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Sales closing strategies is one of the most critical business development skills to master. But closing business is something we tend to build up in our minds as extremely complex, intimidating, and even as something to avoid. Or we take the view that it needs to be aggressive to be effective.

I’ve also seen situations where we treat closing as a linear action, and it’s not built into the overall strategy. For example, it only becomes part of the conversation after a big presentation has taken place.

Developing your skills with closing keeps opportunities from getting stuck in your sales pipeline, and it maximizes your sales results. This article shares 9 strategies to help you incorporate closing throughout your sales process.

1. Map out sales commitments as part of the sales closing strategy.

From a big picture view, what closing commitments do you think you’ll need along the way to win the business? Things like access to decision makers, discovery calls, document reviews, proposal presentation dates – anything that requires a commitment on behalf of the prospect or client.

2. Separate selling, negotiating, and closing.

Sometimes we muddy the waters between pitching, selling, negotiating, and closing. Each is its own part of the business development process. Trying to tackle them in one fell swoop is ineffective and dangerous.

Treating them separately, you can focus on what closing commitments you need at each stage and instill confidence in the prospect or client.

3. Know your competition.

Relationships are at the heart of everything a Modern Seller does. If we’re building relationships, there’s a good chance our competition is, too.

It helps to think from the competitor’s point of view. What do we know about their strategy, their access to decision makers, how they might close at various points along the way? When we think from an outside point of view, we can better see our blind spots.

4. Ask the right questions about their process.

To prepare the best proposal and increase our odds of a successful close, we need insights on their process. That means asking strategic and specific questions such as:

  • Can you walk me through your decision-making process, and who is involved?
  • What is your decision timeline? Is there a specific deadline or major event you’re working toward?
  • When you’re considering new providers, what are the most important criteria to keep in mind?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you get the right decision makers at the table and determine the quality of the opportunity.

5. Co-create the solution.

It’s more common for prospects and clients to want an active role in co-creating a solution. When they’ve helped create the solution and they can see themselves working with you. You’re also lowering change resistance and increasing odds of them saying yes.

6. Get to barriers upfront.

Objections are coming, and that’s OK. They’re a constructive part of the sales process. It usually means the prospect is actively thinking through how you can work together.

You’ll instill more confidence and trust if you seek objections upfront. Ask your primary contact what the concerns may be to your proposal. For example, you might ask:

  • What are some challenges that might surface down the road?
  • What potential barriers do I need to address to earn the business?

Open ended questions encourage a productive conversation. The goal is to not create unnecessary barriers, but to earn trust and accelerate closing.

7. Be confident and clear.

Preparation breeds confidence – your own self-confidence and confidence on the part of the prospect or client.

Have a trusted colleague practice with you and provide feedback about your body language, voice and pace, and the clarity of your overall message.

Clarity and confidence will help you keep momentum toward earning the business.

8. Be prepared for what’s next.

Once the proposal is on the table, be ready for a couple of scenarios.

The prospect may require more information before they can move forward. Your role becomes to provide the information they need to help solidify their decision. They may also ask YOU what questions you have. Go into this conversation with 1-2 or questions to show your preparedness and that you’re thinking ahead to the next steps in the relationship.

Or, if no other information is required, be ready to ask for the business. This becomes a natural part of your sales process. The key is to anticipate your approach before going into the interaction, and practice how you’ll respond.

9. Ask for the business as the final step of your sales closing strategy.

Don’t leave the proposal to chance. Don’t expect the prospect to get back to you. Now is the time to lead. If you don’t… one of your competitors will. Or inertia may take over and create a non-decision.

Here are a few ways to lead with the ask:

  • “Now that I’ve shared my recommendations, I’d like to get your perspective. What makes the most sense to talk about further?”
  • “What would you like to see happen next?”
  • “Based on what we’ve discussed, I’d recommend we start here. Are you ready to move forward with the next steps?”

To put this into action, prioritize and apply the closing strategies that are the best fit for your current opportunities. You’ll create the momentum you need to earn the business and creating a lasting client relationship.

For more on closing, read this article on sales closing dos and don’ts.

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Don’t let your competition get an advantage. We can help. If you want to know how to get started with a sales training program that ignites sales, let’s talk. Contact us to schedule time for a discovery conversation with Amy.