Tips on How to Close More Sales

I remember the first time I sold something. It was 1990 and I was nine years old. Our family just moved to Loveland Colorado from New Jersey. It was the summer, and all I could think about was buying a boombox. Not just any boombox, but the new and improved boombox now sporting a CD player. Remember those things.

Problem. That boombox was $200. I did not have $200. And my parents would not give me $200.

I was told, “find a way to make your own money.”

So I did.

I asked to borrow their lawnmower and proceeded to push it down the street, knocking on doors and asking the neighbors if they would pay me $15 or $20 to mow their lawn.

Three doors down, a sweet older woman answered the door.

“Hi, I’m Matt. I am working to save up to buy a boom box. Can I mow your lawn?”

“Why yes you can, you adorable little guy. How much can I pay you?” She replied.

“How about $20?” I asked.

“Done deal sweetie. Make sure you do a good job and I might give you a tip!”

Then, this sweet little old lady patted me on the head and pinched my cheek.
Since that day I have sold a lot of things. Lawnmowing, snow shoveling, candy bars out of my middle school locker, magazine subscriptions, shoes, painting, roofing, real estate, books, Pirate Patches, and jiu-jitsu memberships to name a few. Over the past three decades of selling, I have learned many ways to sell, sell well, sell better, and eventually sell excellently. As I coach small business owners and entrepreneurs, I see many struggles with sales. Some don’t understand the process. Some don’t understand psychology. Some are just plain scared of selling or have a negative affinity to or relationship with selling. Many forget the most critical part of the sale process. Here are a couple of tips to help you sell more and sell with excellence. Think of the sales process as a football game. Your objective is to move the ball down the field and cross the ball over the goal line. Crossing the goal line constitutes closing the sale. You will begin this drive at a particular point on the field. Maybe your own 20- or 30-yard line, if you have a previous relationship with your potential client. You may be on your own 1-yard line if you are approaching a contact who does not know you. You may have a motivated buyer that was referred to you by a previous customer, finding yourself close to the end zone. Either way and no matter where you start, here are the things that drive you forward.
  • Be yourself and be real. Don’t be fake. Authenticity wins.
  • Build rapport with your buyer.  Have a genuine interest in them.  Ask them questions to find out more about their life, their family, occupation, hobbies, dreams, and goals.
  • Qualify them.  Are they actually ready, willing, and able to buy what you have to sell.
  • Don’t chase people, rather behave in a manner in which they are attracted to you.
  • Ask tons of questions to find out obvious and hidden motivations to buy.
  • Discover their main burning problem and how you can solve it.
  • Ensure that you are liked and trusted by your potential buyer.
  • Keys to build trust include being reliable, consistent, honest, and quick and clear to communicate.
  • Underpromise overdeliver.
  • Know and share your unique value proposition.
  • Let others speak for you. Bring referral.
Here are some things that cause you to lose yards
  • Being pushy, cheesy, obnoxious, and annoying
  • Seeing your prospective buyer as a dollar sign and a sale instead of a person with a story, and a need that you can serve.
  • Lying or stretching the truth about what you can deliver
  • Overpromising and underdelivering.
  • Always try to close your buyer before they are ready.
  • Not being able to read, understand, and adapt to behavioral and body language ques
And finally, the most important part is crossing the goal line.  I see so many entrepreneurs, business owners, and salespeople get to the 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1-yard line and they forget the most critical piece which is this. ASK FOR THE BUSINESS!  Ask for the business clearly and directly. Once you do, stop talking and let your buyer respond.  They may have an objection that needs to be addressed and do so by clearly stating it, understanding it, and addressing it.  Then ASK FOR THE BUSINESS. Remember you will not receive what you do not ask for.  Wishing you much success in your selling. For more FREE tools to help you grow your business and advance your leadership, click here.
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