Learn How to Turn Sales Opportunities into Good Business
If you don’t have a simple and straightforward sales closing technique you’ll miss lots of good sales opportunities. Once you’ve done all the hard work of creating customer interest in your product or service you need to make sure you end up with an order.
The fact is that if you don’t help your customers to make a decision they’ll put off buying your product, and you’ll leave the door open for someone else to come in and steal the order from under your nose.
In this article in our Small Business Marketing Ideas Series we’ll explain how you can avoid losing business in this way by using a sales closing technique called the A-B-C method.
How Sales are Often Thrown Away
Here’s a recent story about our own business to illustrate what can go wrong.
We decided that we needed to fit some new windows in our Office to reduce heating costs. We asked a number of local companies to visit us and quote for the work.
When the quotes arrived over the following two weeks one quotation was rather expensive and the other two broadly similar. We decided we would go ahead with the work but because of other things going on in the business didn’t do anything about it immediately.
We expected that we would get calls from the companies who had quoted – but none of them contacted us. We took the initiative and ‘phoned each of the companies concerned to talk about the quotes they had provided.
Two Weaknesses that Need to be Conquered
To confirm what we learned from our ‘phone calls we carried out some research with a number of other local companies who had used local tradespeople and service companies to carry out work or supply products.
The results of our research were very interesting. We concluded that many small businesses, local traders and service suppliers:
- Don’t follow up on sales opportunities
- Don’t have a sales closing technique
- Are not good at dealing with objections
The third weakness is, perhaps, understandable because it requires skills that many small business owners don’t have. Even new professional sales people have to work hard learning objection handling skills.
But the reluctance to follow up and close sales opportunities is a short-coming that any small business owner can quite easily overcome.
Here’s how to do it by learning how to use the A-B-C sales closing technique.
What is the ABC Sales Closing Technique?
Most small businesses find it difficult to follow through and ask for an order because they fear rejection. This fear of rejection makes them reluctant to ask for the order.
This is where the A-B-C sales closing technique comes in.
A-B-C stands for “Always Be Closing”. It describes a very simple sales technique which will ensure that when you are selling, whatever you say or do should lead up to closing the sale.
If you don’t do it, as our example above shows, your time could be wasted and your business suffer.
But like all good habits the A-B-C sales closing technique takes time to acquire.
The following three steps will help you.
1. Remind Yourself that the Initiative is Yours
Let’s assume that you were asked to provide a proposal or quote and you’ve put together one that you believe meets the customers needs.
Now you’ve done the hard work it’s time to close the sale – there’s no point delaying. As we mentioned above, if you delay your competitor may take the sale from you.
2. Next Make Sure You Plan How You’ll Close
Prepare and practice using simple phrases like:
- “So when should I get started?”
- “How would you like to pay for my product/service?”
- “I can start today if you’re ready.”
- “Why don’t we get started on this right away.”
Have a collection of these phrases that are appropriate to your business.
3. Confirm the Customers Decision
Don’t leave things hanging in the air. When the customer says “yes” reply with a comment congratulating them on making a good decision or stating how pleased you’ll be to work with them installing /using your product or service. Or perhaps remind them of the sound decision they have made by stressing your unique selling proposition or a significant benefit that differentiates you from competitors.
Keep a Record of Successes and Failures
If you get into the habit of using the A-B-C sales closing technique habit you’ll be less likely to throw away good sales opportunities.
But you won’t win every bit of business you quote for, and when this happens you need to ask “Why”.
You may find that by asking this simple question you’re given an opportunity to make sure that your quotation and proposal have been understood. Perhaps it will provide you with an opportunity to negotiate on price or vary your product offering by adding more value (e.g by offering a bonus product or additional service).
Keep a record of the reasons why you’ve made or lost sales. This information will help you improve your future performance, and maybe also improve/change your products and services.
It’ll take you a while to acquire the skills to handle sales objections, but if you get used to using the A-B-C sales closing technique you’ll start making sales you might otherwise have lost.