Pitch perfect: How an open mind closes the sales deal
Want to close that deal without coming across all Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses?
‘Course you do, my son.
An open mind closes deals more effectively than a focus on closure.
It’s time to drop that assumptive close – ‘shall I draw up the paperwork, then?’. Assumption is strictly for donkeys.
Legal niceties demand you avoid any mention of personal sweeteners.
The long hand of the law can leave a very sour taste in the mouth.
And all those ‘overs’ should be, well, over.
That’s over promising, overtures and over talking.
Save the hyperdrive for the Millennium Falcon – keep your own feet grounded in reality.
There’s no need to focus on closing alone to put the ‘pony in your pocket’: here’s how an open mind closes those deals.
One era closes as another opens
In many ways the sales/client relationship has radically changed.
In years past the salesperson may have seen themselves as a shark circling helpless prospects adrift in the ocean, but today it’s not about swallowing up but partnering with.
Collaboration and education are the skillsets that come to the fore.
The aim is not to swoop in for the quick kill and take that opportunistic sale. The aim is, instead, to help your client achieve their goals rather than spot weaknesses that can be exploited. Anticipating needs is the order of the day, rather than manufacturing opportunities.
Education, education, education
In such an environment one of the best ways to make progress towards the end of the sales funnel is to teach your prospect something new.
New ideas and new possibilities help to position you as someone who can be relied upon and trusted. They help dislodge stuck sales conversations and move things on.
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Fools rush in
Patience, young Jedi.
If you do not consistently focus on value and return you will cheapen your offering.
Hold off on discussing price, even if your prospect raises it, until you have established a firm understanding of added value.
This is especially the case with lowering prices or striking a deal. These are, at best, last-minute tactics (aka gestures of goodwill) to be used sparingly.
It’s not all about the decision maker
The closed mindset drops anyone who is not a decisionmaker like the proverbial stone. This will only lead to bruised feet and damaged sales.
Increasingly there are multiple buyers and standing guard around these you will find many gatekeepers.
It’s true the gatekeeper cannot buy from you. But they can stop you making a sale. Time and time again you will find that a recommendation from a colleague or friend is the strongest purchasing factor.
Do not throw all your energy into gaining referrals from clients and ignoring what could be your best friends in organisations you are pitching to. They may not make decisions but they do make a very real difference.
Live or die by ROI
The proof really is in the pudding.
Serving up a deconstructed cheesecake of data, case studies and social proof is much more effective than any sweetener you could ever sprinkle over a deal.
Forget your own sales funnel and sync with their buying process
Important as targets are, the best way to achieve sales is to understand others’ priorities and pressures.
When you adapt your activities to match your prospect’s buying process you amplify their effects.
It’s a lot easier to walk down a flattened path than navigate a rock-strewn entranceway.
Keep flexible or stiff your deals
Rushing to close does not open opportunities.
Keep an open mind and react flexibly: you will close deals rather than close hearts.