Closing the sale isn’t hard if you follow these 13 simple tips. Make this year your best year ever by implementing these proven strategies for selling.
At the start of this year, did you commit to yourself that this will be your strongest year in sales ever? It’s a pretty common New Year’s resolution for salespeople.
But while many salespeople may have committed to closing the sale more often than ever before this year, few of them are actually accomplishing their goal.
Why? The data shows us that while top reps are dramatically increasing their sales, the vast majority of salespeople remain stagnant—or even in decline.
Which category do you fall into?
As the world of selling changes all around you, there are two ways you can react. First, you can make the necessary changes to thrive. Or second, you can choose to do nothing and fail. Those are really your only two options.
But with just a few minor tweaks, you can learn how to master closing the sale this year—and make it your best year yet in sales.
In this video, I’m going to show you 13 sales tips to make this your best year ever by closing the sale more often than ever before. Check it out:
Closing the Sale Video Summary:
Closing the Sale Tip #1: Commit to learning one new sales idea each week.
I’ve interviewed and worked with some of the best salespeople in the world. One common trait shared by almost all of them is that they’re committed to being on the cutting-edge of what’s working in sales.
By committing to learn just one new sales idea each week, you’ll be on your way to closing the sale just like these sales superstars do. When you think about how many weeks are in a year, that’s 52 new ideas over the course of a year alone.
The traditional ideas of sales training and self-help are about learning tons of new information in a very short period of time. But in reality, it’s much more effective to learn bite-size amounts over a longer period of time if you want to start closing the sale more often.
Rather than trying to learn 50 ideas of the course of the next week, just learn one new idea each week for the next year. I promise, you’ll be closing the sale like a pro in just a few months, as the new strategies you learn are implemented into your process.
Closing the Sale Tip #2: Stop worrying about the word “no.”
Most salespeople will do anything in their power to avoid the word “no.” We hate hearing it. But when it comes to closing the sale, “no” is actually not a bad outcome in sales.
What we really want to over is, “I need to think this over,” or “I’m just not sure if we can move forward at the moment but maybe down the road.”
These wishy-washy answers are the worst. If you’re getting a hard “no,” then you can walk away and focus your time on prospects who are actually a fit—and you’ll increase your chances of closing the sale with one of them instead.
When you stop worrying about the word “no,” a burden is lifted off of you. You’ll stop caring about the specific outcomes of your individual sales, and start focusing more on figuring out whether your prospects are a good fit for what you sell.
Closing the Sale Tip #3: Take more risks with prospects.
Salespeople are probably more risk-seeking than the rest of the general population. And yet, I find that they’re still pretty risk-averse.
Here’s what I mean: Salespeople generally avoid taking risks with prospects. It’s like they’re walking on eggshells. But the most successful salespeople are good at closing the sale precisely because they’re willing to take risks with prospects.
When a prospect seems unengaged, most salespeople just plow through and ignore it. But top salespeople are willing to take a risk and say, “You know what? I get the sense that maybe this doesn’t seem like a great fit. Is that what’s happening here?”
By taking risks like this, you’ll actually encourage the prospect to say, “Oh, no, no. This makes a lot of sense. I’m sorry. I was just distracted by something.” You’ll get them back on track.
Be willing to take risks with prospects, whether you’re on the phone, presenting, face to face, or whatever it is. Take those risks and it will pay off in a big way as you start to master closing the sale.
Closing the Sale Tip #4: Be your prospect’s peer.
I can’t tell you the number of times I hear salespeople talking about a prospect as if that prospect is some sort of god. Just the other day, I overheard a salesperson talking about a prospect who’s the CEO of a company, saying, “Oh, this guy is just so busy because he’s a CEO. He’s such an amazing guy.”
I can already tell you: That salesperson isn’t going to get anywhere near to closing the sale with that prospect. When salespeople put prospects up on a pedestal, it’s the kiss of death for closing the sale.
Instead, be your prospect’s peer. Look your prospect in the eye. I don’t care if you’re the lowest level salesperson in your organization and you’re talking to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Talk to that prospect like a peer.
You don’t have to use super-casual language, but you should talk to the prospect like you’re just a normal human being who puts pants on one leg at a time. When you act like you’re the prospect’s peer, you’re showing the prospect that you’re not intimidated. When people feel like you’re intimidated by them, they’re immediately going to be a little turned off.
Be your prospect’s peer if you want to master closing the sale.
Closing the Sale Tip #5: Sell higher up the ladder.
Most salespeople are very comfortable around low-level prospects. They’re comfortable around prospects sporting the title of buyer or operations manager, but once they start to get into the upper VP or C-suite category, suddenly salespeople clam up and get uncomfortable. They don’t really want to try closing the sale with people that high up.
So, we all make up excuses like, “It doesn’t make sense to call the COO of this organization. They’re too high up. I’m better off selling down low.”
But that simply isn’t true. People sometimes say, “The data suggests that we should be calling lower in the organization.” In reality, the data shows over and over again that we want to be calling on the true decision maker—and chances are the true decision maker is higher up.
Do high-level prospects sometimes collaborate with people lower in the organization? Absolutely. But starting with the true decision maker allows you to get the decision maker on board right off the bat. Once the decision maker is on board, it’s a lot easier to get buy-in from all other levels of the organization.
Sell higher up the ladder and get better at closing the sale. By focusing higher up, you’re going to close a lot more sales and they’re going to be bigger, too.
Closing the Sale Tip #6: Get face-to-face with clients more often.
People say all the time, “Getting face-to-face with prospects is old-school.” When I hear that, I want to shout from the rooftops, “Getting face-to-face with your clients is money in your wallet!”
The more you get face-to-face with your clients, the more you’re going to be closing the sale. Relationships are never better than when you’re face-to-face, and by building those relationships with prospects, you’re going to ultimately close far more sales. You’re also going to sell more deeply because you’re going to become a trusted advisor to the prospect.
If you’re only ever that salesperson who’s calling by phone, you can’t build that relationship. So get face-to-face with clients more often to start closing the sale more frequently.
Closing the Sale Tip #7: Ask for one introduction each week.
This is a pared-down version of what I call my introduction challenge. First, let me explain what an introduction is. An introduction is simply when Person A, who is usually your client, introduces you directly to Person B, who is their friend or someone they know. We want Person A to actually make the introduction.
The introduction challenge is to ask for one introduction each day. Now, that’s an aggressive challenge, even though it only takes 15 minutes a day. I find that most salespeople really struggle with that particular challenge.
But asking for one introduction each week is unquestionably, undeniably easy to do, right? It’s 15 minutes in your week to ask for just one introduction.
Even so, if all you do is ask for just one introduction each week, that’s still 50 introduction asks this year. Think about that. If you’re asking for 50 introductions this year, assuming you’re selling high-ticket items, just imagine how much more often you’ll be closing the sale, and how much more business is going to come from that.
If you’re selling smaller items or smaller services, then you should be asking for introductions all day long. But if you’re in the space where you’re selling big solutions, one introduction a week is going to have a massive impact on how often you’re closing the sale this year.
Closing the Sale Tip #8: Understand your client’s business goals.
This applies most directly to B2B sales, but even if you’re selling to consumers, the idea still holds. You need to understand your clients’ big-picture goals to start closing the sale more often.
Let’s say you sell a consulting services to your clients, and it’s a very particular consulting service: operational consulting. If you don’t understand your client’s major business goals, and what they’re really looking to accomplish this year—in terms of revenues, profitability, and KPIs—then when you’re having conversations about operations, you’re going to be too in the weeds. You want to understand your client’s big-picture business goals from the get-go.
In the consumer space, you’re not necessarily talking about those key performance indicators, but you still need to understand your client’s goals. Let’s say you sell renovation services to homeowners. By understanding their top goals for their house—how they’re planning to use the house, whether they’re going to sell is soon, whether they have kids living there—you’ll be much more informed about what they’re looking to accomplish, and where you fit into that.
By understanding client goals, salespeople are able to seem much more relevant and thus provide much more value to prospects. This is key to closing the sale.
Closing the Sale Tip #9: Know the upside.
I cannot can’t enough how important is it to understand the upside to solving your client’s challenges when it comes to closing the sale. Every client or prospect that you talk to has challenges, right? But far too often, the conversation stops there.
You need to find out the upside of actually solving those challenges. You can do this by getting the prospect to put a dollar figure on what the value of solving those challenges would be.
Here’s the key question to ask your prospects: “If you were able to solve the challenges that you just mentioned, what would it mean in additional revenue?” If the prospect replies, “Ah, it would millions of dollars in additional revenues,” then say, “Oh, okay. I appreciate that. Millions of dollars. And what would that mean in profitability or in commissions?” The prospect will likely reply by saying something like, “It could mean at least $100,000 in profitability or commission.”
Now, if you come to that prospect with a solution that’s, say, $10,000, the prospect will think, “Wow, it’s a 10 to 1 ratio.” It’s so valuable. Understanding the upside of what your prospect’s challenges are is going to be the difference between making lots of little sales that are just little singles versus just closing the sale on absolute grand slam home runs.
Know your prospect’s upside.
Closing the Sale Tip #10: Dig into the decision-making process.
Understanding your prospect’s decision-making process is one of the easiest ways to make sure that a sale doesn’t fall off track. In fact, buyers often lament that salespeople don’t fully understand or respect their decision-making process and, as a result, the sale falls apart.
When you truly understand your buyer’s decision-making process, you can make sure that the sale stays on track.
The decision-making process isn’t just about who’s making the decision, although that’s important. It’s also about things like: What does that process actually look like? Who does the prospect have to talk to, and when do those conversations have to be had? What does that look like?
Understanding the whole process is going to give you so much valuable insight when it comes to closing the sale. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Prospects want to share this information because it’s actually helping them in a lot of cases, by helping you.
Dig into their decision-making process to close the sale.
Closing the Sale Tip #11: Make this the year of clear and scheduled next steps.
Very few things will have a more dramatic and immediate impact on your sales than making sure you have clear and scheduled next steps all the time. Be meticulous about making sure that every conversation you have with a prospect always ends with a very clear and scheduled next step.
Make sure you’re on the phone with them when you schedule that next step, and you’re both putting it in the calendar right then and there. When talking about making that next step, make sure that it’s scheduled to the point where a calendar invite actually goes out.
The most recent data shows that top performers who are closing the sale more often are consistently scheduling next steps, whereas average and bottom performers are much more loose about those next steps.
Make sure that this is the year of clear and scheduled next steps.
Closing the Sale Tip #12: Use feedback loops.
If you’ve followed me for long enough, you know what I mean by feedback loops. For newcomers, here’s a definition: Feedback loops are simply small questions to engage prospects or clients in a conversation.
The key to feedback loops is that they’re totally irresistible to respond to. For example, if I say something like, “What I find is that a program like this will really help your salespeople differentiate themselves from the competition. Does that make sense?” The person I’m talking to is inclined to nod their head and say, “Yeah, that does make sense.”
So, little questions like, “Does that make sense?” or “Does that work for you?” or “Is that cool?” make a huge difference when it comes to closing the sale. Ask these questions after you’ve made a statement or shared a benefit or an idea.
Whether they respond verbally or they just nod their head, prospects will be engaging with you. Do this a lot! At least 50 times during the course of a presentation. Use those feedback loops the whole time to start closing the sale more often.
Closing the Sale Tip #13: Commit to taking constant action.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this idea. I’ve just shared with you 12 tips for closing the sale so you can have your most successful year ever in sales. You might love the ideas but if you don’t actually do anything with them, then nothing will change.
The real winners in sales will take action as a result of these ideas. Make this year about committing to consistent action so you can master closing the sale. What are you going to be doing that’s different from last year?
Albert Einstein once famously said, “Nothing happens until something moves.” It’s so true, right? Nothing happens until something moves. So, what are you going to do that’s different? What are three ideas from this article that you can commit to implementing right now? Commit to taking constant action.
Closing the Sale Bonus Tip #1: Learn how to avoid objections.
If you’ve been in sales for a while, I’m willing to bet you’ve heard tons of objections from prospects by now. From objections about budget and price, to pushback over timing and decision-making, objections are one of the biggest headaches when it comes to closing the sale.
Luckily, there’s a real strategy to avoiding objections, and if you master it, you’ll find yourself closing the sale more often. It all starts with avoiding objections in the first place, instead of working to overcome them.
Check out this article about avoiding objections in sales to learn more about how to avoid the 7 basic objections every salesperson hears on a regular basis.
Closing the Sale Bonus Tip #2: Start to connect.
Connecting with prospects is key to closing the sale; we all know that. But building rapport can be a big challenge. What if you have nothing in common? What if you’re facing down a tough prospect who just doesn’t seem to want to connect?
What’s more, many salespeople act in ways that turn prospects off from the start — and they don’t even realize they’re doing it. Don’t be one of those salespeople.
Instead, learn and implement scientifically proven ways to build rapport with virtually anyone in sales in order to start closing the sale more often.
For example, match your prospects vocally, mirror their overall vibe, use the “pattern interrupt” method to keep them engaged, and focus exclusively on them throughout the conversation. You’ll also want to repeat and rephrase what the prospect says, and use lots of feedback loops if you want to start closing the sale more often.
Closing the Sale Bonus Tip #3: Take advantage of the latest tech tools.
Many salespeople complain to me that they’re having trouble closing the sale. But when I look under the hood at their selling strategy, I can clearly see that they’re not utilizing any modern tools of selling. This has got to change.
If you’re not currently using at least a few tech tools to help you close the sale, it’s time to start. For example, there are a plethora of tools out there today that an help you send compelling, effective sales emails that actually get opened by prospects. Check out this article to learn about 8 shocking tools you need to know about right now, including Google G Suite, LimeLeads.com, Hunter.io, Mail-Tester.com, BriteVerify.com, and more.
Closing the Sale Bonus Tip #4: Use an automated prospecting campaign.
What if you could literally generate leads in your sleep? With the affordable technology available today, this is actually possible.
To start closing the sale with more qualified prospects, implement an automated prospecting campaign. This article explains everything you need to know to set up a cold email prospecting campaign that operates throughout the day (and night) to get you in front of as many qualified leads as possible.
Closing the Sale Bonus Tip #5: Set more meetings with ideal prospects.
Many salespeople are relying solely on cold calls to set meetings with prospects. I can tell you right now: That’s not a viable strategy on its own. If you want to start closing the sale through setting more meetings with ideal prospects, you need to follow a multi-tiered strategy to get there.
I wrote an article all about how to set killer prospect meetings that close the sale. Best practices includes leveraging your existing network, hosting private events, writing articles for trade publications, speaking to associations, and sending prospects special reports and other valuable information. All of this creative prospecting will help you set more meetings and ultimately master closing the sale.
So, there you have it. Those are the 13 sales tips to make this year your best year ever, and start closing the sale more often than ever before. I want to hear from you. Which of these ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comment sections to get involved in the conversation.
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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.