You shouldn’t want to close early. You should want to close a sale when your prospect is sold. Sales reps can’t show up ready to sell something, they have to show that they are experts who are graciously looking to help those who have a problem that really needs solving. Premature closing make the prospect feel less comfortable with a B2B sales closing tactic that is company-centric, rather than buyer-centric.
And that brings me to a call I received from an email marketing provider a couple years back that I hadn’t thought of in a while. We were a couple calls into the evaluation phase of our purchase decision and this specific discussion was memorable because the rep asked me a very pointed question:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is ‘not interested at all’ and 10 is, ‘sign me up right now’, where do you find yourself?”
Although it was bit campy, the question helped me really define what I was feeling and give a definite number to my level of interest and commitment.
“About an 8.”
The rep acted surprised at my choice.
“Really? Based on our conversations, I thought you would be much closer to a 6 or 7. I’m surprised your number is so high. Why did you pick 8?”
My hunch is that whatever number I’d have picked, he would have said he thought I was lower than that. Why? Subtly, I found myself saying out loud all of the reasons I liked his solution – benefits and reasons why I should buy, right out of my own mouth.
The rep began to bring up other things he thought I’d like about the solution.
“What about X? Is this part of why your number is so high? How important is X benefit?”
Active listening skills are important here. The rep then repeated all of the benefits I’d hit on.
“So it sounds like you picked an 8 because of A, B, C and, most of all, D.”
There was still some reason I didn’t pick a 10 on his scale, so he took the opportunity to find out what might have been holding me back from a resounding yes.
“Okay, those sound like really good reasons for moving forward, but now I’m confused. What is stopping you from being at a 10?”
Boom. There it was. And I answered candidly.
“The other solutions we looked at charged per send and not per contact. That’s really what we liked.”
He listened to my concern and took the time to talk about that concern in its entirety:
“Hmm. Would you like to talk about it a little more? I’ve heard that quite a bit and we might be able to work through that problem together.”
In order to really solve a prospect’s concerns for an easy sell, you have to listen, acknowledge their problem, explore their hang-ups and respond with possible ideas.
Finally, after we’d talked about the pricing model and he’d allayed some of my concerns, this rep circled back at the end of the conversation to see if we were moving closer to a purchase decision.
“It sounds like there are a lot of reasons to move forward: A, B, C, D, etc. It also sounds like you were concerned specifically about X and Y. Now that we’ve talked about possible solutions, has your number changed at all?”
It was a great technique and one that got me talking about why I liked the solution and the objections I had. In the end, we signed with this vendor.
The point is: You never want to come off as desperate to close a sale. This 1-10 B2B sales closing tactic the rep used can help close a deal when the prospect still seems to have a few objections. Most prospects will reveal their own true objectives when faced with the right questions and when given the time to think weigh all the pros and cons.
Publish Date: March 2, 2016 5:00 AM
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