As sales professionals, at one time or another, we’ve all been in a situation similar to this one.
It’s the point where a sales call is going really well – rapport has been established, the prospect is showing real interest in your product or service (perhaps they’ve even given you insight for their budget or about your competition), but ultimately, they are going to need more time to make a decision – and then, you close the call with a phrase that sounds something like this:
“Okay great, I’ll follow up next week and we’ll see where we are.”
And just like that, momentum has been killed.
The “high” experienced during a successful sales call at times has a way of clouding our thoughts, causing us to lose track of the fact that a good sales call is not the same as closing a sale. And now that we’ve ended the call without defining clear, actionable next steps, the chances that the sale will close diminish – despite the fact that the call went so well.
Two ways to close the call in your favor
The goal here is to capitalize on the hard work you’ve already done: gaining the appointment for the call, establishing rapport, and creating awareness of needs. In other words, the iron is hot! Don’t let it fizzle with a cold, lackluster closing of a sales call.
Here’s an example for how the call should have been closed:
“Okay, great. Here’s what I’d like to do. I will revise the proposal to stay within the parameters we discussed, and that will give you the opportunity to share the new features with your stakeholders. I’ll return the proposal by Friday morning, and it would be a great idea to connect that same day – how does your Friday afternoon look, say 3pm?”
This call closing displayed two critical action items.
1) Involve the prospect.
By asking the customer to do something – anything – on their end, you instantly involve them in the next steps. This gets them vested in the sales process. And by establishing action items for both parties, a feeling of joint accountability is fostered. You’re in this together.
2) End with the next call or meeting scheduled.
Instead of hemming and hawing over upcoming joint availability, remove the guesswork and narrow the follow-up window. By pre-picking a day and even suggesting a time, it forces the prospect to take the follow up seriously. It’s much easier (for both parties) to brush off a call arbitrarily scheduled for “next week.”
Try keeping these two simple points in mind when you close your next sales call – we’d love to hear how they worked for you!