Closing a sales deal doesn’t come easily to many of us but for small business owners, it’s crucial that we get to grips with it. Rather than focusing all our efforts on closing, it can seem less daunting if we see this as part of the process of building a relationship. Do as much as you can before you get to close so that the other person finds it easy to say yes.
- Listen to what the other person wants. Think about how you can help.
- Provide examples – case studies / testimonials / describe similar projects you’ve undertaken.
- Focus on benefits, not features, for example the time the prospective client will have to devote to growing their business or spending time on the things they’re good at.
- Be clear about what you can do and equally about what you can’t.
- Give the other person the opportunity to raise concerns. Better to do this now so that you can clarify these points and manage expectations. Remember that some deals will fail. If this isn’t the right time for the client, agree when you can follow up at a specified date in the future, e.g. three months.
- Haggling – don’t be drawn into a discussion that’s based purely on price. The best clients are those who understand the value of your work and who are not driven by price alone.
- Know your value and keep your ideal fee in mind. This should be a win/win situation so if budget is an issue, ask what that budget is and build a package.
- Once the other party has agreed the deal verbally, follow up as soon as possible with a draft contract.
- Create a sense of urgency specific to that client, e.g. once I have your signed contract, we can get going on your newsletter/ organise your event. This will keep the momentum going.
- Schedule a call to follow up within a few days and do it. It gets easier with practice!
Susan Moore is the founder of Moore VA www.mooreva.co.uk and provides support to businesses, speakers and authors. Susan runs regular workshops for aspiring and new virtual assistants.