Getting to “Yes” is every salesperson’s ultimate goal. But so many variables are involved that the process can be cumbersome and aggravating—with no guarantee that the goal will actually be reached.
If your sales team is experiencing difficulties achieving this all-important sales objective, here are tips to keep for your reps to keep in mind:
1. BE THE EXPERT ON YOUR COMPANY’S PRODUCTS OR SERVICES.
It’s never OK to walk into a sales negotiation without a comprehensive understanding of what your company’s products or services can do. Armed with this thorough knowledge, it’s far more likely your salesperson can answer any question to the prospect’s satisfaction. He or she can highlight the benefits of your offering and specifically address how it addresses the needs of prospective customers.
2. SEND PERTINENT MATERIALS TO THE PROSPECT AHEAD OF THE SALES PRESENTATION.
Well before your salesperson meets with the client (or confers over Zoom), it’s a good idea to send along with relevant industry-specific content (a white paper, link to a blog post, or “how-to” article, etc.). By establishing value ahead of time, you facilitate a more expedient sales discussion and cast your business in a more favourable light.
3. IN THE SALES MEETING, ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN CAREFULLY.
Opting for a hard-sell approach is almost guaranteed to result in “No” rather than “Yes.” A better approach involves asking pointed questions that cause the prospect “to reflect on their circumstances and come to their own purchase conclusion,” notes HubSpot. Decisions that “a person comes to on their own always seem easier than one forced upon them by a third party.” Listen carefully to the answers and adapt the discussion accordingly.
4. COME PREPARED WITH “STRATEGIC CONCESSIONS.”
Don’t rely on a strategy of spontaneously offering exclusive sales discounts or some other value-added concession. As we’ve noted before, “You may end up giving away more than your business can hope to get.” Instead, come prepared with key “strategic concessions” before talks get underway. Those concessions can placate the prospect and bring you closer to a “Yes.”
5. FOCUS ON MAINTAINING RAPPORT.
Almost inevitably, a prospect will experience displeasure with some of your sales presentation. They may even say “No” much sooner than you might have anticipated.
Don’t let your salespeople give up at this point. Depending on the circumstances, you might “use short statements that let the prospect know it’s OK that he or she didn’t immediately say ‘yes,’” advises Customer Experience Insight. This allows the salesperson “to move on to the next step of reviewing [customer] needs, and determine what might have been missed on the first go-around.
6. RECOGNISE WHEN “YES” MAY NOT BE THE BEST OPTION.
Every salesperson wants to close a deal. It’s in their blood. But there will be times when negotiations end up in a place that might negatively affect your business, i.e., when the potential ROI is outweighed by the internal costs of production and delivery. Beware of prospects who appear too demanding in the initial sales call, or who are unwilling to budget from a specified price. These types of customers may not be worth your company’s efforts and resources in the long run.