Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How Do I Close More Business?

Here's a question from entrepreneurs and business owners that I hear all the time: How do I close more business?

Wait, stop.

I hate the verb "close" in a selling context. It makes it seem like your job is over once the prospect gives you their credit card number or hands you a check.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. As any sales pro will tell you, the real work begins only after the prospect says, "Yes." You're not closing a sale, you're opening a relationship (if you have any brains).

So, let's rephrase the question: How do I earn more sales and open more relationships?

That's better. And here are 3 steps to help you do it ...

1) Use the right words

I'm a big fan of sales scripts. By scripts, I mean proven responses to objections, like: "It costs too much," or "I want to think it over."

Every multi-million dollar actor uses a script. So do multi-billion dollar credit card companies, banks, and other smart businesses whose employees have to sell by phone.

What do they know that you don't? Why keep winging it when it comes to your livelihood?

There's no good reason NOT to use a sales script, whether it's on the phone or in person.

The good news is, if you’ve ever made a sale and can write down what you said, you have the basis for a life-changing sales script. It all starts when you "can and clone" that first collection of winning words.

And I'll even give you the words to use as a basis for your first sales script. Ready? Just ask, "How were you hoping I could help you?"

Whatever comes out of your prospect's mouth in answer to that question will tell you what they want. Your job becomes very simple at that point: Tell them how you will deliver.

This is a great place to start any sales conversation -- and earn more sales.

2) Deliver overwhelming value

This is a stumbling block for loads of people. But it's easier than it seems. You simply have to find out the dollar value of the problem(s) you solve. Then, keep adding it up until the prospect feels compelled to buy.

Here's an example. Let's say you sell software that boosts efficiency. On average, you save 15 minutes every working hour for the people who use your software.

Those people earn $40,000 per year, or $20 an hour. If your software saves them 150 minutes a week, that adds up to 7,500 minutes (125 hours) saved a year, or $2,500 in annual savings ... $5,000 in two years.

You can then tell prospects, "If, for an investment of $495 today, you save $5,000 in two years, you've just earned a return on investment of 910%. You're really buying money at a discount here. And I don't think even Warren Buffett can top those numbers."

That changes the conversation, doesn't it?

3) Guarantee your results

When you make it risk-free to buy from you, more people will buy.

Guarantees have been used by mail-order companies for decades. Companies like L.L. Bean and J. Peterman are hugely successful today, but they were once small businesses. Their profits grew from a trickle into a mighty torrent because customers knew they could buy without the fear of being stuck with an item they didn’t like. Strong guarantees and quality products are an unbeatable combination.

Yet, guarantees frighten many business owners. If you’re like most, it might only take five or six big refunds or major revisions in a year to spell financial trouble. What if your clients called their friends and all started asking for refunds at once? What if word got out around that your business was an easy target for crooked people who could rip you off?

The way I see it, you already have a guarantee -- you just don’t know it.

It's like this: If a client called to complain, what would you do? Offer to redo or replace the work, probably. Because it’s better to satisfy one angry client now than to combat a lot of bad word-of-mouth later.

Especially when you consider that, thanks to social media, your clients all have audiences. And bad news travels fast. So, really, you need to satisfy your clients. And a guarantee makes it all possible.

So there you go. Three ways to earn more sales -- and open more relationships.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last.

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