Closing calls are famous for being the cherry on top of your phone sales’ process. And because of being such a big deal, the term “closing call” in itself comes with a heavy emotional burden, capable of shaking up even the most confident sales rep.
Running a flawless sales process, all the way from the cold calling to the sales closing can be an arduous task but doing everything right until the very ending to just then blow it can be devastating.
To avoid such horrible mistakes happening, follow a few simple guidelines to boost your closing call skills.
Every Closing Call has a beginning
Be clear and open with your agenda
Don’t be afraid to sound blunt when establishing the goal of the call, clearly stating it’s a closing call.
Some may say it’s a bit of a bold move and be scared to be too straight to the point, but the expectations should have already been set in previous conversations (you can take a little step back and reiterate some points in case there’s anyone on the call who wasn’t present before).
Your ultimate goal with this specific call is to conduct a business transaction, so it’s important to be clear at all times.
Introduce everyone on the call
First things first, as etiquette states, so have everybody present on the call, both from your company as your prospective client introduce themselves. You can wait until everyone is present or allow for 5 to 10 minutes past the scheduled meeting time then ask everyone to make their introductions.
Since this is a closing call and, ultimately, the last step of the sales process, there probably shouldn’t be any surprise guests but it’s always important to have everyone state their name and title in order to make sure who you’re talking to.
Keep small talk to a minimum (3-5 minutes limit)
The ultimate goal of the closing call is business, so try to keep it as strictly business as possible, limiting the initial chat to no more than five minutes.
No one’s asking you to take a dictatorial position and cut out anyone that tries to talk about anything other than business, chatting about random subjects and having a good laugh is important to establish trust and build relationships.
However, try not to get yourself too involved in non-business matters, since it’s a closing call you probably have busy executives interested in closing the deal on the line.
Let the Closing Call begin
Open the discussion with a question
Your main goal when opening the discussion on a closing call is to make your prospect talk in order to see the direction your negotiation needs to take, so drop a simple question such as “where do we stand” and let them do all the talking.
Depending on their answer, you can get right to the point and figure out whether you can already actually close the deal or if your prospect still needs a little more convincing.
Let them do the talking and ask everything they need to know, they won’t close the deal until they feel ready to, so their questions are of upmost importance to you.
You’ll usually be able to tell whether your prospect is ready to pull the trigger according to the group leader’s (aka decision maker) tone of voice.
The Closing is a No
If your decision maker doesn’t sound ready to make the call yet, you need to be ready to:
Answer possible objections
Closing calls are the perfect moment for all sorts of last-minute objections, from the most common and somehow expected to the random and seemingly impossible to appear, decide to surface, such as:
“Now just isn’t a good time to hire your service/buy your product.”
“Your product is too expensive for our budget.”
“We’re not sure what you’re offering is the best alternative for us (compared to X [the competition].”
Lucky for you, you can go into your closing call prepared, at least for the most common objections.
For example, a very important part of your job as a sales rep is to know what your competitors offer as well as you know your own products, so you’re well suited to point out your company’s competitive advantages inside and out.
The Closing is a Go
Establish your onboarding process
If your prospect has no apparent objections and seems ready to go, move through the next step: talk him through the specifics of getting started – how to buy and later on implement your product.
As important as the buying process in the closing call, you should explain the on boarding and training processes, if applicable, as well as ongoing customer support and payment options available or previously negotiated.
This is the moment you’ll establish a start date for your implementation process as well. If you get to this point and your customer decides he/she isn’t ready to buy this week or within the month, the deal should be put back in the sales pipeline.
Negotiate price and possible discounts
As you prepare yourself for your closing call, one of the most important information you must have already with you is the maximum possible discount.
You don’t necessarily have to offer it, on the contrary, don’t offer any discount if you don’t need to. Knowing your maximum discount is actually a leverage you have to keep, so you need to know how low you can go if you eventually need to negotiate.
Make sure you’re negotiating with the financial buyer (a person with knowledge and power to approve the value negotiated), and always let the buyer establish the starting value to start the negotiation from.
Go over the purchasing process one more time*
This step may or may not apply to the sales process you’re going through, since not all prospects demand procurement and/or legal reviews.
However, if Procurement and Legal need to be involved in the process, understand exactly what exactly is it that your prospect needs from in terms of information so you and establish a date by which the process should be completed.
Finishing your closing call, if all points have been correctly addressed, a contract should be ready to sign to close the deal and start the on boarding.
Make sure all the players are on the same page and literally express everyone agrees and the contract will be sent and expected back by the agreed date.
Don’t forget to, if you don’t already have done it, get the decision maker’s direct contact number and or cell phone number and give them yours.
The exchange of contacts ensures you’ll always have a way to get in touch in case the decision maker is sitting on your contract and simply needs a delicate reminder if the date you agreed upon has come and gone without no response.