Negotiating skills will propel you quite far in any business deal, but unless you know how to close the sale – and these days we are all salespeople of one sort or another – then your negotiating skills will all come to naught. By supplementing your negotiating skills with several powerful tools, you can better demonstrate to potential buyers that your business provides exactly the high quality, well-vetted services that they require. When you truly learn to close a sale, not just complete the negotiations on an easy deal, your business will truly take off.
Treat Every Prospect Like a Buyer
Sometimes, as a negotiation comes to its close, it will start to become clear that the person sitting in front of you doesn’t think they have the power or standing to close the deal – or they do have that power and are being evasive. No matter what a prospective client is articulating about their ability to personally close the deal, continue to treat them like a buyer. Treating every prospect like a buyer ensures that you are making your most clear and convincing pitch, and is the easiest way to get to yes, even when the client is reluctant.
Build a Strong Portfolio
One of the most convincing arguments you can make for closing the deal is one you don’t personally have to make at all. Each time you successfully close a deal, ask the client to write your company an endorsement. A portfolio that demonstrates various successful negotiations proves to a prospective client that you can truly deliver the services proposed. This can help increase the trust relationship between you and the potential client and your portfolio will close the deal for you.
Focus on Value Gaps
The main reason you are in the room participating in a negotiation with a potential client is that they are facing some sort of gap in their business that they are hoping your company can fill. Rather than harping specifically on services, pay attention to the types of value your client is losing by not providing a certain service. By articulating ways your company can add value, rather than a single concrete service, you are more likely to tie up the ultimate concerns of the negotiation.
Sensing the Close of a Deal
How can you tell when it is time to close the deal? There are certain signs to look for in the language and body postures of your client that indicate they are ready to say yes. When they are ready to close, the client will likely ask questions about the project end, such as asking how long until the service is delivered, or they may verbally propose ways of using your service. When you see these signs, try for the assumptive close. This style of close takes yes as the given and moves towards getting the final confirmation of specifications, payment, and delivery information.