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How to Close a Sale

How to Close a Sale

To be an effective sales person, it is important to learn how to close a sale. Read the article to learn a few ways to close a deal effectively, in person and also over the phone.
Suketu Mehta
If you are in any business, the thumb rule says 'customer is king'. This is absolutely correct, as without customers you can't sell your product at all. Getting a customer is a little simpler than retaining them. With the variety of choices when it comes to places to buy, it takes more than just marketing or a sales gimmick to get customers back to your product. You will need to have exceptional salesmanship skills and sales management qualities.

Sealing the Deal Effectively

Bond with Your Customer
It is always a good idea to bond with your customer, despite the fact that you are only engaging in a business transaction. Politely greeting your customer and engaging him in a friendly chat is always good. This goes a long way in making the customer feel at home and also comfortable.

Identify the Customer's Needs
Before you make the actual sale, try figuring out what your customer is really looking for. You need to spend as much time as possible till you are at par with your customer in terms of what he/she wants. The first step will help you with this. You don't want an unsatisfied customer after you have sold your product. Probing the customer on why he/she requires the product will help you.

Advocate the Right Product
For this, you need excellent knowledge about all products or customer services which are on offer. After you have completely understood what the customer needs, you should start recommending products which will satisfy him/her. Inform the customer on all relevant products as per the requirements, to help him/her make a choice. Don't be pushy, as the customer is the one who should have the final say. Try being as courteous and graceful as possible while going about showcasing your products.

Look out for Signals
A customer's body language and facial expressions are great indicators of what is running in his mind. Keep looking out for any such signs or signals, which will give a clue, as to what the customer has liked or is likely to purchase. When the customer asks the price of a product, looks for color variations of the same product, or keeps holding it for a long time, it indicates he is interested in that particular product. This will help you close the sale effectively.

Once you have understood the indicating signs exhibited by the customer showing interest in the particular product. You should stop wasting any more time and move towards closing the sale. You can directly ask the customer if he is interested in buying the product. If the customer still appears skeptical, you can start informing him about various accessories and product enhancement features which should tilt his opinion on the affirmative side.

After Sale Follow-up
Your job should not end after the sale is complete. Customer retention is an important part of a sale and if you want the customer to come back again, it always helps to have a good after sale follow-up. Assure the customer that he can always come back to you in case of queries or concerns regarding the purchased product/service. Taking down their contact details and calling them once in a while to confirm proper functionality of the product, is not a bad option.

Closing a Sale Over the Phone

It is even difficult to close a sale deal over the phone. This is because the customer cannot see you and it is always easier to simply hang up a call, compared to walking out on a talking salesman standing right in front. Also the customer cannot see the product and always has doubts regarding the effectiveness of the product or service on offer.

Before you call the customer, it is essential to plan your call well. Planning will involve knowing your product/service extremely well, being prepared with possible questions from the customer and your answers to these questions. You should always bear in mind that you are calling the customer to get his order.

Be Gracious
Whenever you start talking to a potential customer, be extremely polite, gracious and have a positive frame of mind. Your voice conveys your attitude to the customer in spite of you not being visible. Sometimes the person who answers the call is not the same one who will decide to purchase your product or not. Ensure you are talking to the right person.

The Start
Since people do not have too much time to spare on a sales call, you should be able to create an inquisitiveness in the customer's mind about the product, for him to ask for more. This can be done by strong and attention grabbing initial statements. Don't be in a hurry to keep the call. Be patient. Ask questions which will make the customer spell out what he needs, and also give him sufficient time to think and answer your questions.

Explain Your Product
As there is no visual aid to support you, you will have to explain the product in such a manner where in the customer gets all necessary information about the product, and is able to create a decent image of the product in his mind. Keep your explanation crisp and brief, at the same time giving out all relevant information. In case the customer has doubts, be courteous enough to clear them out.

Take the Order
The final step is, of course to take the order. A lot of sales people find this part awkward and do not ask the customer for his order. If you have explained every aspect of your product well, answered all queries of your customer and also the customer has heard you so far, don't be scared and ask for the order. If the answer is in the affirmative, give the customer, details about price and delivery options your company provides. Irrespective of the customer buying your product or not, always close the call with a polite 'Thank You', and good wishes for the day.

You can use the ideas discussed above and find out if they benefit you. Do not fear rejection as there may be many more positive outcomes waiting for you later on. Respect the customer, and treat him well to expect a positive response from his side.