Archive for September, 2011

Some people are surprised to find out that closing is only the fourth step in the sales process. There are two things that are important in closing the sale. Firstly, you need to be really clear on what you are offering. People must fully understand what your products or services are about. Secondly you must make it easy for people to buy from you. Now the reason that the step on closing is so far down the line, is that everything that you have done leading up to point is actually going to help you with your close. What do I mean by this?

What helps you to close the Sale?

You may have heard me talk about getting customers to respond to your offer. It helps to create consistency. I am a big fan of Robert Cialdinis book on Influence. In it he mentions the powerful influence that consistency has on people's buying behaviour. When they respond in a certain way it is natural for them to continue to act according to that initial response.

So getting people to put their hands up to show interest in your offer as a first step is actually going to help you close the sale down the line. Your initial contact and your subsequent follow up's are all parts of an interaction helps you to build a relationship with your clients. Each time you speak to prospects or send them a message you are feeding them more and more information about your product or service. In time they will know exactly what you offer and why it will benefit them.   So when the time comes for you to ask for the sale, it becomes an easy decision for them. They have all the information, they know all about you and there are few objections left to overcome.

Another way you can make things easy for your customers is to be able to accept credit card payments. Set this up so that you have a merchant account linked to your website that can process transactions online. This means that you don't have to be there for sales to take place. They can happen automatically. An essential part of building an information empire is automation, having systems in place that can send out newsletters and responses without you getting involved. Think about it, if you had to remember to send out a message to a different client each day of the week, would you really get around to it, and would you send out the right message? Automating this process not only makes your life easier, it actually improves your conversion rate.

Tools for Closing the Sale

•       Get customers to respond to your offer and express their interest. When they initiate interest it increases the chances of them buying from you.

•       Interact with customers and build a relationship with them. People are far more likely to buy from people whom they like and trust.

•       Automate your sales process. Put systems in place that makes it easier for you to follow up with prospects and close the sale.

•       Set up a merchant account so that you can accept online credit card payments. This makes the purchasing decision much easier.

Many people think that closing the sale is the difficult part of business. But as I have just illustrated when you have strategies and systems in place, closing actually becomes very easy. Make clear offers to your prospects, give them a good understanding of the benefits of buying from you, and make it easy for them to purchase. These simple things can help you close many sales.

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List and analyze your core competencies, then meet with a business partner, coach or mentor and work through the same process.

One of the reasons business owners find it so hard to implement systems in their business is that they don't really know what's contributing to the end results. Do you know what your core competencies are? Do you give yourself enough credit for what you bring to your business?   What are the things that you are doing in your business that you could replicate with a system?

Finding Core Competencies

One of the exercises I do in my workshops is to pair people up. I do this so that they can begin to discover what their core competencies are. Experience has taught me that you won't know what to systemize unless you know what is contributing to the end results of your business. People often overlook everything that is involved and this is where it is helpful to get an outside perspective. You need someone to ask you the right questions so that you can pin point core competencies. You can also do this exercise with a personal coach or mentor.

Recently I worked with a client that wasn't sure how to implement systems in her business. We were talking about the 80/20 principle. I asked her just how much information that she covered in a session was the same with every client. Was it possible that 80% was basically being repeated for every client and that only 20% of what she was doing was being tailored to the individual? When she had a closer look she realized that this was true. Taking that core competency we then started to look at ways to communicate that 80% of information to her clients without her physically having to be there. We settled on the idea that she should record a tele-seminar. This would have more than one benefit. She could invite clients to tune in live to the tele-seminar. But for those that couldn't make the live seminar the recording would be available for download on her website. In this way her clients were still getting access to the information but there was less involvement on her side.

4 Steps for Finding Core Competencies:

#1 Reflection: Take some time to reflect on what you are doing in your business.   What actions or tasks are contributing to the end result?

#2 List & Analyze: Make a list of everything you do on a daily or weekly basis and then analyze this in terms of the end result.

#3 Get Perspective: Sit down with a business partner, coach or mentor and work through the same process.   Often an outside perspective will highlight things you haven't thought of.

#4 Systemize and Automate: Once you have your list, try to think of ways in which you could systemize these core competencies.   Specifically be conscious of how you can automate processes so that there is less personal involvement on your part.

To create systems for your business you first need to understand what you are doing that is ultimately contributing to the end result. What is actually feeding your customers information and bringing in the sales? Once you know what these things are you can start to find ways to automate the process.

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