Fun with Numbers

Sales Sales Excellence

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Why you need to be an expert financial closer.

Your prospect can love every feature and benefit of your product or company, but unless you convince them the cost justifies the benefits, you will not get a sale.

Too many salespeople do a fantastic job of convincing their prospects of the benefits of their solution, only to fall short during the financial discussion. If you sell products or services that cost tens of thousands of dollars, you may present several different financing options. With these different options often comes different paperwork that needs to be authorized by the prospect. Never enter a sales call without all the necessary financial paperwork. This can destroy the flow of the call and prevent you from getting the order. Bring all of it with you.


It’s not only essential to bring your order forms, leasing agreements, sign-up sheets, or whatever you may call them, but it is also crucial that you become intimately familiar with every word on those sheets. Know every detail and where every bit of customer information needs to go. This is as important as understanding every detail of your product.

And if the goal is to convince the prospect of the value of one of your consumable or pharmaceutical products, you, too need to be prepared to help them financially justify why they need it. Come prepared with an ROI calculator and some existing client financial success stories, as well as some testimonials from happy customers.

If a salesperson isn’t prepared to quickly answer the question, “How do I financially justify making this part of my practice?” then indecision will set in for both the sale rep and prospect. This lack of pre-call preparation usually creates the sales rep’s response of, “Let me get you some pricing, and I will get back to you.”

The sales rep that makes this sentence part of their everyday selling vocabulary might as well say, “I am unprepared to close the sale today and pray to the Lord above that you will still be interested when I email over the quote and information.”

Unfortunately, clients go back to other priorities in their practice after we are done presenting, so we can’t rely on the fact that they will still be interested once we get them a quote. Be prepared to deliver it at the same time you present the value of your product or service.

Advance the sale

After you do a great job of helping them justify the cost, watch your prospect’s behavior and listen closely to how they respond. If they give you “positive financial security alarms,” it is time to advance the sale. Positive body language and security alarms should be enough of a green light for you to try to gain commitment. So don’t feel the need to ask if the finances make sense if the alarms already told you they do.

To advance the sale out of the presentation phase and into the post-sale phase, try a detail/two-choice question. An example would be:

 

“Great, John. I’m glad that you find the value of making this part of your practice outweighs the investment. Then with your permission, I would like to schedule a date in my planner when it would be most convenient for us to train your team on how to use/market my product. Would next week or the following week work better for your people?” 

 

Let’s break it down:

 

“With your permission…”  

These are very important words in helping you to keep the customer feeling pressure-free. They must always feel like they are in control, and these three words help you do this.

 

“…date scheduled” 

This is advancing at its finest. It is an attempt to turn your presentation into a concrete order. Much security comes from getting you or your company’s name into their scheduling book for a follow-up, post-sale visit. In the case where it is a multi-call sale and where your objective is not to get an order but instead to get a commitment to take the decision to the next level, these words are equally effective. It takes commitment on your customer’s part to schedule a time to see you again. They only do this when they feel secure. (If your solution does not require a follow-up visit or an installation, then feel free to ignore the last paragraph.)

 

“…become trained…” 

These words take your prospect mentally away from considering your solution to mentally using your solution. When their mind begins using your product, the rest of their body is not far behind. These are two more words that are effective in advancing your sale.

 

“Would next week or the following week…” 

This is your classic detail/two-choice question. If your customer is accepting of your advance, they will answer your question with one of the two choices that you presented. Or neither one of your choices might make sense for him, so instead, he provides a third choice: “Who cares? We love them all!”

They all mean the sale is advancing. Make a habit of reacting to financial security alarms in this way. When your mind is trained to advance at the first sound of the alarm, it will do so on every sale. There will be no indecision, floundering, and “Do you have any more questions?”

What if they ask for a discount?

First, prospects should ask you to lower your price. Because by doing so, most salespeople will discount almost immediately. Don’t make that your first move. If you do have to give up a little something, make your customer feel as if it is the most painful thing you have ever done. And never give without getting; otherwise, your gifts will have no worth.

So, as you prepare to head into 2023, make it your objective to be the best in your company at delivering the financial presentation. And while your competitor is unconfidently cutting prices and killing their margin, the only other security alarms you will hear will be the sounds of financial security as your retirement account grows fatter.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

President of Kansas City-based PRECISE Selling, Brian delivers seminars and internet training programs on sales, customer service, leadership and presentation skills to companies of all sizes. He is also the author of the book, “20 Days to the Top- How the PRECISE Selling Formula Will Make You Your Company’s Top Sales Performer in 20 Days or Less.” To sign up for his free weekly tips, go to preciseselling.com or email Brian at [email protected].

 

Photo credit: istockphoto.com/esame

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