Deal closures are important. It’s the most important thing for a sales guy.
And when it comes to closing a deal over phone, it can be a sales guy’s nightmare. You have to convey your message & convince the other party without any visual contact. Just a telephone, that’s it.
All you have is a few minutes. No second chance. A slight fumble, or any small mistake for that matter can shut the deal in a moment.
Here are a few tips that I think will work in your favour. They certainly have, for me.
On the Phone
Set an Outline
Make it very clear at the start, that it’s going to be a closing call. Even if you had set your milestones before hand, it’s good to restate in case someone has joined in late.
Contrary to popular belief, being so direct isn’t a bad thing. As business professionals you should always be to-the-point & transparent.
You’ll get brownie points if you can define your agenda for the next call in the previous call itself. It’ll give both the parties some time to prepare & cometh the hour you’ll know where to pick up from.
Introduce Everyone in the Loop
This doesn’t even need a mention. From the very beginning both parties should know whom they are talking to.
At the start of a call, everyone from both sides should speak out their names, designations & what they plan to achieve during the call. That’s a minimum.
Avoid bringing someone new into the conversation, at this stage of your negotiations. If you feel like bringing some fun to the conversation, talk about food, sports or politics. These 3 are always the safest choices to take.
Keep only 2 mins for Formalities
The very first reason of the call is closing a business. Hence, it’s never a good idea to involve yourself in non-business matters for longer than a couple of minutes. You never know the priorities of the other party.
Just catch-up with the people you know. Introduce yourself to someone new & move on.
Start with a Question
If by any chance, you’re in the dark thinking about what the mood is at the other end… it’s a wise idea to start the conversation with a question like “Do you have any last minute questions?” or “If there’s anything yet to be discussed, we’re open for it”.
This will not only push the other party to start the conversation, it will also give you an idea about where the deal’s heading.
Define the on boarding timeline
If you’re prospect is ready to come on board, walk him through the steps of getting started. How to select the package of his need, how to pay, how to buy & implement your product/service.
Talking in brief about your post-sales offerings like maintenance, support etc is also a good idea.
If the prospect isn’t planning to come on board immediately in a day or two, put him in the pipeline. There’s still a long way to go then.
Last Minute Hiccups
Everyone’s mind starts asking questions before he/she pays for a service. And believe some questions can be really silly & annoying.
“I don’t think now is a good time for it.”
“Your prices are high.”
“[Company ABC] is offering the same service at a lesser price.”
I don’t have to tell you that you need to be very clear about your USPs. You should also do homework on what your competitors are offering & where they stand in your comparison. Understanding the market inside-out is a must.
Straight to the point: Don’t offer any discount if you’re not asked to or you don’t need to. Let your prospect give a figure & go from there.
Or it’s better to quote a price which is on the higher side. This gives you some buffer, if the prospect starts negotiating. And in such cases, the only way is down.
The minimum price should always be in the back of your mind.
Be absolutely clear if everyone’s on the same page. Go over everything that was discussed on the call, once again. And if at the end of it all, the prospect is finally ready to take the next step… sign the contract & start the on-boarding process.
Don’t hesitate to nudge the decision maker or your point-of-contact if he’s sitting on the contract & gone AWOL.
If you want to know about some of the most commonly used Sales Shortcuts that you should totally avoid, please read my previous article right here.
Tell me if I’m missing something. I’m sure there might be loads of other things. I would love to hear about all of it.