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Monday, March 2, 2015

How to close deals...... #strikedanvil

Hello fam!

Last week we talked about how to get your foot in on #strikedanvil and we had a great time. We concluded with cold calling, leveraging on relationships and elevator pitching as some of the top methods. Today we move on to the next stage which is closing these deals, getting your sale in and collecting your money! I can see some smiles here :-). That's the bottom though, line isn't it?

Let's take a quick trip back to what we said last week about proposals and pitching especially to large corporates; they get at least 100,000 proposals in a week. Already they are swamped with the frustrating task of reviewing so much information. Suppose yours makes the final shortlist, what next? How long before you convert this to cash? Some business deals take days to close, some months or even years. How do you know what to do, how to follow up, when to move on?

The first step is to look at what the limitations or barriers are. The five main reasons why a prospect will turn you down include, price, time, money, stalling and the product. Address all possible objections that will arise from this before you pitch.

One thing I heard at a training I was at with +Google Nigeria that has stayed with me is "Don't sell, stroysell" - +Lanre Aina. The world is changing everyday you have to move with it. Embrace videos and digital technology to get your sales in.

Based on a quick research I did, here are a few of the important steps in closing out deals;

Be selective

This takes us back to defining your target as we highlighted last week. That's just the first step, as cocky as this may sound, you should be selective about who you want to work with. Some prospects will only frustrate you and make your team lose confidence. Focus on the ones that value your offering and avoid problem prospects.

Build a relationship

We all know, the end result is money, but the most important element of any sale is to add value, especially if you want repeat business. If you don't understand your prospects and their needs, there is no way you can add value effectively. The time spent getting to know your prospect is time well spent and it affects how it all turns out in the end.

Be upfront about pricing

When your prospects know the price, even if it's just a range, upfront, they can make their buying decisions faster. This way you can focus on getting them sold on your product and making them understand why it is priced that way. This is not cast in stone however, it may work for some and not work for others. Also depending on what the price is, you might want to land softly.

Build Trust with Honesty

"Sealing the deal isn't too difficult once the client knows that he or she can trust you. First, I listen carefully, so I understand exactly what a client wants and needs. Then I'm completely honest about the resources I'll need to achieve the result they seek. This builds trust and when a client sees that you know your business well enough to recognize your own limitations, they know you're being truthful. As a result, they want to keep you involved."

Andrew Arroyo, EO San Diego
Owner, AARE
Be Persistent

After all is said and done, don't quit following up. I have a mentor who sets reminders for follow up calls, mails or whatever every week. Sometimes he just calls to check in, without necessarily talking about the business deal. People need to be constantly reminded that you are there. It's even worse these days when there are so many distractions and competition is steep. Don't assume they are thinking about your deal, keep calling, mailing and texting periodically.

Joining us in he studio this week is Babalola Salami of Greater Marketing.

Babalola Salami is the Chief Executive and founder of GreatAR Marketing Ltd, he has over 10 years marketing communications experience in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He has worked on many blue-chip companies both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He is a massive sports fan, enjoys baking and he likes to think of himself as a good cook.
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