Calgary Herald «March 10, 2016»

What’s your favourite tool to close the deal?

By Capital Ideas via Capital Ideas in The Herald
Capital Ideas members were asked how they prefer to close a deal. . Originally published in the Calgary Herald FP section on Thursday, March 10, 2016. Reproduced with permission. See more at:

“My favourite tool to close a deal is finding common ground with face to face contact. Early in my career at Spruce Meadows, I learned from Ron Southern that you make the sale the moment your client takes ownership of the idea. Guiding them from that moment to signing a contract is such a delicate route that the best way is to be sitting in a room with them, in conversation. Software we use to help with that ranges from Mac reminders to Google spreadsheets and tasks to Insightly but I consider those more like boxes to help organize the tools of interpersonal skills.”
— Rob Kelly, owner and president of Kelly Brothers Productions Inc.
“We use Salesforce to track our leads and sales funnel. It’s great for reminding us about all of our sales activities big and small. However, until our company had rigour around its processes, our sales tools were just tools — we started using Salesforce after we defined our processes. There is no one thing in our world that will ‘seal the deal.’ We are a boutique analytics company and we rely on our sales team to create relationships. Thankfully no tool will replace the relationships we have with our clients.”
— Don O’Dwyer, CEO of Raven Bay Services
“Our customer relations management system helps us to stay in touch with prospects and ensure that we followup in a timely manner. Being genuine and doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it is so important not only in the sales process but in the delivery of the product or service.”
— Lisa Genovese, president and CMO of BottomLine Marketing
“By asking, that’s it! ‘Customer, are you ready to buy now?’ ”
— Andrew Miller, founder of Purple Frog Products

“Summarize the major points of the presentation and then ask for a commitment. Some key points about closing: you must ask for the sale, you should have earned the right and asking for money is never a casual event! While dealing with a ‘no,’ be gracious, seek clarification and explanation, keep the door open and followup.”
— Kris Hans, strategist at Market Grade Ltd.

“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. It’s not about closing the deal for me, but it is about how I open the conversation. I engage the prospective customer in conversation to uncover their needs and urgency related to the purchase. If I know why they want to buy, then I can position how and what I can offer to satisfy the need. As part of a consultation with a client, their why is revealed along the way and the ‘close’ is more about fit by the time the conversation ends. In the words of Jeffrey Gitomer, ‘it’s the responsibility of the salesperson to earn the sale.’ ”
— Laura Bechard, business coach at Bexco Business & Executive Coaching
“Let a prospect close themselves. One technique we teach our clients is to ask, ‘Is doing nothing an option?’ after they uncover a compelling reason for their prospect to do something (versus) the consequences of not doing anything.”
— Hamish Knox, president of Sandler Training in Calgary
“The most effective closing tool is to just ask for the business. This is the best way to find out if you are even in the running and if not, what you need to do to get there. So many sales people including myself are sometimes afraid to ask the question for fear of the answer. Part of the sales process is to know when to move on and the answer you get allows you to (move on) or move forward with the client.”
— Linda MacPherson, partner at Mac 2 Consulting
“Each customer is different, so the most effective tool in closing any deal is your ability to ask questions and listen. This perspective allows you to stop trying to sell people something and instead help them discover what they’re looking to buy. Converse with them sincerely and ask questions to understand their particular needs. If you can satisfy that need, perhaps even one they didn’t know they had, you’ll close the deal. As an added bonus you’ll receive referrals because you treated them respectfully as an individual while genuinely finding a solution for them.”
— Ryan Jorden, managing partner at VR Business Brokers
“I find most sales are built on trust and giving the client peace-of-mind that you will be there after you close the deal. Ongoing service is important whether you’re buying a tangible product or selling something intangible such as financial advice. After you make your presentation, keep in touch without being pushy. Is there additional information that you forgot to mention? What sets you apart from your competition? How will dealing with you improve their current situation? Even a handwritten thank you note with a Starbucks giftcard can go a long way. There are many relationship building opportunities after you present that can lead to earning your client!”
— Elizabeth Harris, employee benefits advisor and co-founder of HB Consultants
“Passion + Purpose = Profit/Prophet. Demonstrate how passionately on purpose you are. Couple that with potent product knowledge and you will increase your close rate or even double it. I used to work for IBM and had a 40 per cent close rate. I’ve held leadership sales roles for 20 years and my own company has been operating now for 12 years. I consider myself a master in sales, sales production, sales planning and overall closing deals.”
— Brandon Klayman, CEO of Conscious Commerce
“By confirming trust and giving reasonable time so clients can take their decision. Closing a sale with pressure could close many sales but I think giving enough time will give more value and long term sales and profit returns.”
— Omar Fath, key account manager at El Sallab Inc.
These answers are in response to a question posed to our community by Melissa Gunning, CEO and founder of Wean Green. Her thoughts:
“My favourite sales tool? Personalities. I think adding your own flare and personality into your sales pitches will give your company an advantage to others and often closes the deal. Share your passion and don’t hold back.”
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