“Selling without closing is just conversation”. (Personal Selling Power)
Successful corporate fundraisers are also successful sales people. You might be selling the chance for companies to make positive social impact, but you are still selling. You are experienced in reassuring undecided prospects, and supporting buyers to organise their thoughts and reach their own conclusions. Being skilled at becoming an expert closer is going to be one of the most important techniques you can master. In this weeks blog, we share five recommendations on how to become an expert closer.
Jack Canfield once said, “If You Are Not Moving Closer To What You Want In Sales, You Probably Aren’t Doing Enough Asking.”
High performing sales people understand the importance of mastering both active listening and asking closing questions. From the start of a sales process they use closing questions to continually demonstrate value and eliminate any objections getting in the way of a purchase. By gently guiding the prospect, they are able to apply the right amount of pressure without being seen as too pushy and gain a positive response from the client. The questions are used to make the prospect explain why something does or doesn’t work for the them and allow you to reinforce your value and provide additional solutions to meet their demands.
2. The Assumptive Close
As the famous sales mantra goes “Expect the yes. Embrace the no. That’s how you master the close!”
The aim of the assumptive close is to be assertive and not aggressive. Assuming the prospect is ready to buy, you assume that the sale is as good as done and that your prospect is ready for a partnership. This technique moves the conversation from whether the prospect wants to buy, and instead focuses on the “how” and “when” they will partner with you. Moving from the sales pitch you move straight into assumptive questions. Below we share an example of how to reframe your closed ended questions with assumptive ones:
From: “Is your current charity partnership providing you with real value?”
To: “How would you like to improve your current charity partnership?”
Having such a positive approach will make your prospect start to believe in your confidence and less likely to say no.
3. The Summary Close
The summary close is one the most effective sales techniques there are. Unlike the previous technique it doesn’t make assumptions regarding what the prospect wants. Instead, it allows you to summarise all of the benefits and value they are looking to achieve, and then remind them on how you are going to get them there. This is important, as a prospect at the end of a long sales cycle may become distracted or forget something. By repeating back what they value, and then summarising the outcome this provides an effective nudge to drive the conversation towards closure.
4. The Now or Never Close
The clue is the name. This hard close sales technique is all about creating a sense of urgency with your prospect before it’s too late. This technique works really well when you have invested a lot of effort with a prospect, but for whatever reason isn’t willing to commit at this stage. Making it clear this is a limited opportunity and will be offered to one of their competitors is often an excellent way to change the momentum.
5. The Visualisation Close
Finally, we recommend you use a closing strategy that relates to how the human brain works by helping the prospect visualise the potential impact of your partnership. We know that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words, with 90% of people making decisions based on visual input. For example, you can ask your prosect, “In three years’ time, what would be the newspaper headline that describes the impact of our partnership?”. Remember, if they are able to picture the impact you are offering, closing the sale becomes much easier.
We hope you found this blog useful. We would love to hear your feedback and any other recommendations on how to be an expert closer. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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