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How to Increase Your Closing Rate as a Sales Person

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Today we have many great tools that help us to be efficient. We often wonder how we ever survived in the “old days” without email, texting and Social Media. Each of these tools I have mentioned have transformed the Sales Profession…when used properly. Often Sales Professionals mistake speed for efficiency and make unwarranted assumptions.

As a business consultant, I’m often asked, “How do I increase my close rate? I’m struggling. I’m not getting as many opportunities.” What I often find is that people are rushing through the sales process. Good discovery is the key to understanding the value that is derived from your solution for your client and increasing your close rate.

Assumptions

We make assumptions every day. Often we don’t even realize we are making them. We assume the car in front of us will go, the car in back of us will stop. We assume our computers will work flawlessly so we can update out sales reporting at the last minute and nobody will know. What happens when those assumptions break down? What happens when email isn’t working? What happens when the printer decides to print gibberish?

When these assumptions break down they teach us small lessons that often change our behavior. If that is the case, then how come I consistently see Sales Professionals making the same assumptions time after time and then wonder why they are not closing more deals.

“I know exactly what you need. I’ve worked with a number of companies in your industry. Just let me get you a proposal and you’ll be convinced.”
“I’m going to go in and just start with a demo. That will get the conversation started, and then I’ll go from there and see where the conversation takes us.”

It’s Not Efficient, its Lazy

I’m going to stop there – why? I don’t want to assume you are getting my point. In the first scenario the Sales Professional is being lazy and doesn’t want to take the time to see whether or not the company is a fit. He is just interested in getting a proposal out and then crossing his fingers and hoping. This guy always has a great looking pipeline but rarely closes anything because his proposals go into a black hole.

In the second example, once again the laziness of the Sales Professional takes over. She is convinced she can wow them with technology, then just have a conversation to get to the next meeting with the client. The idea of understanding the company, its outcomes and pain points are secondary to “just securing the next appointment.” This is the Sales Professional who will be telling her boss two weeks later that she just doesn’t understand why they won’t return her calls to set up the next appointment.

Take the Time to Discover

Sales Professionals take the time to prepare for every client interaction. They research the client, they prepare a question track to keep the conversation relevant and on track. They don’t demonstrate anything until they thoroughly understand the client’s needs and how their solution helps their client achieve their goals.
If you take the time to speak with all your buyers, all your stakeholders, and understand from their point of view where the value is, you’re going to come up with a better solution that will close more quickly. There will be less negotiation and higher profitability, which I think is the outcome all of us are looking for as sales professionals. So, do your discovery and watch yourself increase the velocity of your sales and help you blow out your quota.

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Jack Kelly
Jack Kelly
Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.
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