Tags: Closing Sales
Submitted by: Curtis DeCora, Superior Marketing
5 STEPS TO CLOSING MORE DEALS
This article was inspired by a question in a Facebook Group discussion on November 30th, 2018. I ran across the question presented, “I’m a good closer, but I want to be a great closer - which resources should I be looking at to be a great closer?”
After reading through the comments, and arguments, I noticed one area that nobody was talking about.
I saw the traditional recommendation to read more Grant Cardone materials. Now, that’s not a bad recommendation, but I feel we’re putting the cart before the horse in this scenario.
I read the typical, “I just talk to them like a person and they close.” While there is some validity to this type of argument or comment, the person submitting the original post isn’t getting any direction, at all.
A “Sales Expert” as they identified themselves recommended using studying the B.A.N.T. sales methodology. Now, in my personal opinion, this is much more in line with good advice, but the method itself is outdated, and works in specific industries where price is prioritized in a commodity product, service or solution.
Another person talked about using Facebook Ads, which is far from a solution to this individuals challenges, but does have some credence in the grand scheme of things.
Another individual recommended hiring a sales coach, which may be the best advice.
Now, let’s take a moment and explore these options and see why they’re a great option or poor option.
Read More Grant Cardone
This isn’t a bad option, at all. Grant Cardone has some great resources from Millions on the Phone, Closers Survival Guide, Sell to Survive, Sell or Be Sold, and Cardone University.
The challenge will not go away, you’ll learn more tips to close deals but that’s like painting a rotting deck. The deck is still rotting and has a compromised integrity. Closers Survival Guide is a great book, I have read it dozens of times over, and used many of the closes myself in the last 7 years, since the book hit the market. The challenge is that the foundation is still weak.
Talk to them like a human
Yes, this should be something we all do in our sales conversations. There shouldn’t be any change in our demeanor or candor while speaking with a sales prospect. After all, our personality is truly what makes us appear genuine in our approach and ultimately determines the success and failure in our sales careers.
Conversely, speaking to sales prospects like sales prospects will come off as a commission or deal to help you meet your quota. That’s commonplace in sales, speak to a sales prospect like a human.
The challenge still exists, you’re not inching any closer to becoming a better closer.
B.A.N.T. Sales Method
If you’re not familiar with B.A.N.T., let’s take a quick look at the BANT methodology.
B - Budget
A - Authority
N - Need
T - Timeline
Let me give you an example of B.A.N.T.
Mr. Smith, what is your budget for this type of product/service/solution?
If you’re selling commodity products, services or solutions, something on the shelf or something which can be purchased from the internet or dozens of other competitors in the marketplace, as a consume-able.
Leading with budget is speaking about money first, without identifying if this person is the decision making authority in their organization. In addition, you’re speaking with someone who may not be an authority figure or decision maker about the need in the organization, and what their timeline might be for making a decision.
Can you see how that could be a poorly qualified lead and potential waste of time?
To take this a step further, you’re simply providing the prospect with fuel and firepower to price shop without first identifying any of the needs, determining why they’re trying to solve a specific problem, or the size of the problem they’re trying to solve. Is it a $1,000 problem, $10,000 problem or $100,000 problem?
In using BANT, one will never know, and you truly never addressed how to become a great closer from the vantage point of good closer.
While Facebook Advertising would be a great way to generate interested prospects through social media. If you’re a social media advertising specialist, you’ll probably have some questions unanswered with this type of post, and really need to determine who their ideal client or target audience will be, industry, and demographics, among various other factors to sales copy, and competitive landscape.
Let’s say you do explore Facebook Advertising, and leverage Ads and Funnels. The Ad would attract interested prospects, and get forwarded to a landing page with a questionnaire or form of sorts. The compelling offer would entice them to enter their information for a free course, downloadable, or set an appointment to learn more about the offer.
The Sales Rep would now have a clearer picture of what the prospect is looking for, and be in a position to walk the prospect through a sales process.
That’s what this is all about - a sales process.
An efficient sales process and strong lead generation strategy.
The challenge will still, however, exist from becoming a great closer while sitting in the position of a good closer.
Hiring a Sales Coach
Now, this is a much better option as it does address the sales process, which is where I firmly believe the true challenge resides.
A sales coach will inquire about the process from Leads to Close to Fulfillment and Servicing.
That’s what I’m going to refer to in the 5 Steps to Close More Deals.
Without further adieu…
5 STEPS TO CLOSE MORE DEALS
1. Generate Interest
This is a must as a first step in any sales process. You must generate interest from sales prospects far and wide, whether tire kickers, price shoppers, well-researched buyers, and those who are ready to buy now. You must still begin with generating interest, in order to take any further steps. Without an interest in your products, services or solutions, the likelihood and probability of closer are extremely low.
Consider for a moment the last MLM pitch you were given. You had no interest in learning more about said MLM, but the IBO (Independent Business Owner) would still pitch and ask questions like, “If you could make an extra $500/mo without any work - would you want to hear about it?”
Unfortunately, that’s a standard MLM pitch, and can be sniffed out from miles away.
When you have no interested in hearing that, what are the chances you’ll join?
My best guess, you’re not interested and without that interest, you won’t join, let alone buy.
2. Engaging Prospects
Once you have them interested in a particular product, service, solution or offer, you’re in a prime position to engage them in a meaningful conversation.
That meaningful conversation comes in the form of a Discovery Assessment. I know that sounds a little formal, but that’s truly what you’re conducting, an assessment to discover some of the current reasons why they’re interested in your offer, product, service or solution.
3. Discover Assessment
This is the process of asking some specific qualifying questions and pre-framing a subset of questions to help you discover why they’re exploring options to make a buying decision. This discovery assessment helps you determine buying motives.
Some of the questions I like to ask are the 5 Ws, which I’ll cover with you, here.
What is your biggest challenge with _________________________?
Why is that important to you? This question allows you to gain insights into why the prospect deems this challenge a priority and important to their organization.
Who is currently helping you solve these challenges, right now? I like this questions as it provides the prospect with a platform to share their inside decision makers, users, and influencers. Rather than trying to covertly determine decision makers in the process - simply asking the ‘Who’ question.
Where do you see your organization in the next 6, 9 or 12 months if this problem continues?
This is a question that allows the prospect to paint the picture for you, sharing why this is a priority and some of the timelines for making a buying decision.
If I could show you 2-3 ways to solve your challenge, when can we get ______ minutes where I can show you I have solved that same challenge with other businesses like yours?
This question is where you’re asking for permission to move to the next step. This is a heat check to determine if the prospect is committing to you for a next step, but also taking the moment to secure a presentation to build value.
All of these are simple pre-qualifying questions to determine if this is someone you feel would be an ideal candidate and good fit for what you have to offer. Leverage these questions as a preliminary filter to obtain information and insights into what the prospect is truly seeking.
4. Needs Analysis
This is where you find out everything needed to determine the best fit. In the needs analysis, we want to expand upon our questions we asked in the pre-qualification phase.
Revisit the biggest challenge, whether it is upgrading a vehicle for more space to accommodate more children, or redesigning a website to tell a truly compelling message, whilst capturing leads combined with a highly optimized keyword-heavy niche site - you must revisit and dig deeper into the challenge.
Find out why this is so important to the prospect. Yes, they mentioned why it is important, but let’s determine why is it so important. Is it affecting their bottom line, top line revenues, impacting their marriage, keeping them from seeing their children’s biggest youth moments, or something as simple as keeping their employees organized. Let’s dive in deeper.
Who is helping them? Dive into who that person is, why they chose them, and what kind of impact they have on their organization with and without them. Help them further explore those deep, dark questions they haven’t considered before. If it is a best friend and they’re not pulling their weight, or a relative who built their reputation on this company and is ready to leave for bigger and brighter opportunities.
Discuss where they see their company in the next year, 3 years or 5 years if their biggest challenge persists. What would that look like if they solved that challenge, are they in a position where they even want to salvage their business, or do they want to sell out, liquidate or close down. You cannot help someone who doesn’t want help.
Lastly, you want to make sure you’re quantifying this challenge. Find out everything from average ticket size, number of transactions, volume, direct and indirect expenses, delivery and so on. You truly want to quantify their challenge for them in order to make sense of the potential to propose a solution.
As an example, prospecting is a big challenge with most sales organizations. Circle Research indicates in a recent study, the majority of sales professionals spend 78% of their time prospecting, and just 22% selling and closing. The average sales professional earns a base salary of $60,000. Quantifying their challenge simply means that they hire sales professionals and pay them $48,600 per year to simply prospect and fill their sales pipeline. You can dive deeper and quantify what the cost per lead would be, by asking the number of appointments they run, presentations they make and how many of those are required to close a deal - again, on average. We are looking to obtain a metric and ratio. 4 out of 10 presentations close, and 6 out of 10 appointments turn into presentations. Let’s say every 110 calls produces an appointment.
Breaking down the numbers
110 calls = 1 appointment
10 appointments = 6 presentations
10 presentations = 4 deals
1 deal = $2,000 in monthly recurring revenue
Calls to get 4 deals = 1,837 (1,100 * 1.67) calls
1,837/4 = 460 calls (459.25) to get one deal
Now, that’s truly granular or as Grant Cardone would say, “Reduce to the ridiculous” and I completely agree, so we can truly quantify the magnitude of their challenge. Let’s go even deeper.
You: “Mr. Prospect, how many contacts per hour do your reps make?”
Mr. Prospect: They provide an average of 18 contacts per hour.
You: Okay, Mr. Prospect, 460 calls per deal, and 18 contacts per hour. That comes out to 1 deal every 25 hours, roughly. So, would it be safe to assume that 160 hours per month divided by 25 hours to get a deal -- your sales team produces an average of 6 deals per month? Would that be a safe assumption.
Mr Prospect: Well, yes, actually the quota is 5 new deals a month, and most hover that 6 to 7 range each month. So, we’re looking for ways to increase our sales without hiring new reps.
5. Quantify the Challenge
You: That’s great! Is it safe to assume that it costs you $721 to acquire a new customer? I took 40 hours per week x 52 weeks to get 2,080 hours. Base salary is $60,000 / 2,080 = $28.84 per hour x 25 hours to get one deal, comes out to $721 per deal.
As of right now, you average 6 deals per month, per sales rep. 10 appointments get you an average of 4 new deals. The challenge here, appears to be lack of appointments. Your sales reps are only running an average of 4 appointments per week. Let’s face it, while they’re selling they’re not filling the pipeline, while they’re filling the pipeline, they’re not selling.
Now, what you can see here is I quantified the appointments to deals ratio and quantified the effort required to make one deal. I would assume they already know those metrics, but now we are seeing eye to eye. Victor Antonio says, “Eye level is buy level.”
It costs you $4,326 to generate 6 new clients each month x 10 reps, that’s a $43,260 expense - would you agree with that math?
What if we could get you just 5 more appointments per month, per sales rep. That’s adding 20 new deals to your bottom line each month and your sales reps can spend more time taking care of the accounts they sell. $20,000 per month and you get 5 dedicated Sales Development Reps, saving you $13,260 per month and just short of $160,000 annually. Is that something you would be interested in seeing?
Now, this is just an example of what it would take to walk a prospect through a sales process. You generated interest, engaged the prospect in a meaningful conversation, discovered some qualification standards and determined fit, uncovered various needs in their organization, as well as quantified their challenge, and are in a position to show them some options to save an estimated $13,000 per month by outsourcing some of their prospecting work to your team.
You did all of your due diligence up front and didn’t have to focus solely on the close. While the initial topic was how someone could go from a good closer to a great closer - it is all in the sales process. Without a process, you’re simply trying to pitch and persuade. With a sales processing your engaging and educating while quantifying the challenge and how you can fit into their organizational goals, while providing them an opportunity to increase their sales by 33% while saving them $13,000 per month.
Now, you simply need to close the deal.
Develop yourself a sales process, leverage the power of value-centric sales by leading with value, quantifying the challenge and bring solutions to the table.