Effective selling is an art, and great salespeople have a certain indescribable quality that seems to give them a superhuman advantage in what they do. But in a way, selling is also a science, in that certain best practices have been identified that give sales professionals the best possible chance of successfully walking out of sales meetings with signed deals and that anyone can learn to become successful in the field. One of the most heavily studied and refined areas of sales is the close, and a wide variety of closing techniques have been developed over the years to get prospects past that final hurdle and to a buying commitment. In the solar industry, where competition is so steep, and margins are so tight, being able to close effectively is absolutely crucial to long-term success, meaning solar companies really can’t afford to ignore training and education for their sales staff. The following represents seven of the most effective closing techniques that solar sales professionals can learn, study, and employ in order to increase the effectiveness of their closes and boost their sales and commissions in the process.
1) Tap Into Time
Time-sensitive offers are a great way to motivate people because human beings are conditioned to feel the sting of losses more than we feel the positive impacts of gains. That makes adding time-sensitive clauses into your close attempts a powerful way to help motivate a prospect to act now. As an example, your salesperson could offer the client a time-sensitive price discount with a hard expiry date, representing a driver that will invoke the fear of loss of the discount more than the actual savings it represents. The key to this technique is for the offer to be real and beneficial to the customer, and for the expiration date to be legitimate and not just something used as a gambit.
2) Exchange a Little More for a Timely Close
Rather than invoking the risk of taking something away, you can also offer potential prospects something more in exchange for a timely close. Prospects will often walk into a sales negotiation fully expecting that the offer they’re given is not the best offer a company can put forward. As a result, no matter what they’re promised for a given price, they’ll be primed to ask for more. If your sales staff have preauthorization to accept their request, it enables them to say yes to the prospect’s ask – a powerful exchange – if the prospect is willing to close the deal on the spot or within an agreed-upon timeframe. In essence, this works on the same fear-of-loss premise as utilizing time-sensitive offers; it just reverses the equation by offering more in exchange for an immediate close rather than putting forward a time-sensitive discount.
3) Utilize the Jeopardy Close
Anyone who’s watched the hit quiz show Jeopardy is familiar with the phrase “please provide your answer in the form of a question.” Salespeople looking to close a deal can also take the Jeopardy approach by offering their close in the form of a question. For instance, a salesperson could close up their presentation by saying something like “would you say the solar system we’ve discussed today will meet your needs for the power generation goals you’ve set out?” If the prospect says no, the salesperson can draw out information as to why. But if the prospect says yes, they’ve given a soft commitment without actually being confronted with a hard close. In essence, through acknowledgment, they’ve convinced themselves to close the deal, making it much easier for the salesperson.
4) Summarize the Presentation
Summary closes are a classic way to wrap up a presentation and close a deal because they ensure that all the salient points regarding the product or service are recapped for the prospect prior to closing. That’s especially important in an industry like solar where the details of a solution can get a bit technical, and the buyer might need their memory jogged on some of the numbers or technology involved. Salespeople should always know their products and presentations inside and out so that if they detect a prospect needs a recap, they can quickly and effectively deliver the necessary information based on the way the meeting has gone.
5) Attempt Multiple Trial Closes
Trial closes are one of the most important keys to sales success, but many salespeople don’t understand how to use them effectively. From the second a sales meeting or call begins, the goal is to close a deal. So, if the meeting is scheduled to be an hour-long, there is no reason to wait until minute 55 to attempt a close. Trial closes can and should be attempted multiple times throughout the meeting. The goal of a trial close is partly to close the deal as quickly as possible, if possible, but also to identify and draw out any and all objections that the prospect has left so that they can be addressed prior to the next trial close. Attempting multiple closes throughout a meeting helps ensure that by the time the scheduled time is winding down, there will be few if any objections left to deal with, and a final close attempt will have the highest possible chances of success.
Bonus: Utilize Technology to Make Closing Easier
Modern sales technology, like customer resource management tools, can give solar companies an edge when it comes to closing deals by providing as much information to a salesperson as possible prior to entering the meeting. That might mean information on objections left unmet from a previous sales meeting, information on what kind of closes worked in similar situations or even on a previous sale with the same customer, or any other information that can be captured on the sales process. The result is that salespeople go into meetings with the best possible picture of what their mission is, and the best strategies to employ to accomplish it.
CRMDialer, the industry-leading solar sales CRM, offers a full sales and lead management suite making it possible to collect and manage more high-quality data on each lead than ever before. It’s the ultimate modern sales tool, and it has the potential to change the way your team approaches solar sales. For more information on CRMDialer and its industry-leading set of sales and productivity features, visit CRMDialer.com today.