Yesterday during a meeting with a client (who we have a great relationship with and like very much), my CEO pulled out the classic Glengarry Glen Ross quote: “coffee is for closers only.” My first thought was that I drink an awful lot of coffee, so I better keep closing business.
My second thought was that we often hear from our clients that they are very pleased with the pipeline activity we are generating – but they are having trouble converting the leads to closed sales. This is a common problem across the sales industry, and one that takes dilligent efforts to correct.
Here are a few concepts that have helped me, and may help you close business and earn the right to go to the coffee pot:
- Stay in your Prospect Profile – It is very easy for us to accept appointments, calls or emails from prospects who are not in profile. For some organizations, this may be due to the fact that their profile is poorly defined. Make sure you honestly assess your prospects relative to your buyer persona, and invest your time accordingly. Critically important.
- Refine your Presenation – Continually massage and update your presenation. Every few months, start from scratch. Then practice. If you do not have your presentation outline memorized, keep practicing. And make certain that your last slide provides “next steps” for your prospect to advance through your sales process. Show them, ask them, ask them again.
- Trial Close – I have often underestimated the power of the trial close. But when I analyze using the concept, I find that nearly all of the prospects who respond candidly and positively to a trial close become buyers. If your sales cycle typically takes 3 meetings, trial close in meeting 2. This will help you plan your closing presenation and strategy.
- Keep Calling – If you have presented to a prospect, and they have not responded to you – keep calling. Call every day. Email every night. Never leave an oppurtunity on the table because you neglecting to make the needed efforts to reach your prospect. This sounds simple, but I have made this error in the past.