You’ve been working on your sales skills for months now. But have you ever wondered what makes some people seem so much more successful when they try to sell something? Every industry has its challenges, you may argue when you struggle to close a sale without being pushy.
In sales, the big hurdle is closing the sale. Most salespeople verbalise this problem as “I don’t want to come across as a pushy salesperson.”
Most of us need to be liked by others, and being pushy is an unlikeable trait.
“Closing = pushy = people won’t like me if I attempt to close”.
6 Sequential Questions To Cover Off To Get A Sale
This business blog article covers how you can close a sale without being pushy using “The Purchaser’s Flight Path”.
There are six questions we all ask ourselves (usually unconsciously) as we go through the process of making a purchase. These questions apply whether we are buying a newspaper or a house. They are also sequential, i.e. the questions are always in the same order.
Therefore, just like a pilot’s flight path, if the salesperson doesn’t answer the six questions to the purchaser’s satisfaction, they won’t get to their desired destination, i.e. a sale. Let’s examine the six questions purchasers use to decide if they will buy from you.
1. Do I trust the salesperson/ company/ product?
If they like you, this is a good start, but a good salesperson will get the purchaser’s trust. They take time to ask lots of questions to build trust and rapport. They allow the purchaser to direct the conversation by asking ‘W” questions.
What, Why, Where, Who, When, and of course, How?
To be interesting you must be interested
When you seek to understand all you can about a customer, they respond in kind. You know you’re getting somewhere when a customer asks questions about your business, products, and services. Get here, and you’re on the road to closing a sale without being pushy.
2. Can they (or their product) do something for me that I cannot or choose not to do for myself?
Trust and rapport can be harmed, so look after them and move on to satisfying the next question. Do you know the customer’s needs and why they are interested in your offering? Now is the perfect time to explain in detail, according to what they told you they want, what your product or service can do for them.
Check-in with the customer to ensure they understand what you’re explaining and that is what they are looking for to meet their requirements. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when trying to close a deal. It shows that you care about their business and respect them as individuals.
Follow the Features versus Benefits process
Note all the features of your product or service, i.e. what it is and what it does. Once again, check in regularly with your customer to ensure you’re not them. Too much information can be overwhelming, or you may use jargon the customer is unfamiliar with.
Saying what the features are is the starting point, but it won’t get you the sale. You need to convert these features into tangible, valuable benefits for your customer. Talk more about the benefits than the features.
Features tell – Benefits sell! Convert features (so what?) to benefits (so that).
3. Is it a good deal?
Once they have decided they trust you (1) and that you have something they need/ want (2), they will ask themselves, from a financial perspective, whether it is a good deal.
Avoid assuming the customer has not already been your competitor. Even if you ask the question, they may not tell you. However, you may get an idea that they have more excellent market knowledge if you ask them a generic question like have you seen or used a similar product before?
A good salesperson knows customers research online and that they will compare your product or service to the competition, especially the benefits related to cost and your offer. This is the time to introduce any special offers you may have up your sleeve, but only when you know they are genuinely interested, have gone through the first two steps, and are ready to purchase.
4. Do I really want it?
Strange as it may seem, this question doesn’t come into play until this point. Until the customer starts to get serious about making a commitment and giving you their credit card.
The Bungee Effect
We call this the bungee effect. Imagine standing at the edge of a bungee jump with the cord around your ankles. How would you feel? Nervous right?
Knowing you want to jump but feeling afraid to at the same time. This is a natural human tendency. Don’t worry. If the customer didn’t want to jump, they would never have been standing at the edge of the Bungee jump, would they?
This is where closing techniques come in. Gently encourage them to jump by reaffirming the benefits, but only if you feel, ethically, that it’s the right thing for them to do. Pushy salespeople urge people to buy whether or not it’s the right thing for the purchaser to do.
5. Do I want it now?
At this point, they are convinced they want it but still have that natural hesitation. This is where you will hear that old phrase, “We want some time to think it over”. How frustrating!
You know they want it. You know the customer will love it and get lots of benefits, yet they are about to utter those immortal words and walk away, never to return.
At this point, we recommend you try a simple “Ben Franklin” close to getting you around the “We’ll think it over” stage and making the sale. This is a ‘pros and cons’ list, which is no more than giving customers the courage to step off the ledge and make the bungee jump.
6. Time To Make The Purchase
Here is the real point about closing. If you have answered the previous five questions and they are still with you, then you have been going through ‘trial closing’.
Trial closing is simply checking that they are happy to proceed to the next step. If they have nodded and agreed with you all the way, then they have closed themselves.
All you need to do now is show them how they get what they have decided they want. No pressure from you. No pushy sales techniques. Everyone is happy.
And they like you!!!
We have many articles on sales and sales strategy. Are you using conversational sales to grow your business?