There are loads of things you need to learn when you startup your own business like public speaking, balancing the books, selecting suppliers and last week I suggested you need to spend some time wearing all the hats so you really understand your own business. One thing that doesn’t come naturally to many business owners is closing. I have recently found myself asking new startups who the closer is in their team of founders, you need a closer if you are selling services and you need a closer if you are seeking capital investors too – so something every company needs at some stage.
Closing doesn’t come naturally to most of us. I’ve worked with loads of sales people over the years, incentive based sellers who have quota’s and cadence calls, quarterly targets and are renowned for dropping their pants to meet these quota’s. They display a range of characteristics and tactics, if you haven’t ever read it the Rich Dad Poor Dad series has a Sales Dogs book which provides some insight into the characteristics of different sales folks.
We’re not here to talk about sales folks we are here to talk about business owners who are flat out doing 1,000 things at once and their needing to learn to close.
Self reflection wise I am a crap closer, if you are one of my customers reading this I anticipate you will be smiling right now. I’m good at the mechanics of selling sometimes, not so great others, people talk to me about what they are trying to achieve so that’s a good starting point and I try hard to keep that top of mind for future conversations but I usually fluff the close – so it’s lucky I have a business partner.
The best advice I was ever given on this topic was to put the close back into the customers hands. It’s not an easy thing to do, and if they already decided they don’t want to buy from you it will be a hard thing to achieve. The easiest way to do this is give them two options for next steps, both options being ways to buy e.g.: would you like that in pink or in blue? or would you like to sign up for 3 months at $10/ month or 6 months at $5 / month. It won’t be quite that simple scenario wise but it is an effective technique, the semblance of control and choice placing the power to make a decision firmly in the customers hands is a powerful tool you could employ.
Try it and let me know how you get on. Happy Sharing Vic.
Thanks again to www.dilbert.com for the last word.
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