Whether you are selling to a small company for a small order or a large company for a large order,
The three steps needed to assure you increase the percentage of closing the deal is important. Otherwise, why waste the time and money to travel to or call the prospect. Think of it in three’s to keep it as simple as possible for you to know where you are in the selling sequence.

Scenario:
Medium Size Company and you have an appointment with the Vice President who is in charge of purchasing your type of product/service (P/S). You have never met this person.

(1) The Preliminary work:
Research the company and the VP for clues into what they do, who they sell, what is there history, the Executives of the company, their profiles, where there offices are located, any charity affiliation etc. etc.

•Why:
You are looking for insights into the company and the VP you are meeting that will allow you to bond easier with the VP and learn how you may help the company. Remember, the more you know about them, shows you cared enough to research them. It will provide you knowledge as what is the best product/service you have in your bag to solve their issue(s). The research will give you ideas as how and which of your products best suits the prospect, providing more time to illustrate your advantages that are on target. It will allow you to create better open-ended questions to be asked in your presentation.

•Warm-up
You are walking into the office, as you are entering the office you notice old pictures of the company with 1910 model company vehicles and the original building or you see Soccer trophies on their credenza or plaques on the wall given in gratitude to the company or individual for contributing to the charity. You now have an opening statement to “break the ice” particularly if you have discovered a commonality between you and the prospect.

•Earning the Right:
You must “earn the right” to move through each phase of the sale, if you don’t you will have an uphill battle until you have warmed up the VP in order to proceed to the next phase such as
“The Presentation”.

(2) The Presentation:
The best presentations need to be well rehearsed, laced with probing “open-ended questions” drilling done to ascertain the real needs of the company as well as the VP (they might be different). It needs to informative and slightly customized to fit perfectly for the client’s needs and desires. A step by step illustration (pictures, graphs, testimonial letters and more) also help. You want to interrupt the presentation in the key point sections to ask “trial balloon” questions. Doing an excellent presentation with all the ingredients mentioned above will “earn you the right” to move into the closing phase of the sale.

(3) The Closing:
Ah! The moment of truth, the pressure is on, the palms are sweaty, nervously, you tug at your clothes, and the voice is softer. Well not if you learned the guidelines above. When you do your homework, warmed-up the prospect, asked good probing questions to understand all the needs, you will feel confident and assured to ask for the order (AFTO). Remember, when you ask them for the business you stop talking and wait for the answer. Never say a word until they answer your question.

•NO:
If they say no, you need to find out “why” and go into details if it is required. You want to answer all their concerns and close again. If there is a need to return at a later date, you want to reschedule now not next week! If you agree to calling back at a later date to set an appointment, your chances of getting the appointment will be poor and the percentage closing this deal will be close to zero.

•Yes:
Hooray! Now complete the order, have them sign it, go over in detail what they should expect and get out!

•Are we done?
No. Now the work begins, they are your client; they are precious to you and your company. It is easier to sell new products and upsell clients that are satisfied with your post sales treatment of them then to obtain a new client. Not to forget a happy client is treasure chest full of referrals.

•Points to Remember:
It is best practices to send confirmation emails before each meeting and “thank you” emails after each meeting. If you plan on meeting again include the date and time in the “Thank you” email. If you promised to call them for a reason, call them on time!

•Final note:
The biggest sources of competition companies face today is not competitive companies but
a buyer’s decision not to act. Forrester Research states that as much as 65% of attempted sales don’t close. Companies budgets are stretched thin, management need to be thoroughly convinced that there is a real business reason for changing their processes or buying into new technology. For this reason, your job is to help buyers understand the benefits of change and the repercussions of maintaining their present situation.

To fully get a grip on this, you need to pose three questions:
•Why should they change what they’re doing?
•Why should they buy from your company?
•Why should they change at this time?