Written by: Will Watrous
Timing, as they say, is everything—and there’s no place that’s truer than sales. The faster you can bring a prospective client from the consultation stage to a commitment to purchase, the sooner you will bring in the cash flow from that project.
Yet this is a key skill that many businesses struggle to master, and it can be highly frustrating unless you have tools that make the process easier.
So, what does it take to close the gap between your sales team’s initial appointment with a prospective customer and the moment they close the sale? Here are some tips from our recent growth strategies mini-workshop to help you close the gap between consultation and contract signing.
Ask for All Decision Makers to Be Present for the Consultation
Whenever possible, it’s smart to have everyone involved in the purchasing decision present when the salesperson makes their pitch. This may not always be possible, and it shouldn’t stop you from following up leads.
Still, take time to communicate this request when setting an appointment. Ask the customer if there is anyone else who should be present for the discussion. Emphasize that when everyone involved can be present, it ensures that all the customer’s questions can be thoroughly addressed—so they can make the best decision that fits their needs.
Offer to Speak to Any Absent Decision Makers
In an industry such as home improvement, spouses usually confer and decide together what they will do. So, what do you do if you make your sales call, and only one spouse is at home?
Ask if you can give the spouse a quick call, right now, while you’re doing the consultation. Explain that this is for the customer’s benefit—because you’ll be able to explain everything to the spouse, give them a feel for you and your business through that personal connection, and ensure they get any essential questions answered immediately.
This helps the customer see you as more than just the price you’re proposing—it gives them a clearer picture of what makes your company unique.
Identify Any Objections to Your Proposal
You may hear this technique referred to as the “Thermometer Close.” Ask the customer, “On a scale of one to ten, with one being we're not doing business and ten being we're absolutely doing business with this company, where are we at?” Then ask, “What will it take to get to a ten?”
This allows you to discover any concerns, lingering questions, or objections they have to your sales pitch. It shows them you care about their specific situation and want to hear what they have to say. And often, they’ll reveal something you can easily do for them to win their business.
Find Out How You Stand Up to Competitors
Your business has unique differentiators that set you apart from the competition. You know that. Your competitor knows it. But do your prospective clients?
During a sales consultation, it’s smart to ask the client, “What do you hope to see from other potential companies that you're not seeing in our company?"
Remember, if you can show them that you can provide everything they need and meet all their expectations, then you can help them see they don’t have to go elsewhere for the sale.
Set a Specific Time and Date to Follow Up
Setting a clear, well-defined time to follow up is essential to making a sale. A great way to do this is to simply ask, “When do you plan to make your decision?”
See if you can get the customer to commit to a specific date. Then offer to follow up around that time. Let them know you would like to call them or stop by on that day. Ask what time it would be most convenient for you to connect with them. Make it an official follow-up appointment, and be sure to keep it.
Get Strategic Guidance to Help You Close the Sales Gap with Ease
Identifying and addressing any weaknesses in your sales approach is essential to long-term business sustainability—but it can be a frustrating process to tackle on your own, especially when you’re busy keeping your business running.
At StructureM, we make it simple to get the expert marketing, sales, and growth strategies you need to help your company excel. We’ll create a customized growth plan that’s a perfect fit to give you a profitable, sustainable business. Book a meeting with us to get started.