Close the deal. Sounds obvious, doesn't it?
You could argue it's a bit counter to our philosophy of "don't sell".
But let's get real. Deals need to be done, and progress needs to be made.
If you've done your job up until now, it will be the natural conclusion your prospect wants and needs and like everything sales, there's a right way and a wrong way.
Because in the ever-evolving world of sales, consultative selling and creating buyability puts the prospects' needs and preferences at the forefront of the sales process.
It fosters a relationship-driven approach, allowing sales professionals to act as trusted advisors rather than mere transactional entities and deal pushers.
However, the success of consultative selling heavily relies on the ability to close deals effectively, like the need for consistency in the sales process or the lack of it in most businesses. Proper attention to closing is lacking in so many businesses.
So, I thought it was worth exploring some of the many well-known methods for closing sales deals in a consultative selling environment.
But before discussing these closing techniques, let's be clear: nothing beats the need to build trust and rapport as the cornerstones of consultative selling. Prospects are far more likely to buy from someone they trust and feel comfortable with by someone who actively listens to your prospect's needs, shows empathy, and demonstrates your expertise. Build a genuine relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. So let's not forget this before anyone mistakes these techniques as silver bullets for a fast close.
The "assumptive" close
The assumptive close technique is a powerful tool in consultative selling. Rather than asking if the customer wants to buy, you assume they are ready to proceed. For example, "Based on what you've told me, it seems like our product would be a great fit for your needs. Shall we move forward with this?"
This approach subtly nudges the prospect towards closing the deal without pressuring them, making the conversation feel like a natural progression.
The "trial" close
The trial close technique involves asking a trial-related question to gauge the prospect's readiness to buy. For instance, "How do you envision implementing this solution within your organisation?" By posing such questions, you prompt the prospect to think about the practicalities of using your product or service, which can lead to them mentally committing to the purchase.
The "urgency" close
Creating a sense of urgency can be a compelling way to close a deal. If the prospect believes they need your solution immediately, they are more likely to commit. You can use phrases like, "If you need to be in the market in the next six months, we really need to start the work in the next couple of weeks," or "Our production schedule is filling up fast, and I want to ensure we can meet your timeline."
However, being genuine is crucial when employing urgency; false urgency can damage trust, and you're selling, not creating buyability.
The "question" close
This technique encourages the prospect to consider the implications of not making a decision. You can ask questions like, "What do you think might happen if you delay implementing a solution like this?" or "Can you envision the impact on your business if you don't address this challenge soon?" These questions compel the prospect to reflect on the consequences of inaction, often motivating them to move forward.
The "objection handling" close
In consultative selling, objections are seen as opportunities to provide more information and address concerns. When a prospect raises an objection, don't view it as a roadblock; instead, see it as a chance to clarify and guide them. For instance, if a prospect says, "Your solution is a bit expensive," you can respond with, "I understand your concern about pricing. Let's go over the value and ROI our solution can bring to justify the investment."
The "alternative" close
This technique involves presenting the prospect with two options, both leading to a close. For example, "You have two great choices here. You can either go with the standard package, which covers your basic needs, or you can opt for the premium package, which offers additional features. Which one works best for you?" This approach empowers the prospect by giving them a sense of control while ensuring the deal progresses.
The "reframing" close
The reframing close involves restating the prospect's needs, goals, and pain points and then showing how your solution directly addresses them. By reiterating their specific challenges and how your product or service resolves them, you reinforce the value proposition and make it more likely for the prospect to say yes.
Let's wrap this up
So, we all know consultative selling is all about nurturing relationships, understanding customer needs, and guiding them towards the best solution.
But when it comes to closing deals in this environment, it's essential to blend these techniques with a genuine desire to help the customer.
Remember that every prospect is unique, and you need to live by your reputation and focus on the longevity of that relationship post the close.
So adapt these techniques as needed and stay attuned to your prospect's cues and preferences. And by mastering these methods and maintaining a customer-centric approach, you'll be well on your way to becoming a consultative expert, closing deals effectively, and cultivating long-lasting client relationships.