Closing a sale tends to go something like this: you show up, you answer your prospect’s objections and then you ask for the sale.
But if you are a front-line sales rep, you know that it closing the sale doesn’t always go as planned. Some leads don’t have the time, the money or the need.
With all of these objections, and many other potential issues standing in the deal of closing the sale, how can you get more leads to say yes to your sales offer?
Indeed, the question says it all, right?
1. Follow Up With Prospects – Immediately
Getting more leads to say yes to your sales offer may be a lot easier than you think. Consider the following: leads are 9X more likely to convert if you follow up with them within five minutes of them expressing interest.
The longer you wait, the more your chances of closing the deal begin to decrease That means that time is of the essence. If you wait just 30 minutes after someone expresses interest, you are 21X less likely to make the sale.
So, as soon as you have captured a lead, it’s imperative to send a personalized email via your sales automation platform.
2. Understand Your Prospect’s Pain Points
Before you can even think about talking about your product/service, you need to ask questions first. You need to understand your prospect’s pain points and challenges first before you can begin to address them.
The best salespeople out there are the ones that know what questions to ask.
Making an effort to understand your prospect’s pain points will not only give you enough insight in order to craft an ideal solution, but it will tell you whether the prospect is even qualified in the first place (many salespeople also make the mistake of pitching to someone who isn’t qualified – that’s why it’s so important to ask qualifying questions beforehand).
Nevertheless, the starting point to going on to close a sale is understanding your prospect’s challenges, pain points, and goals and then discussing how your product/service can meet those specific needs. Your pitch needs to be highly tailored to those concerns.
3. Frame Sales Conversations in the Right Way
When it comes to getting more leads to say yes to your sales offer, there are a powerful set of strategies out there that your front-line sales reps can use to not only close the deal but also accelerate the close-rate as well.
It’s all about framing your conversations in a persuasive way (spoiler: these strategies have nothing to do with money).
So, what is one of the best ways to frame your prices?
Simple: emphasize the idea of time. Time is a limited resource and therefore very meaningful. People want to make to the most of it.
Whether your product/service offers your leads a relaxing way to spend their “time” or you have a product/service that will save them on time in some way, “time” is a powerful psychological concept to tap into.
Stanford Graduate School of Business illustrated this concept well with a study that involved a lemonade stand experiment. The researchers advertised three lemonade stands in different ways: one that emphasized time, one that mentioned money and one that mentioned neither.
And what did they find? The lemonade stand that emphasized “time” did the best. Not only did it generate twice as many customers, but those customers also spent twice as much as well.
When it comes to framing your conversations, many front-line sales reps also make the mistake of competing on pricing, which, perhaps surprisingly enough, can actually go on to negatively affect your close-rate.
Many sales reps emphasize that their product/service is less than anywhere else. However, it has been shown that when you get people to compare your product/service to others, it actually backfires.
Another study coming out of Sanford found that when people were asked to choose between three different cameras (an inexpensive one, a mid-priced camera or a high-price one), people merely settled on the mid-priced one.
When people are asked to compete, they become risk-averse. So, don’t ask your leads in a position where they have to compare your product/service with your competitor.
4. Use Psychology to Your Advantage
There are a lot of psychological principles out there that you can use to persuade leads to say yes, but one of the most effective strategies is to use the idea of social proof.
We’ve covered the topic a lot on blog before, so we won’t go into much detail here, but in a nutshell, social proof a psychological concept that suggests that people will change their behavior based on the assumption that the behavior is right.
That may sound confusing, but it really isn’t. In simplest terms, social proof is all about showing others how much others use and therefore trust your product. If others are using your product, it must be good.
Marketers tap into social proof all the time.
As we’ve said before, the concept is all around us as well. It’s exactly why restaurants will make their waiting reception small. This forces people to wait outside the restaurant, which makes the restaurant look like it’s very popular (which means that it must be good as a result).
So, how can you tap into social proof yourself? There are a lot of ways. However, research shows that testimonials work best. Not only that, but they can increase conversions by as much as 34%.
Take a look at the testimonials that Zapier has on their website:
However, if you want your testimonials to pack the most punch, it’s important to include pictures alongside of your testimonials. Secondly, it’s also a good idea to avoid generic testimonials as well.
5. Tap Into Scarcity
Scarcity is a powerful psychological motivator that front-line sales reps can tap into in order to close the sale. It goes back to the simple principle of supply and demand. When a resource is scarce, demand for that product goes up.
Consider the following study: when a timer was placed on the product page, it converted 9% better than the product page without the timer on it.
If you want to motivate your leads to say ‘yes,’ try making them a limited time offer. In fact, this is really one is one of the most effective ways to tap into scarcity and urgency.
Another option is to make timed shipping offers – that is, if leads make a purchase within a certain number of hours, they get free shipping on their order.
Also tapping into limited quantities can add a sense of urgency. This actually increases the value of your product as well. One of the easiest ways to go about doing this is by showing low stock quantity on your website with the caption that says “Quick, only X left in stock.”
Lastly, you can convey a sense of urgency in your copy as well. Instead of saying something along the lines of ‘Check out our products/service here,” you can say something like “Our products are selling like hotcakes” or something to that effect.
Also, if you have numbers to back up your claims, state them. Did you sell out in X days? Whatever the case may be, these numbers give your copy an added credibility boost, making it even more convincing.
Of course, it’s important to remember that while scarcity and urgency can be powerful motivators to get leads to say ‘yes’ to your sales offer, you should never do so in a way that is not truthful or is misleading in some way.
Like all things, this is a concept best used relatively sparingly as well.
6. Offer an Incentive
If your leads haven’t yet committed to a purchase, an incentive like a discount or a limited time offer can push them toward completing the purchase.
Yes, we’re talking about reducing cart abandonment. That means if someone has left an item in their shopping cart, it’s important to follow up with them – as soon as you can, and ideally over a period of a week or so.
As we mentioned in another blog post, when one of Shopify’s most successful stores included a discount code in their email, they not only closed the deal but also generated 5X their revenue.
We’ve blogged about the perfect set of sequence emails to reduce cart abandonment, which you can read about here.
7. Get Them To Make A Small Commitment
Leads tend to turn down the first offer purely out of instinct. However, psychologists have figured out how to nudge them in the direction of actually saying yes.
Simply start by asking your lead for a big commitment and, once rejected, follow up with a much smaller commitment (like signing up for a free trial) after. As you can see, a small commitment seems much less daunting in comparison.
Ultimately, this strategy gets your leads’ foot in the door. Once they go on to try your product or service, they might be so impressed that they end up staying with you for the long haul.
8. The Right Closing Phrases
Not only is it important to touch on the idea of time or to avoid having prospects compare you to their competitors, your choice of closing phrases can also make a big difference in whether or not you close the sales deal.
In fact, pushy closing phrases can actually prevent you from closing the deal at all. One such strategy is acting if you have already closed the deal. For example, you may say, “When did you want me to book the appointment”?
Again, this sort of phrase comes off as pushy and can cause your prospects to leave. The same is also true for a direct ask.
Instead, opt for less aggressive closing phrases like “It seems like our [product/service] is a good fit for you. What do you think?”
This particular closing phrase gets your prospect thinking about the benefits of your product; further, if you lead agrees with you, it is a great segue to ask the lead to officially close the deal.
Another good closing phrase is “Taking everything into consideration, these two products/services would work best for you. Which one would be better for you?”
This is more of a direct closing phrase, but the idea here is that your lead will be much more likely to at least choose one option instead of none at all.
If your lead is really hesitating, another good option in this particular case is to go with “If we gave you our product/service at this price, is there any reason you wouldn’t do business with us?”
This closing phrase accomplishes two things: first, it puts your lead in a position where they are, most likely, going to agree with you. Secondly, on the off-chance that they do have any concerns, you have an opportunity to address them right then and there.
The Bottom Line
Closing the sale is not always as straightforward as it seems, but following up with your leads, understanding your prospect’s pain points, framing your conversations in the right way and choosing the right closing phrases can increase your close rate and get more leads to say yes to your sales offer.
Do you have any tips to get leads to say yes to your sales offer? We would love to hear more about your experience.
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