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Beware: The Top 5 Closing Challenges that are Killing Your Sales

There are thousands of ways to kill a sale.
This time last week I engaged with a salesperson to fix a pain point in the office. He arrived with the sales equivalent of a golfer’s handicap; he knew my pain point, that I wanted a solution quickly, and that I was already doing business with his company but ultimately left without a sale, why? Let me break it down.

He opened with a wet-fish handshake. The kind that either implies: I’m yet to grasp the significance of a firm handshake, or I have a passive or reserved personality- not a great start.

During his pitch, he asked no questions, instead opted to tell me how great the machine was while referring to the brochure. He certainly didn’t fill me with certainty that he was the one to solve our problem.

The close was the real killer of the sale.
I used a put-off, “I’ll think about it.”

Not even flinching he readily accepted with a,
“No problem, I’ll send you through some information later.”

This was despite my less than subtle aversion to almost all details of the sale- cost, contract details, machine type, etc. He failed to identify that the conversation was a non-stop train if he didn't close the deal, the train will keep rolling onto the next stop (his competition).

The final blow was leaving me with a, “You contact me” notion. Where’s the urgency he knew was underlying this pain?

Since then, we have now engaged with three other companies - that's what you get when you let the potential client, "think it over". Oh, by the way, he is now in follow-up mode.

In response to this, let’s discuss closing challenges that will kill a sale.

1. There is a lack of urgency.This is where you fail to close on a sale due to lack of intensity. Prospects often get away with game playing and manipulation when salespeople lack closing urgency. Sales calls often end without decisions, and you might shy away from asking tough questions. This weakness is often accompanied by the need for approval. Develop your closing urgency by placing more importance on winning and ultimately closing during the first real closing opportunity.
 
2. You are among many salespeople that have some need for approval, or a need for your prospects and clients to like you.This good news is that it’s a mild case. The bad news is that it must be overcome. Need for approval is the reason you may feel that it is advantageous to accept a “think it over,” a “maybe” or a “possibly” instead of getting that prospect closed during the first closing opportunity. You may be more confident ensuring that your prospect like you rather than continuing your attempts to close. Need for approval could also cause you to dislike the word “no” and prevent you from confronting. Begin overcoming your need for approval by believing that it’s more important to get your prospect’s respect than it is to get your prospect’s love.
 
3. You have recognised the amount of time you spend with prospects that don’t buy is much too great.This is very discouraging, often demotivating and incredibly costly. It can often be the result of an inability to get in front of final decision-makers, get the real budget or get commitments. When you implement a more efficient sales system, it will significantly cut down on wasted time. Until then, you should be more selective with your time.

4. You find it difficult to have an in-depth financial conversation with your prospects. Therefore, you may fail to determine the exact sum of money your prospect will spend for your solution. You may find it difficult to get your prospects to "find" the money when they "don't have any money" or "don't have enough money." Changing this self-limiting record by begging to talk openly about money, the things it can buy and ways it can be invested. As you speak more openly about money, you will become more comfortable and effective dealing with those issues on your sales calls.

5. You have been doing too much talking, not enough listening. You are failing to get the answer to important questions. Try to ask more “how” and “why” questions after your prospects convey information. Be more curious and maintain control over the sale. Don't be the next door neighbour dog and just 'bark' at the client.
 
In 2017 it’s time to close more sales. Don’t let your team put any opportunities on the backburner. Ensure your salespeople aren't entering into a sure-thing only to come out the other end with a "think it over" and PLEASE no wet-fish handshakes!

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