Every salesperson has run a meeting where they know the prospect won’t buy long before it’s over. When you’re faced with a sale you’re about to lose, what’s the best way to react?
Some salespeople keep pushing through until the end, even though it’s an exercise in futility. Others try to change their approach and salvage their chances of closing the deal.
Fortunately, there are several ways to increase your odds of closing sales like these -- no matter what industry you sell to.
The next time you find yourself in the middle of a sales meeting that’s taken a turn for the worse, immediately change course. Remember these four key strategies to closing that saleyou’re about to lose -- and prepare to beat your competition in sales:
1) Discover the prospect’s challenges and objectives.
If you’re about to lose a sale, chances are you don’t know enough about the prospect to effectively sell anything. Every successful close starts with a successful understanding of your prospect’s world.
When a sales meeting begins to go south, ask yourself, “Have I taken the time to discover my prospect’s problems and goals?”
If not, it’s time to start. Ask probing, direct questions to dig into your prospect’s biggest challenges and most important objectives. Leave no stone unturned.
Watch this video for more tips on how to close sales with this technique:
2) Be completely honest.
It’s uncomfortable to suddenly realize your sales presentation isn’t going anywhere. Maybe your prospect is completely disinterested in what you have to say. Maybe they’re being openly hostile or unfriendly.
Instinct will tell you to deny the awkward tension, push through, and stick to your talking points -- but that will only make things worse.
Don’t be afraid to stop the conversation. Instead of beating around the bush, be honest! Tell your prospect you can sense the sales meeting just isn’t resonating with them and you’d like to refocus the conversation on something important to them. Prospects will appreciate how direct you are and will be more likely to trust you, leading them to open up and let their walls down. With your prospect at ease and the awkwardness addressed, you can find a new direction that works for you both.
3) Get feedback from the prospect.
If you don’t ask prospects for feedback, you’ll never learn why some customers don’t buy from you. It may take thick skin, but you need to ask your prospect for feedback when you’re about to lose the sale. Only then can you discover exactly what you need to do next.
Once you’ve stopped the flow of conversation and identified that you’re not moving in the right direction, ask your prospect, “Where do you think this went off track?”
Don’t get defensive or take the answer personally. Instead, be open to the prospect’s feedback, agree with whatever they have to say, and do what it takes to get your meeting refocused.
4) Create a customized solution.
Your prospects won’t perceive you as an expert unless you ask the right questions and pitch a solution that’s in line with their challenges and goals. Once you understand your prospect’s world, create a solution that presents the specific results and outcomes you can provide. Remember that prospects don’t care about you, your product, or your service -- they only care about solving their problems and meeting their key objectives. By selling customized solutions rather than a product or service, you’ll set yourself apart from competitors who pitch their products without ever taking the time to discover the prospect’s goals or needs.
With honesty, openness, thoughtful questions, and creative solutions, you can turn almost any sales meeting around. Next time you feel yourself losing a deal, remember these four critical steps to getting your meeting back on track. (And don’t miss out on this special report on three closing questions you must ask to close the sale, every time.)
Originally published Oct 6, 2016 6:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017