You can lead a prospect to water but you can’t make him buy.
Or can you?
While you should never try to force a sale, there are definitely things you can do to keep your prospects engaged and to build a relationship of trust so that they’ll want to do business with you. So let’s delve into five little secrets to closing the sale that take minimal effort but yield maximum results.
1- Talk Less; Listen More
Ever had one of those restaurant servers who wanted to tell you their life story? “I’m sorry I’ve kept you waiting, but I was just double sat and things have been really crazy in the kitchen what with all the line cooks calling out, which is funny, I mean, not all of their dogs could have died at the same time, right?” And you painstakingly nod and smile because you’re starving, and basically at their mercy until they bring you your food. And then when they finally do serve you, you notice they screwed up your order because they were too caught up with their own issues to remember that you distinctly said you were allergic to tomatoes.
What I’m trying to say here is don’t be that server. Frankly, customers don’t care about your problems. Not really. What they do want is for you to listen to theirs, and then provide a solution as quickly as possible. Then, once customers understand that you can solve their problems, they’ll want to work with you because you make their lives easier.
So avoid the long-winded explanations, and take the time to actually listen, process, and remember what your customers want; that’s going to make all the difference when you’re delivering your solution.
2- Put Yourself in Your Buyer’s Shoes
A big part of understanding what your buyer wants is to imagine things from their perspective, and the best way to do that is by understanding their decision making process.
Start by considering where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Are they just becoming aware that they have mice in their house? Or are they past that point, considering the most humane traps to buy? Or, perhaps they’ve tried a bunch of different traps that haven’t worked and they’re ready to pull the trigger on hiring an exterminator. This is critical information that you need to be tuned into; the last thing you want is to wave your sales flag high when all they’re looking for are some testimonials.
We’ve referenced HubSpot CEO & Founder Dharmesh Shah in a previous post about alternatives to cold calling, but his wise words bear repeating: “Market unto others as you would have them market unto you."
3- Be Available, Not Desperate
In addition to being attuned to your buyers’ needs, you also want to make yourself available to them, should they have any questions before deciding to make the purchase. Make them aware that you are just a phone call/email/SM message away should they need to consult with you at any point.
And then, gracefully step back and give them some breathing room. Because there’s a definite difference between making yourself available and breathing down their neck until they make a decision.
Think of it this way. Would you rather have a salesperson nipping at your heels like a hyperactive dog while you’re browsing in a store, or have them politely inform you: “I’m here if you have any questions,” and then allow you to move freely at your leisure? The answer is obvious.
So let’s say you do close the sale. Then what? You just move on to the next one?
Well, not exactly. You don’t want to just disappear. This mistake is made far too often, much to the detriment of the sales person. Just because you’re “done” with with the customer, doesn’t mean they’re done with you. Establish a means for them to get into contact with you should they have any questions or concerns. Keep the lines of communication open so that you can establish trust and encourage your customers to continue working with you in the future.
4- A Personal Touch Goes A Long Way
In a world laden with hundreds of potential solutions to every problem, it can sometimes be hard to stand out from the competition. But a great way to do just that is by adding a personal touch to your business interactions.
These can be simple things that don’t even take much effort – remembering someone’s preference for creamer in their coffee, sending a handwritten note instead of an email, helping someone with their bags. These extra touches go a long way in boosting customer delight and creating a memorable experience that your customers will want to share with others.
5- Be Yourself
And finally, whatever you do, don’t try to pretend you’re someone you’re not. You’re not going to be able to keep the jig up forever, and it will eventually end up backfiring.
Instead, win your customers over by simply being yourself. For instance, if you made them laugh during your first interaction, don’t worry about being overly-stoic the next. If they liked you when you were being yourself, that’s exactly why you should keep being that person.
If you’re passionate about what you do, let that shine through. Share the enthusiasm. People are attracted to positivity, and your passion about what you can provide will help fuel their passion for wanting to do business with you.
At the end of the day, being yourself is a heck of a lot easier than trying to be someone you’re not, and you’ll have much better prospects for a long-lasting business relationship.