How To Close More Deals
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated March 18, 2021
Published January 22, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you work in sales, you may find yourself wondering why some salespeople manage to close deal after deal while others are less successful. Although some people are naturally talented in sales, chances are that the most successful salespeople know how to use effective techniques to their advantage. In this article, we provide some useful tips that may help you close your next deal.
What does it mean to close a deal?
Closing a deal is when you've reached an agreement with another party and finally concluded negotiations. In other words, you've succeeded in selling a solution to a prospect or an existing client.
The phrase "concluded negotiations" is actually a very accurate description of the focus of modern sales strategies. Whereas in the past closing a deal involved highlighting the features of a product and selling as many units as possible, more recently the focus has shifted towards forming relationships and offering effective solutions. Closing a deal involves more than selling a product to a client. To close a deal, you should present your prospects with solutions tailored to their unique needs and situations.
Related: 14 Sales Jobs That Pay Well
What to consider when you're trying to close a deal
To succeed in the world of sales, you need to be aware of the fact that many prospective clients may not show interest in buying a solution when you first approach them. In fact, many prospects may say "no" to a deal multiple times before changing their mind and deciding to opt for your solution. This means it's not necessarily a personal reflection on your ability as a salesperson if a prospect doesn't agree to buy your solution after your first cold call.
Keep this in mind when communicating with clients. If the prospect doesn't immediately decide to buy your product, remain positive, persevere, and work towards better aligning your solution with the needs of the prospect when you approach them again. As you gain experience in the sales world, you'll likely learn that closing deals takes time. The process involves following up on leads, staying in touch with prospects, and building trusting relationships.
However, it's equally important to take decisive and effective steps to close a deal at some point. If you fail to do so, a prospect may repeatedly defer closing the deal with phrases such as "I'll get back to you." When deals linger too long in the "maybe" zone, chances are that you'll lose momentum and the prospect will lose interest.
Related: What Is a Sales Funnel?
How to close a deal
Closing deals well is an important skill to develop. Here are six effective steps you can take to increase your chances of closing deals:
1. Target the right prospects
Before you start putting in the work involved in closing a deal, you need to first determine whether you're targeting the right prospects. It's important that the prospects to whom you choose to offer a customized solution fit your ideal customer profile. An ideal customer profile is a description of the type of person or company that may benefit the most from the solutions you offer.
You can base your ideal customer profile on considerations such as the size of the company and the type of industry. For instance, if you're selling cutting-edge 3D design software solutions, you may decide to target architectural and gaming firms. You may also choose to target either small businesses or large firms, depending on the scalability of the software. Also, if the software is expensive, you will need to approach companies that can afford your solutions.
Related: Defining Your Target Audience
2. Get to know your prospective clients
Once you've determined which prospects are the most likely to benefit from the solutions you offer, you should gather information about them. Researching your prospects will allow you to tailor your solution to their needs. Knowing that your target prospects are small architectural firms, for instance, is only the starting point.
You then need to determine the unique environment and specific needs of each individual firm if you wish to offer them effective solutions. Finding out more about a company's structure, culture, customers and top competitors will provide you with the necessary context to design a solution that addresses their specific needs.
3. Anticipate your prospects' questions and objections
Researching your clients' unique environments will also allow you to anticipate their queries and objections so you can address these effectively. For instance, if you know that a prospective client has declined similar proposals or solutions from some of your competitors, it would be fair to anticipate that they may also decline your offer.
Knowing this in advance will allow you to do some research regarding the objections the prospect had in the past and their reasons for not going ahead with previous proposals. You can then effectively deal with their objections when the time comes and amend the solution you're offering accordingly.
4. Build trusting and long-lasting relationships
Effectively closing deals is about more than offering great solutions. It's also about building relationships. Winning the trust of potential clients is essential, especially if you're offering expensive solutions. Clients need to know that you truly have their best interests at heart. Building trusting relationships involves honesty, authenticity, and transparency. You need to genuinely believe that the solution you're offering a prospect is an excellent one and that they will benefit from it.
Conversely, if you start to realize that what you're offering may not be the best fit for a prospective client, it's advisable to rather step away from the deal. Losing a prospective deal is better than closing a deal that will lead to complaints and an unsatisfied client. Your honesty and trustworthiness may even win you over a new client who will invest in alternative or future solutions you offer.
5. Stay in touch with your prospective clients
Keeping in touch with prospective clients while also ensuring that they don't start to feel harassed is a careful balancing act. As you get to know prospective clients better, you'll learn whether they're open to regular communication or would prefer you to contact them less frequently. You should always aim to tailor your approach according to the needs and preferences of your clients.
However, even if a client has indicated that they'd appreciate less frequent communication, you need to stay in contact with them. It's imperative that you keep the momentum going and that you keep reminding the prospect of the value you can add to their business or life.
Staying in touch doesn't mean that you have to call them weekly or send them constant messages asking when they plan to close the deal, though. You can keep in contact in more subtle and agreeable ways, such as sending them interesting articles regarding the latest developments in their field or informing them of industry events they may like to attend.
6. Know when the time is right to close the deal
It definitely takes time to close deals, and you should desist from putting undue pressure on prospective clients. However, you also need to take the necessary action to close a deal at some point. This is particularly important in instances where you're dealing with prospects who are indecisive or have repeatedly expressed an interest in your solution without making a commitment.
Consider the prospective client's context, personality, and reasons for not closing the deal when you're planning how to create a sense of urgency regarding the closure of the deal. If, for instance, you know that the prospect has financial concerns, you can offer a discounted price for a limited period of time. Or, you can suggest a trial run at no cost so that they can directly experience the value that your solution will add to their business.
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