Sales Closing Tip
It can be a challenge getting in with C-suite decision makers in the Fortune 2000 and SMB markets. Outreach strategies have converged to similar language patterns and executives have grown an immunity to their outreach tactics. If a majority of sales professionals are using similar outreach scripts, then why not break out of this mold?
If you are pitching to raise VC/PE capital or simply trying to close a software or licensing deal with a prospect, closing is a difficult art. Distinct from selling, this can make all the difference between a just good product and one that builds traction.
Here is a quick tip that may help move the dial in your closing activities.
A sales meeting opener that works.
You have just booked an initial sales meeting. The prospect picks up the phone (or enters the conference room).
It may be helpful to steer clear of asking how people are doing (i.e. "How are you?" or "How was your weekend?"), weather related topics, or statements and questions that would be considered "ice breakers".
This slows down the meeting and creates a bottleneck to value. Your prospect cares about what you have to offer and whether it can help their company achieve their goals, among other things.
Instead, you might open meetings with this question "Do you have enough information to make a decision on our service?"
Some people may think this is too forward, and that you need to go through the explanation of products and services in the beginning. You can never discount how much research the prospect does on your company, website, and competitors prior to the call. They may have had five conversations with competitors and know the market better than you you at this point.
What this opening question does is fast forward the entire pitch to the real questions the prospect has and the hurdles that will arise. They will start to ask questions that they need to know about and that you can begin to answer. You will see what their real concerns and needs are going forward. The goal is for the prospect to get to a decision as quickly as possible with as much information as possible so that he or she can pull the trigger, or at least go back into the pipeline of those who are not ready to buy.
No revenue can be generated until the hard questions are asked and answered, so it can be of high value to master the art of getting to that point sooner rather than later.
Does this question make you feel uncomfortable?
It needn't. Assume that you ask "Do you have enough information to make a decision on our service?" but they inform you that they know little about your company. At this point, they may say something such as "I know little about your company, so we need to back up a little bit..." At this point, you know to explain more, and move forward. No harm, no loss.
For every 100 calls that you ask that question, you will begin to close faster and at a higher rate. You will also spend less time chasing people who are truly not interested.