Top 7 Ways to Better Present Your Product or Service and Close the Sale
By Sean H. O'Shea
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- MIRROR. People generally buy from other people similar to themselves. Obviously we are not trying to be an absolute mimic, but consider the prospects' SPEED, VOLUME, and FREQUENCY of their speech and try to get closer to his/her pattern. If your prospect is a "bottom-line, get-to-the-point quickly" oriented person and you are rambling on at your leisure with small talk, (or vice-versa) your chances of closing are slim at best.
- DIG. A prospects question and/or objection is often asked behind a smoke screen. Restate the prospect's question or objection back and ask them to explain what "they really mean".
Prospect: "Do you have a card?"
(Usually the salesperson assumes he/she is being dismissed politely!)
Salesperson: "I sure do. Did you need my address off of it for your purchase order?"
Now, the prospect will either say "yes" or the two of you could share a good belly laugh over your persistence and optimism... or both! If the prospect was trying to get rid of you, then here's a chance to get back into the selling scenario.
Other "digging" possibilities:
"That's an interesting question. Why do you ask?"
"Jim... off the record... what's the real reason you seem to be hesitant to do business today?"
- RETURN. Return to the selling scenario when possible and practical.
Example: (continue with the prospect who asked for your card)
Prospect: "No. Just in case I want to call you."
Salesperson: "No need to call; I'm here now. I really want your business. What will it take?"
Prospect: "No. We're not interested. Thank you for coming in."
Salesperson: "Well.. thank you for your time. It sounds like it's over.(sigh) Now that I'm not a pesky salesperson trying to take your money and you're not a (buyer/manager/owner) trying to guard her (his) checkbook, can I ask you a question?"
Prospect: (confused and surprised) "Yah?"
Salesperson: "What's the real reason you're going to stick with my competitor when I know our service is better? Could you help me? If I know where I went wrong with you, then maybe I can land the next account I go after."
- EVALUATE. Too often we read (or misread) our prospects' body language or comments to guess how we're doing. Evaluate your chances with the prospect by simply asking for occasional feedback.
"How am I doing so far?"
"Sometimes I get really excited about our ABC line of products and I tend to talk too fast. Am I making sense?"
"On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being that you can't wait 'til I leave and 10 being that you see yourself doing business with me, where are you?"
- RETREAT. Simply known as "reverse psychology", sometimes you need to simply back off in order for the prospect to get closer. If you appear to be continually in push and close mode, then the prospect will continually stay in defensive mode.
Prospect: "I want to think it over."
Salesperson: "I can appreciate that. It's a big investment and I know I'd want to think it over too. Is Wednesday or Thursday a better day for me to stop by and get the paperwork rolling?"
- WAIT. Don't be in a panic if and when the conversation dies down. Many salespeople can not stand the sound of silence. If they aren't hearing the prospect speak, then they must fill in the dead air. Potentially your prospect needed a quiet moment to digest your point or think about how he's going to pay for the product or service you've just offered. Sometimes he who speaks first LOSES.
- ASK. I'm always amazed at the number of salespeople I come across who bond wonderfully with their prospect and present their product or service eloquently, yet fail to simply ASK FOR THE ORDER! How many times have you heard a salesperson say "let me give you my card and you can think it over."?
Today's Top7Business Article Was Submitted By Sean O'Shea. He is a partner in "KEY Sales Consulting & Marketing" of Woodstock, CT and Keene, NH. He and his partner Bryan Harvey offer energetic and entertaining training sessions for all salespeople and sales managers as well as key note speaking. They specialize in the music and automobile industries. They may be reached at: Phone: 615.391.5422 (Nashville, TN) or email: or web: singspirit.net
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Article Submitted On: May 20, 1999