My mouth is still agape after reading this article in the MSP Business Journal – How to close a sales more effectively.
The first howler:
Anyone involved in sales knows silence can kill deals. If you present your best recommendations to a prospect and stop talking, he might say, “That’s food for thought. Let me think about it. I’ll get back to you.”
What? No, not true. The problem the vast majority of salespeople have is the inability to use silence. A pregnant pause is a powerful tool that helps bring forth information. It is important to remember that the person asking the questions is actually the person controlling the conversation.
The second howler:
They are all closed-end questions. When faced with a “yes or no” choice, the uncomfortable answer is “no.” Read the questions, answer “no” and see how you feel. It’s likely a negative answer requires justification and you can’t immediately think of reasons.
These suggestions come from the financial world which is predominantly based on selling to “consumers.” Maybe things are different there, but in the B2B world open-ended questions are necessity. It has been my experience that prospects are comfortable and adept at saying no. My experience has been that close-ended questions quickly move you to the “think it over” response from the prospect.
The author clearly has a different approach to selling and perhaps it works well for him. My take is that these tips would lead to atrocious results in the B2B world.
If you want to close more effectively, invest all, and I mean all, of your time in developing your qualifying skills. At the end of the day, qualified deals close themselves.