How to Close a Sale
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
Interestingly enough, this topic came up recently when talking to a prospective client of ours here at Chop Dawg (meta, I know). As with all of our clients here at Chop Dawg, I’m always striving to provide value in all aspects of our business operation – from what we learn, what we do, and how we behave, so that our clients (and potential clients) can learn from us, and adapt it to their own business models. One of the things about this new potential client of ours is that they were very service driven too like us, but had a success ratio of closing new work at less than 3%. They thrive on volume (one of the reasons they want to hire us is to help increase that volume). I challenged that thought process, though, and asked, how instead, could we increase the conversion rate of prospective customers to actual, paying customers.
Here is pretty much the truest, most straight-forward way to closing a sale – which can work for business-to-business or business-to-consumer. This will ensure that potential clients and customers are already sold on working with you before they reach out. If you need to convince them why they should work with you, though not impossible, your success ratio will be very low and limited. You’ll have a ceiling to your success.
Of course, easier said than done right? Not exactly. First and foremost, reverse engineer what goes into deciding what company to work with and/or purchase from. The biggest thing right off the bat, they must solve and/or provide a need. If you aren’t a fit there, it doesn’t matter what else you do or present to them, you’re not the right fit in the marketplace (you don’t see someone trying to sell a car to an individual in an Apple store, do you?). Second thing, figure out what makes someone decide on a company. This is the emotional state of an individual – this affects all consumers.
1) Wanting to be a part of an eco-system and/or existing infrastructure (example being a strong brand, a strong following, friends and/or family who has worked or bought from the company in the past)
2) Being a thought leader (example, producing content to showcase that they know what they are doing – this can be from media coverage, sharing content on their blog (meta, again), creating video content, sharing on social media, email newsletters, etc)
3) Always being relevant (example, always showing up on social media feeds, relevant to the target audience of the prospected consumers, creating clear messages to the prospective consumers, etc.)
4) Having a proven track record (for example, a portfolio to back up their name and claims, having integrity, having the trust of the consumer).
When you meet the guidelines above, your audience typically makes up their mind, before even reaching out to you or purchasing from you, that they want to be a part of your brand, eco-system, or infrastructure. As entrepreneurs or businesses, you can probably think of examples of this in the past. Those who are upfront with you right away, those asking the questions at the get-go to build a relationship, those asking for your advice and/or expertise. The worst thing for you to do in these situations is not being aware of what is happening, and not leveraging the situation. Notice I used the word leveraging here, not exploiting. Don’t take advantage of this – because the moment you do, the consumer will know, and the entire emotional bond you’ve made has already been tarnished. Instead, leverage this by truly assisting and helping the prospective customer. Not only have you built a very strong relationship early on, the likelihood is that, as long as your business delivers, which it should, you will have a lifetime customer. You’re no longer closing a sale – you’re closing the biggest proponent and lifeline for your brand.
As an entrepreneur, this is the Holy Grail for your business. It takes years to develop. You need to build a concise brand, clear messaging, a strong foundation, and developing a proven track record. You need to treat each and every person that you encounter in your business with the same respect, attention to detail, and time. When you do, the opportunities of emotionally invested leads will come.
It’ll take you time. You need to plan for the long-term. You need to be patient. However, if you execute the plan according to the steps provided here, not only will you be able to close almost any sale your way, as an entrepreneur, you’ll attain a level of business that is only a dream for most brands and companies. Don’t make the common mistake of cutting corners, and sacrificing quality because you are too impatient. It takes the time to deliver excellence, but it is always worth it. That’s a promise.