Secret Selling Tips - Article

Closing More Sales
by Tim Breithaupt


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A "Secret" note for Business Owners and Sales Managers

Closing More Sales!

by Tim Breithaupt


Research tells us that on average close ratios are a meager 20%. That means if you have ten qualified leads you will close two of the ten. Ouch! Not something to be proud of. This assumes the customer has a need, a budget (bag of money) and the desire. It also means that customers are closing more often than we are. If we experience 20%, their close ratio is 80%. They sell us on the concept of not doing business with them. They offer a multitude of excuses, objections and, justifications all in the interest of selling us their “no”. The problem is we are too quick to accept their rejection and with a bruised ego lollygag back to the adult day care centre (the office) to lick our wounds and seek support. Sound familiar?

Point to Ponder:

"Confirming the sale is not an event but a process that begins within minutes of meeting the customer."

Confirming the sale is not an event but a process that begins within minutes of meeting the customer. Customers are quick to pass judgment, wasting no time deciding if you are likable and trustworthy. Impressions are formed within the first eight to ten seconds. Hence, the first step to doubling your close ratio is to ensure the first six steps of your Sequential Model have been completed to the customer’s satisfaction.

What is a good close ratio? I would suggest that as a sales entrepreneur your target should be no less than 50%. That means if you approach ten potential customers, ones with a need and a bag of money, you should confirm at least five. Sound daunting? It isn’t. Some top notch sales entrepreneurs are confirming up to 75% of potential, qualified customers.

Start by evaluating your current ratio. Track it for a month or two and reality will quickly reveal itself. It may not be as high as you think it is. Don’t include taking orders from existing clients unless it’s new biz. Repeat orders don’t count toward your close ratio. If yours is higher than 20%, congratulations, you are in the minority. But I remind you, your objective is 50%.

Proper execution of your Sequential Model will certainly contribute to doubling your current close ratio. It simply means building rapport, building trust and focusing on the human advantage vs. the product advantage. Banish your well rehearsed glory grove a.k.a. the feature dump. Navigate through the first six steps of your model and nurture the confidence to ask for their business.

Customers expect to be asked. Don’t disappoint them. They get irritated by reps who fail to complete the sales call with no direct close. You represent a potential solution to their needs so the only outstanding issue is to ask them. If you don’t, someone else will. After all, you just may have a better mousetrap. Hence, taking your close ratio to 40% (doubling it) is not an impossible, arduous objective.

However, I caution you, don’t strive to achieve a 100% confirmation ratio. You couldn’t handle it. The only people who close 100% are the kids working in McDonalds. Everyone buys. You will never overhear this at McDonalds,” no thanks, just looking!”. They also get paid minimum wage!

I remind you of the three ingredients of a yes; rapport, trust and asking.

70% of the time sales reps don’t ask for biz. Shocking but true. They skirt the issue in fear of rejection. Closing proves to be little more than a request to “touch base” next week i.e.; “let me give you a call next week and let’s see where we are at?” The sales rep then leaves with the same thing he arrived with, nothing.

The time to close (ask the five magic words) is when you have bridged at least two features to benefits.

Also, know the difference between “no” and “know”. See page 178 in my book “Take This Job and Love It”. Timbit: in my Synchronized Selling seminars I emphasize that the best time to close is before you leave!!!

Congratulations on a new outlook to confirming more business. Your boss will love you even more!!

© 2007 Tim Breithaupt Used with permission.

Tim Breithaupt's competitive edge is his innate ability to connect with his audiences. His delivery style is referred to as entertrainment - a lively blend of logic, simplicity and humour.

As a leading expert in the area of business development, Tim has been published in local, national and international publications.As founder and president of his own business training company, Tim has worked with numerous companies sharing his unique formula of success with thousands of professionals.

With a Commerce Degree from the University of Toronto coupled with twenty seven years experience in the business community, Tim Breithaupt delivers real-world wisdom to foster a level of confidence that will boost results to exciting new levels.

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