Closing a deal with a client is the final stage of a presentation. Getting to it can sometimes be extremely difficult, however, even if you have successfully completed all the previous stages of the meeting and reached the final, this still doesn’t mean that the transaction will be completed successfully. In order to increase your chances for a successful outcome of the meeting, special techniques and markers were put into practice in sales. Thanks to them, your effectiveness as a seller will increase significantly.
After all the previous stages of the meeting with the client are left behind, the rest of actions become pretty clear – to fill out the registration form, make payment and get a membership card. It often happens that already during the presentation, he himself speeds up the communication process and pushes the administrator to go directly to closing a deal. At the same time, it also happens that he is afraid, shy or hesitant to interrupt the presentation. In this case, you should take the initiative, but do it very delicately and consistently. In other words, if your interlocutor hasn’t announced ahead of time about the desire to purchase membership, you can proceed to this stage only after going through all the previous ones and doing this using specific techniques.
TIP. Since this material logically completes the series of articles about meetings with clients, I strongly recommend you to read the previous ones: “Preparing for the meeting”, “Establishing contact”, “Identifying needs”, “Holding a presentation” and “Working with objections”.
Techniques for closing a deal
- Question. The easiest way to push the client to closing a deal is a direct question. This move is elevated to the rank of a whole technique, since it requires the right time and the right place, because it is far from always the question asked directly will be warmly received. Such a control question is best triggered at the end of the presentation, after listing all the benefits, when you have delivered as much information to the client as you can and his mood is on the rise, but he still doesn’t know what to do with it. Remember that at the time of joy or emotional uplift, the decision is always made easier.
- Rush. This is one of the most popular techniques for closing a deal, the essence of which is to create a deficit atmosphere around a service or product. When you present your product valuable and unique, and then bring to the customer information that a limited number of club cards are on sale, this increases the value of the purchase in his mind, because something that is available today, tomorrow may no longer be available. Such a technique can be both true when there is really only a limited number of goods or services on sale, and false when there are really unlimited amount of them.
- Alternative. This technique of closing a deal is considered to be manipulative by right, so I put it in last place, which, however, doesn’t detract from its effectiveness. The bottom line is that you create the illusion of choice, when the client must choose from two or more options, each of which is obviously beneficial for you. It looks something like this. “So, do we signing up a contract for half a year or immediately for a year?”. This technique of closing a deal can be used if you are dealing with an interlocutor with weak communication skills or with those who fear of making decisions and taking actions.
Markers for closing a deal
As I said earlier, the client can be configured to close a deal at any stage of the presentation, which means that you should always be prepared to provide such a service to him. It’s not so much that you should always have questionnaires, price-lists, class schedules, registration forms, blank sheets, a pen, a pencil and a calculator at hand, but rather that you should recognize how much the client is ripe to close a deal. You can determine his readiness by specific markers of behavior and speech. Here are the most popular ones.
- What do I need to get a membership card?
- Can I start training right after signing a contract?
- What type of clothing do I need for exercising?
- When I come to the first time, where should I go?
As you can see, the client asks questions not about the availability of parking, fitness equipment, a swimming pool, and so on, but directly about what actions need to be completed in order to start training. All these markers indicate that he already at a subconscious level accepted in his head the idea that he could train here. But be careful – maybe it doesn’t mean he wants to. If he doesn’t immediately go from asking about signing a contract to a request to sign it, then he still has questions or wants you to give a presentation to the end and show him literally everything that is in the club and what will be available for him after closing a deal.
In such a situation, when you read the marker, but the client doesn’t initiate closing a deal, after completing the presentation you should say literally the following: “So, Mike, do you have any questions regarding our presentation? If there is, you can ask, I will answer any of them”. Further, depending on the received answer, you will understand what your next step should be. It can be both work with objections and a re-presentation of some areas of the club, but of course the best answer for you would be “Everything went fine, Steve. Perhaps I’m ready to sign a contract”.
A presentation cheat sheet
Here I will summarize the big topic of conducting a presentation with a client and give the main points that you should always remember before the meeting, during and after it. Call it a presentation cheat sheet.
- Prepare for a meeting as if you are confident in the successful completion of the deal. High spirits, a smile and sociability significantly increase your chances.
- During the communication, call the guest by name. Personalize your conversation, show the person that you distinguish him from the crowd and remember his name.
- Use only positive language and expressions during the presentation. Also use the technique of converting negative objections into positive benefits.
- Use the tactics of alternating open and closed questions. The former are needed to obtain general information, the latter are needed to clarify specific details.
- In no case do not interpret the words of the client at your discretion. Not always he means exactly what he is saying. It is better to ask a clarifying question sometimes.
- Bet on the needs of the guest with which he came to you. A man came to solve his problems, which means that he is ready to pay money for their solution.
- In no case do not rush the client and do not sell him what he doesn’t need. Even if he makes a purchase this time, in the long term, consider that you have lost him.
- Create visual and emotional images in the guest’s mind. As we know, decisions in the emotional plane are made much easier than in the rational plane.
- In no case do not dispute with the client. No matter who emerges from the dispute as a winner, both actually lose, which means that the deal may not be closed.
- Finally, if you see that the client is ripe, complete the deal. Learn to recognize markers and apply techniques for closing a deal at virtually any point in the presentation.
During the meeting, when you make an offer, always wait for the answer of the interlocutor. After you have asked a question or your proposal involves receiving an answer, make a pause and do not start talking first. In case if the salesman opens the mouth first, this demonstrates the weakness of his position and a certain lack of confidence in himself and his arguments, which in turn can alert the interlocutor. In fact – this is another psychological trick from the small trunk of a professional seller, which is a kind of indicator – whoever begins to speak first is more interested in closing a deal.
It happens that even the most successful presentation doesn’t ultimately end with closing a deal. This in no way should be considered as a failure. Even if the client didn’t say what he thought, but said for sure “no”, this still doesn’t mean that tomorrow, in a week or in a month he will not change his mind. In case of refusal, always be interested in the reason and write it down. So you can analyze the answer and, if necessary, carry out work on the errors, if there were any.
Try to agree with the client that in a couple of days, when he will think it over really, you will call him back. Perhaps by this moment he will either change his mind or his wife, friends, colleagues or relatives will influence his opinion. Whatever happens, always leave the door open. Be positive, smiling and open to communication even when you are denied. Kindness breaks the walls and sometimes it even happens that a client purchases a membership out of respect or even out of a sense of duty to you for the kindness, openness and professionalism shown.
Author – Felix Palmer