Closing calls are famous for being the cherry on top of your phone sales process. And since they’re such a big deal, the term “closing call” 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 sale’s closing can be an arduous task. Besides, doing everything right until the very end just to blow it can be devastating.
To avoid such horrible mistakes from 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 while establishing the purpose of your 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 step back a little and reiterate some points if there’s anyone on the call that 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, have everybody present on the call, both from your company and 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 say their name and title in order to make sure with whom you’re talking.
Keep small talk to a minimum (3-5 minutes limit)
The ultimate goal of the closing call is receiving payment, 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’s trying 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 this is a closing call you’ll 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 you open the discussion on a closing call is to make your prospect talk in order to see the direction your negotiation needs to take. Then, drop a simple question like “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 tell everything they need to know. They won’t close the deal until they feel ready Therefore, their questions are of utmost importance to you.
You’ll usually be able to tell whether your prospect is ready to pull the trigger listening to the group leader’s (a.k.a. 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 prepared to:
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. Some of them are:
- “It just isn’t a good time to hire your service/buy your product now.”
- “Your product is too expensive for our budget.”
- “We’re not sure that 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 your competitors’ products/services, as well as you, know your own. Then, you’ll be prepared to point out your company’s competitive advantages inside and out. That’s why it’s so important to write a cold calling script to help you if you feel lost during the call.
The Closing Is a Go
Establish your onboarding process
If your prospect has no apparent objections and seems ready to go, move to 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 onboarding and training processes, if applicable, as well as the 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 that he/she isn’t ready to buy in this week or month, the deal should go back to the sales pipeline. Pipefy offers a complete sales pipeline template in which you can run the whole process. Don’t forget to check it out.
Negotiate price and possible discounts
As you prepare yourself for your closing call, one of the most important information you must already have 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 something you have to keep in mind, 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.
Go over the purchasing process one more time*
This step may or may not apply to the sales process you’re going through because not all prospects demand procurement and/or legal reviews.
However, if Purchasing and Legal need to be involved in the process, understand exactly what your prospect needs in terms of information and establish a date in which the process should be completed.
When you finish your closing call and if all points have been correctly addressed, a contract should be issued and signed to close the deal and start the onboarding.
Make sure all the players are on the same page and actually express their agreement. Then, the contract will be sent and returned by the agreed date.
If you didn’t do it already, get the decision maker’s direct contact number and/or cell phone number and give him/her yours.
The exchange of contact information ensures you’ll always have a way to get in touch with the decision-maker if he/she is sitting on your contract and simply needs you to gently remind him/her of the date you agreed upon.