We’ve seen it time and time again: a sales team that’s overly careful not to be seen as “sharks” fails to close the deal. The excuses go on and on, but usually sound something like this:
- “We didn’t want to pressure the client.”
- “We thought we would leave the ball in their court for a week.”
- “They said they needed time to think about it.”
- “The client loves their current provider.”
At the end of the day, it boils down to the fact that a sale has been lost. If your team is losing sales, then it might be time to step in with some negotiation tactics. Here are some strong approaches you can employ to get your sales team closing deals again.
4 Assertive Sales-Closing Techniques
1. Geoffrey James of MoneyWatch wrote an interesting piece for CBS News a couple years ago, titled How to Close a Sale in 6 Easy Steps. The title leads you to believe it’s too good to be true (it is). The steps to closing a sale are never easy. However, James does start off with a strong first piece of advice: “Ignore the ABC Strategy.” You probably know this strategy: Always Be Closing. The fact is, the sales game doesn’t work that way, but your salespeople may not know it yet. Let them know that they don’t have to Always Be Closing. Instead, encourage them to focus on developing relationships and setting your company apart from the competition. It’s all in the little details… which later lead to assertive sales-closing!
2. Ray Silverstein, writing for Entrepreneur.com, hits the nail on the head when it comes to picking up on details. Silverstein suggests that when you go into a sales call, you think about what the person you’re pitching to wants. This may sound like standard sales advice, but it’s not. Focus on unique emotional wants, advises Silverstein. He draws upon the example of an entrepreneur, whom he believes doesn’t want to make big profits. Rather, “Entrepreneurs are in business for themselves because they want to call the shots. Their true wants including being the boss, ensuring the company’s security and perhaps passing the company along to a successor.” Have your sales team think about how they will meet these unique emotional wants.
3. At least 8 of the 12 Commandments for Closing a Sale by Grant Cardone involve body language and communication. If your sales team isn’t practiced in clear communication and effective body language, then a little bit of sales training can go a long way in affecting your bottom line. Eye contact and a smile is just the beginning.
4. Lastly, how well does your sales team know your product? Jay Delahousay, writing for the Small Business Chronicle, believes that sales teams who are comfortable with their product can be much more assertive and effective in closing sales. He also makes a great closing point: being assertive is different from being aggressive.
Where do you see ‘assertive’ sales crossing over into ‘aggressive’ sales territory?