When it comes to sales tips, there are tons of strategies and techniques out there for you to try.
But when it comes down to what really works in sales — the absolute essence of effective selling — there are just a few important ideas you should know.
Someone recently asked me, “Marc, what are your absolute best sales tips for closing business?” It really challenged me to boil down all of the strong sales tips out there to several key ideas.
Now, I’m going to share them with you. In this video, you’ll learn my 8 absolute best sales tips for closing business. Check it out:
Sales Tips Video Summary:
Best Sales Tips #1: The close doesn’t matter.
As salespeople, we spend so much time thinking, “Am I going to close this sale?” But in reality, if you use an effective, systematic approach to selling, the close is the least important thing in sales. One of the best sales tips I’ve ever heard is that the close doesn’t matter.
One of my mentors used to say, “If you start a sale strong, it ends strong naturally.” This is so true: start strong, end strong. If you focus on being strong up front by asking better questions and using more of the sales tips I’m about to share with you, then the close ultimately doesn’t matter. Instead, closing the deal will be a natural outcome of the conversation.
So don’t worry about the close—worry about setting up the close.
Best Sales Tips #2: Have a systematic approach for asking questions.
There is way too much haphazard selling going on in this world. I see it all the time—most salespeople just ask random questions or say whatever comes to mind at the moment. Yet the very best salespeople have a systematic approach for asking questions of their prospects.
In fact, top-performing salespeople know exactly what questions to ask at what times. Asking good questions in sales is all about asking the right sequence of questions, not just asking one great magical question once. So, having a systematic approach for asking questions will have a huge impact on your effectiveness in selling.
Best Sales Tips #3: Always ask about the math.
Math is such an important part of selling. Ultimately, we can’t create value in the sale without doing the actual math. It’s easy to tell your prospects, “Oh yes. When you do business with us, you’re going to get a 321% ROI!” But we all know comments like that are silly because the numbers are just boilerplate.
Instead, follow this sales tip and understand your prospect’s problems before you share any numbers. Make sure you truly understand the value of solving those problems. Ask questions around the math of what each problem costs the prospect.
For example, in my agency, we do the math around the lifetime value of our prospects’ clients. We ask, “What’s the lifetime value of a client? What’s the value of a client for the next two years?” These types of questions get the prospect to understand the value of bringing on a new client. Just one new client has an actual number to it, and is suddenly hugely valuable to them.
Walk your prospects through the math of what they’re missing out on, and what they could be gaining in dollars if they were able to improve their systems with your help.
Best Sales Tips #4: Value must come from them, not you.
This is one of those essential sales tips that most salespeople sadly ignore. Salespeople want to talk about numbers, but they are usually the ones bringing the numbers to the table. They’re talking about the value as opposed to letting the prospect create the value themselves.
Assuming you took time to do the math first, your next step is to get the prospect to state the value. Don’t do it yourself! For example, it would be easy to say, “What we find is that the challenges you have are probably costing you $1 million.” The prospect may or may not agree with that. Instead, just say, “I appreciate the challenges that you’ve mentioned. What would you say these challenges are costing you?” or “If you were able to solve these challenges, what would it mean in additional profit to the organization?”
Now the prospect is stating those numbers and creating the value that your solution brings.
Best Sales Tips #5: Talk budget, not price.
This sales tip is everything. Salespeople (bottom-performing salespeople in particular) are way too quick to talk about price. They jump into a price conversation as opposed to a budget conversation, which should come at the end of discovery.
Instead, you want to be going through a good discovery conversation where you get the prospect to establish the value you’re bringing to the table. Only after that conversation do you then have a conversation around budget.
This is one of the most important sales tips, in my opinion. When you talk about budget or a range of budget that is realistic for prospects before you present your solution, then you know you’re on the same page before you even get to the presentation, or put together the proposal.
We never want to be talking about price. We want to be discussing budget.
Best Sales Tips #6: Learn the decision-making process.
This is one of those sales tips that’s so simple, you’d think everyone does it. But most salespeople actually miss the boat when it comes to learning the decision-making process early on in sales conversations. This is so big, and it’s so easy.
Prospects are more than happy to talk about their decision-making process. This isn’t some secret. Salespeople sometimes freak out because they think, “Oh, I don’t want to ask if they’re the decision maker, or they’re going to get mad.” But it’s all about how you phrase the question. Don’t ask, “Are you the decision maker?” because most prospects will answer yes, whether they are or not.
Instead ask, “Can you tell me a little bit about your decision-making process for this kind of a project?” They’re going to be happy to answer that question. You could also say, “Would you mind just giving me some insight into your decision-making process?” You’re going to find out what that process looks like, who’s involved, when it will happen, and how long it’s going to take.
Have a thorough conversation around the decision-making process so that there are no surprises after you give the presentation. (By the way, you may find out that there are other people you need to include in the conversation before you give the presentation. Learn that decision-making process as early on as you can.)
Best Sales Tips #7: Get constant feedback.
Especially when you’re in the presentation phase of a sale, it’s essential that you are getting constant feedback from the prospect to make sure you’re on the same page. If you get constant feedback, then you can adjust accordingly when you lose the prospect’s attention or notice that they’re confused.
Whether you’re giving a presentation, just making a simple statement, or sharing a bunch of ideas, be sure to follow up with a quick question like, “Does that make sense?” or “Based on what I just told you, are we still on the same page?”
The prospect will either answer yes or no, and you want to know either way, so you can adjust to get them to the point where they’re fully on board.
Best Sales Tips #8: Always have a clear and scheduled next step.
If you follow my articles and videos, you know that I talk about this sales tip a lot. Don’t call me out on it—I fully admit that I talk about clear and scheduled next steps all the time.
So few salespeople are great at scheduling next steps with prospects. I don’t know why, but there’s so much pressure apparently to just say, “Oh, can I follow up with you next week?” That’s weak. Instead say, “Hey, do you have your calendar in front of you?” (which they always do because it’s on their phone) and then say, “Great. Can we just take a look at the calendar and get something scheduled so we can avoid the back and forth? Maybe even 15 minutes just to check in and make sure we’re still on the same page?” Schedule that clear next step.
So, there you have it. Now you know my 8 absolute best sales tips for closing business. Which of these sales tips did you find most useful? Let me know in the comments below.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.