal solution.
There are many elements that go into a winning sales presentation but making your customer part of your solution will increase your odds of success in asking for the business and put your much closer to the coveted "yes."