Many small business owners and sales reps face challenges with closing, and there are five closing mistakes that will prolong your selling cycle.
I met Chala Dincoy at the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council ROAR Conference, and today she’ll talk to us about the mistakes that can delay or prolong your selling cycle.
Chala is an elevator pitch coach who helps people get into the room. Then, once they’ve landed a sales meeting, she helps them close it faster.
The greatest challenge, she said, is getting the appointment because people don’t stand out. About 86 percent of buyers think you’re the same as your competition. Now she teaches reps how to get through the noise and stand out.
Interestingly, she pointed out that many companies don’t use titles like “sales rep” on their business cards anymore because it puts people off to see that someone is in sales.
That’s the first closing mistake.
The second is you haven’t specifically addressed the customers’ pain points. So now you’re in the wrong room and the wrong people are in the room with you.
You end up talking to lower level managers who pass you off over and over. As a result, you’re never able to get to the influencers that you need to reach.
The real trick, then, is to change your marketing so that you’re in front of decision makers all the time.
Since Chala’s sweet spot is diversity businesses, she works to get in front of conferences where those people are gathered. She has their business cards and they are talking to her at conferences.
This is the kind of marketing you should do, via speaking, networking, blogging, and any other kind of thought leadership.
Your branding is one of the tools that gets you into the room. Sheryl Sandberg is a celebrity in the business world, and you can do the same thing in the world of your target.
Chala recalls being at a recent conference where five people hugged her as she got off of an elevator. Though she didn’t know them, she says it’s a sign that you’re becoming known in your industry.
Once they know who you are, it’s really easy to land an appointment. It’s easy to invite them to an executive round table and for them to say yes.
Realize, too, that though everyone might be able to benefit from what you’re selling, not everyone needs it. We all sit in chairs, for example, but I may not need the kind of chair you’re selling.
Seventy percent of humans purchase based upon pain, so if they have a problem, they buy. The flip side is that only 30 percent of people will buy if you’re selling based on improving something.
Chala is fond of the saying, “No pain, no sale.” The third mistake is trying to sell something without addressing pain.
Stories have to be about the pain. When you’re in a presentation, offer case studies of pain. Your elevator pitch has to be based on pain. And all of it has to be the same pain.
We must niche down and focus.
Stop talking about yourself. No one cares how many offices you have or how many awards you’ve won.
Your prospects only care about the pain.
You must have both the budget and the authority in the room with you. Failure to do so is mistake number four.
We often call it the purse and the pain. If the pain doesn’t have the purse, no decision can be made, and vice versa.
As an extension of that, lower level managers may talk about a different kind of pain that company leadership will. If you base your entire presentation around one person’s pain, especially if that person isn’t the decision maker, your presentation will miss its mark.
You must have both people in the room.
Finally, avoid leaving without a next appointment. You must establish a next step with your prospects.
If they tell you they can’t commit to a date because there are other stakeholders involved and they don’t know all the schedules, then set a date to get a date. In other words, schedule a day that you’ll call to set up the next appointment.
If they aren’t willing to give you a date, it’s a really strong indicator that they aren’t going to buy.
Stop talking about yourself and connect with their pain points.
“Closing Mistakes” episode resources
We are currently in the Beta portion of our new TSE Certified Sales Training Program. The first section is about prospecting, the second is all about building value, and the third is about closing.
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