We have investigated the art of negotiation in a number of previous posts – the art of closing the deal is an entirely different and more complex matter.
From marketing and sales to customer service and online promotion, all of these activities are mobilized towards one thing; closing a deal. Far too many companies dedicate a huge amount of time and money into planning, marketing and meeting prospective clients, only to walk away from the table with nothing. In the current economic climate your business cannot afford lose even one opportunity.
There have been numerous books published on how to seal the deal, however, one of the first things any entrepreneur needs to be aware of, is that there are no definitive rules. Each company, meeting and potential prospect is completely different and therefore you will only know the best moment to close the deal when you are in that moment.
That is not to say that you cannot prepare for the moment of close before hand. Preparation and careful planning are key to closing any deal. It is important you arm yourself with as much information as possible, so that you don’t waste time that could be spent meeting with more eligible prospects, on a company that has no budget or is happy with their current provider.
Yet, if you have thoroughly researched the prospect and still define them as a warm lead, where do you begin? The ‘hard sell’ sales strategy has divided opinion for a number of years; many sales people believe that being direct with a prospect is a more effective way of securing the deal, while others feel that people are immune to the ‘hard sell’ and prefer to communicate with potential prospects in a more natural way. Whatever choice you make, you must make sure you deliver it with confidence and leave with the relationship established.
Now comes the part that even experienced and successful sales people still struggle with – when to talk money. However, from the point of company formation all entrepreneurs need to be good at talking figures. The key is being direct and addressing the subject with confidence – you are all there to make money so be open about it.