Having presented your proposal to a prospect you now need to ensure your prospect says “yes” (close).
To effectively close, you need to ensure that you have successfully completed each previous stage in the business development process such as building rapport, uncovering needs, exploring solutions to needs and developing a compelling proposal that meets their needs. If you haven’t, you will receive objections.
By successfully completing each stage of the process and gaining their commitment to move on to the next stage, the close becomes a natural and expected part of the process.
Throughout the interaction, your prospect will give off either positive or negative buying signals (verbal and non verbal) that indicate how near or far you are to obtaining their commitment to move ahead with your proposal.
A positive verbal buying signal for example is your prospect talking about how they would implement your proposal.
How to respond
The key is to read the buying signals and respond accordingly.
If you observe positive buying signals a good technique is to use a very open question such as
What are your thoughts at this stage?
If your prospect says that they like your proposal, in response, I suggest you drill deeper with
Can I ask, what is it exactly that you like?
If what they like corresponds with their original objectives and needs being met, you know you can proceed with confidence towards closing.
Techniques that work well for inducing action and ensuring prospects say “yes” include:
1. Ask them!
Be direct and ask if they would like to go ahead with your proposal. If you have followed the rest of the process correctly, there is a good chance that they will want to.
2. Give them a choice
Provide your prospect with options; the choice of one signalling commitment.
At our event there is an opportunity for a representative from your organisation to speak. Would you prefer the opportunity for them to address the audience at the beginning or the end?
3. Time frame or next steps
Using time or next steps is a great technique if you have an event or activity to be held on specific dates.
To give you maximum exposure in the publicity campaign, we would need your logo by next Friday. Is that achievable?
Tip: Asking your prospect what they see as the next steps can often lead to them communicating their commitment to proceed.
Provide an opportunity to involve them in the implementation.
We are talking to our PR agency on Thursday. Why don’t you come along and we can explore some ideas for maximising your involvement?
Have these techniques ready to use when you want to close your next prospect.