Try This One Thing to Convert More Sales

We’ve all heard about those “natural salespeople.”  You know, the ones who make it so easy to get people to buy their product/service and rake the revenue they bring their businesses into mountains of money.  Or maybe you just call them the new kids on the block who are stealing all your clients from you.

However, those with a sales skillset learned it, just like you learned what you’re good at, too.  Natural ability only goes so far.

What you may not realize is that talented salespeople are doing pretty much the same things that you are, just a little differently.  So what is it that separates their effortless selling from your bumbling approach?

Let’s look at the “close” that all those salespeople spend so much time talking about.  Most salespeople are told to Always Be Closing.  It’s the ABCs of selling.  Research shows that approach works for certain circumstances, mostly those related to smaller purchases.  Would it surprise you that in the world of hospitality and events – where getting someone to buy your product/service could mean spending hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars – in this high-dollar environment, the ABCs usually spell disaster?  Ever tried to close on a deal and then hear from the prospect that you were “pushy?” In reality, the more you try to hard sell or tactically close on a buyer the more you’re likely to get a resounding “pass” on your proposition.

If you’re less likely to “get to yes” with a hard close, should you just let the prospect get back to you on their own terms and timeline? Letting prospects determine the pace and flow of the sales process is important, but you don’t want to give away control at the end and make it so they can ignore you.  If you find yourself in the position of waiting for them to get back to you after sending out the proposal, you’ll feel like you’re pestering them and they’ll feel like you’re starting to get pushy each time you ask for an update.

So how do the successful salespeople always seem to land in that middle ground of controlling the timeline without appearing pushy?

They make the moment to discuss the proposal before it’s even sent to the buyer. 

Yes, it’s that easy.  Here’s how it works:

You meet your prospect and have an incredible conversation.  Near the end of the discussion, you go back to the situation they came to you with, hone in on the problem they have, and then talk about why it’s so important to resolve the issue.  Then you remind them about what happens when your product or service meets their needs.  Voilá.  After they say, Yes! this is exactly what I need from you, you ask if you could send a proposal that captures what you’ve talked about.  Of course, they agree.  You ask when they would like to see it in their inbox.  They say, Next Tuesday.  (Now, pay attention, this is the important part!!)  You say, Great, I’ll send it to you on Tuesday.  When’s a good time on Wednesday to jump on a call to go over your questions and concerns? 

Read the last sentences again (I’ll wait).

It may not seem like much, but those words will become a big part of your sales success.  Why?

Like most humans, you and your buyer want to keep your commitments.  The scenario you structured with the wording I’m suggesting encourages dual accountability.  You will work your butt off to get the proposal ready for the prospect on time.  The buyer will feel obliged to read the proposal right away to prepare the meeting you’ve agreed to.  Then you’ll both get a chance to carry on the conversation to resolve the buyer’s needs in a way that works for both of you.

The idea of advancing the prospect through a series of stages at a steady pace is important to successful selling in the low-volume, high-dollar world of hospitality and events.  People who tell you events are an emotional purchase are not entirely correct – there’s nearly always an underlying rationale for the decision.  If you move too quickly before you’ve reached them with logic, you’ll come off as pushy.  If you give up timeline control, the buyer’s likely to lose the emotional connection and forget the logic you’ve sequenced out for them.  However, if you can make moments with the prospect that work for both of you, you’ll increase the chances of making the sale and meeting his/her needs – a real win-win.