One of the most difficult things for professionals to accomplish is “getting the sale”. I know many people who have an amazingly huge pipeline, but constantly struggle to close sales; even with a great a product offering. This is a serious marketing problem.
Why is this a marketing problem? Most people think that the terms marketing, advertising and branding are all interchangeable but, in fact, they are not. I encourage you to look up the lengthy and complicated definition of marketing in Webster’s Dictionary. For the sake of time, I will define marketing as all of the things that you do to acquire and maintain clients. This spans from initially reaching them, to delivering the product, to having a system in place to make them repeat clients and referral partners. Advertising is a piece of marketing while branding is a piece of advertising.
Okay, now that we have the definition of marketing taken care of, you understand why closing sales is part of the marketing process. Here are my easy tips for closing a sale:
Establish a relationship– Get to know the potential client and their needs. Let them view you as an expert in your field who has a genuine interest in helping them. You do not want to come across as a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am salesperson.
Sell benefits, not features– No one cares if your widget has the newest XYZ technology. They do care, however, if the widget is so technologically advanced that it will enable them to do work in 1/2 the time! Tell them how they will benefit.
Ask for the sale– This may sound funny, but many people neglect this part whether out of fear of rejection or coming off too pushy. Take control and simply ask for the sale- now. There is a really good chance that they are waiting for you to ask them. If they say “not now” ask them when you should check back. If they say no, ask them why they are declining. Explain that this is for your own personal records to improve your products/ services. The reason may have absolutely nothing to do with you or they may simply have a misunderstanding about your product/service that you can clear up. Also, if they buy or not, ask them if they know of anyone else that might be interested. It is possible to ask for the sale without being pushy; monitor your tone and body language.
Speaking of asking for a sale, or at least asking someone to do something… Do you see that cute little doohickie under this post that says “share”? Would you mind clicking on that and sending this to a friend via email or posting the link on a social network? I’m on a mission to empower and educate business owners to take charge of their business marketing; I would really appreciate your help!
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