Closing more sales in 2015 is not only possible, but it’s going to happen to many sales reps and companies this year.  But, it will only happen if you keep to your New Year’s resolutions to do some things differently.  Here are two techniques to begin using this week. 

Everybody has heard the expression: “If you want different results, you have to start doing things differently.”  This is why all our New Year’s resolutions include doing different things: Not eating that donut in the morning; going to the gym after work instead of out to dinner; helping out more around the house, instead of relaxing with our feet up after dinner, etc.  Remember, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

When it comes to closing more sales, what are you planning on doing differently?  Are you going to come in earlier?  Make more cold calls?  Follow up with more customers?  Ask for the upsell more often?  While all these things will help, I’d like to give you two simple questions to begin asking during your qualifying and closing calls that can – and will – make a huge difference in closing more sales.

As many of you who have read my blog before know, the close is set up and, to a large part, determined by how good a job you’ve done during your qualifying call.  Know the answers to the “five-qualifiers,” and you can be assured you’re dealing with a qualified lead.  Anything less, and you run the risk of pitching unqualified leads – and, that frequently means you’re just spinning your wheels.

Assuming, however, that you are dealing with a qualified lead, here are two questions you can insert in your calls that will have a dramatic effect on how much more business you close in 2015:

During the end of your prospecting call, simply ask this question: “(Prospect’s name) thanks for sharing all this information with me.  So I can best prepare for our presentation next week, let me ask you this: What is the one thing you’ll be looking to learn more about that will determine whether or not you choose to put us to work for you next week?”

Then, hit your MUTE button and LISTEN.  If they don’t answer fully, simply un-mute and say, “OH?” and MUTE again.

Feel free to change this question to something suits you or your product or service better (like: “(Prospect’s name) if you were to lock onto one factor that will weigh most heavily on who you choose to go with for this, what would you say it is?”).  Regardless of what question you feel comfortable with, get into the habit of asking it at the end of each and every qualifying call.

Next is what to say during the close.  So many recordings of actual closes I listen to as part of my coaching and training consulting end in the same way: with the common stall of: “Let me run this by my V.P./owner/manager/boss, etc.”  How many of YOUR presentations end in this way?  More importantly, how do you respond?

Here’s the second question you should be using in these situations:

You: “(Prospect’s Name), I’m glad you brought that up and let me ask you: How long have you been working with (the V.P./owner, etc.)?”

Prospect: “Oh, about 3 years.”

You: “Great.  So you’ve probably got a good idea of what he’s said in the past when you’ve run something like this by him.  Let me ask you: given what you know about his priorities and where he’s leaning towards something like this, what do you anticipate he’ll say (or do)?”

Now, hit your MUTE button and listen for how this close is likely to go down.  Once again, if you get a vague answer, simply un-mute yourself and say, “OH?” and MUTE once again.  Next, depending on the answer, your next goal is to use layering questions and appropriate responses to isolate the real objection and move closer to the sale.

Like any and all techniques I recommend, don’t just take my word for it.  Instead, use and practice these in your day to day calling and see for yourself how effective they are.  Remember, though, the key is to use your mute button to let your prospect get everything out.

About the author

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…

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