How To Close The Deal Every Time

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Valtimax Podcast: How To Close The Deal

Episode Summary

There is one skill that is so powerful it can catapult your from zero to hero in a few short days.

If you want to completely transform your business and your life, you must know how to sell.

In this episode of  The Valtimax Podcast we help you discover the skills necessary to get a deal done from start to finish.

We pay particular attention to the most important aspect – the closing process.

Transcript

Click the link below for the transcript of this episode.

How To Close The Deal

Hi there, Workplace Warriors. This is Dave Lorenzo. The information you are about to receive cannot be found in business school, law school, medical school or even charm school. We are about to provide you with the tools to make a great living and live a great life. Hold on to your seats because you’re about to enter the Valtimax Podcast.

Hi there, Workplace Warriors and welcome to another edition of the Valtimax Podcast. Today, I am absolutely fantastically excited to be talking to you about the sales cycle. I’m going to share with you today the Valtimax six steps selling strategy. That’s right, the Valtimax six steps selling strategy. We call it the VS3 six-step selling and you do it the Valtimax way.

Each of these steps will get you closer and closer and then ultimately help you close your next deal. I want to tell you that selling is the one skill. Selling is the one skill you need if you ever want to make a go of a business. You could take someone who knows how to sell and drop them naked into any city in America or any city in the world for that matter and if they can sell, they will be able to create a business from thin air.

As we get into the Valtimax six-step selling strategy, the VS3 six-step selling the Valtimax way, I want to share with you that you can subscribe to the Valtimax Podcast on iTunes. I want you to do that. Go to iTunes. Download the iTunes app for podcast, the iTunes podcast app and search for Valtimax, V-A-L-T-I-M-A-X, and click on okay when it asks you if you want to subscribe.

Once you do that, you will never ever, ever miss an update from Valtimax when it comes to our podcast. Our podcast is released each and every Monday morning. If you want even more great information from Valtimax, go to V-A-L-T-I-M-A-X.com. You’ll find all of our podcasts up there. You’ll find our weekly articles and you’ll find our weekly videos, fantastic value for you absolutely free.

Let’s get into the six-step selling strategy selling the Valtimax way. The first step in our selling strategy is to identify the ideal client. Identify the ideal client. Identify the ideal person who could possibly buy your services. Now, in order to do this, you need to make sure you have some good frontend marketing in place because people buy for two reasons. They buy to avoid and they buy to achieve. You want to identify those people as easily as possible. Marketing does that for you. It drives educated people to your doorstep who will reveal whether they are avoiding pain or looking to achieve pleasure.

Now, if you don’t have marketing and you’re a salesperson and you have to make cold calls, it’s really, really easy to help identify whether people are looking to avoid pain or achieve pleasure. The way to do that is to look at their history. Look for people who bought similar services to your or who are already buying from your competition. If someone is already using a service that is similar or identical to your service, similar or identical to your product, that’s a person who has a need and who is engaged with the value proposition that your product or service can provide.

Now, it is going to be critically important that you understand their buying motivation whether they’re buying to avoid pain or to achieve pleasure. The reason this is so important is because people make decisions emotionally and they justify them rationally with facts. No matter how great your product or service is, whether it’s technically superior, whether it has 15 different widgets compared to the competition’s 12, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t engaged your potential client at an emotional level.

First step, identify a buyer based on their emotional qualities. Why do they want to buy? Identify those emotional needs and then make sure your product or services are matched for their emotional needs, for the things that they want emotionally. The next step is to qualify that buyer. Qualify that buyer. Make sure he or she is able to do business with you.

Now, what do I mean by this? Everybody who buys your services has to have three things. Number one, they have to have money. If they can’t afford you, it’s a waste of time for you to even have a conversation with them. Number two, they have to have a problem you can solve or a need you can fill or a want you can fill, a desire you can fill. Number three, they have to have the ability to make a decision. They have to be able to say yes or no. If this person is not a decision maker, you getting in front of them is a waste of time.

I know salespeople love to talk about people who influence decisions. Business owners love to talk about people who have the ability to influence their decision. I’m meeting with this person because they’re a key influencer. I wish I had a dollar for every influencer my clients have ever met with because those dollars would be worth millions today because meeting with influencers as long as a buyer’s not in the room is a total waste of time and I don’t want you to do it. You have to qualify the person with whom you’re meeting, the prospective client, the prospective customer. You have to qualify that person first and foremost.

Here’s how you do it. When it comes to money, if you’re a professional services provider, never ever, ever meet with someone and give them free consultation because that tells you nothing. If you offer a consultation and the person has to pay for that consultation, at minimum, they have enough money to have paid for your advice upfront. Then, you have conditioned them to always pay for your advice. If you offer a free consultation, people are conditioned to meet with you and to devalue your advice. In addition, it doesn’t do anything to qualify the prospective client because you don’t know if they have enough money.

If you’re not in professional services and you need to qualify people, you want to get a sense of their purchasing history. Upfront, before you make an appointment to go see them, you need to ask good solid, relevant questions related to their purchase history and you also need to ask the B word question, the budget question. Do you have a budget set aside for our work together? People will always say no. 99.9% of the time, they’ll say, “No, I don’t have a budget,” or no, they don’t want to disclose the budget. Your response has to be, “Generally, when I meet with people, they have sense for how much they’re looking to spend. I need to know that in order to move forward because I need to understand whether or not it makes sense for us to work together.”

Because you are asking this question, you’re immediately going to make them feel like they have to think about money. Now, it is better for them to think about this before you spend any time, before you invest any emotion into meeting with these people. They will say to you, “All right, we do have some money available,” and then you go with ranges. Is it between this range and that range? Is it between this range and that range? Are products usually between this range and that range? Does it make sense for us to meet? Yes or no? At least, you’ve gotten to the point where they understand that you’re not going to work for free.

Finally, qualifying the decision maker, you ask the question before you ever set up a meeting. Is there anyone else we need to get involved in this discussion in order to make a good decision? When you say that, some people will be defensive but you say to them, “Is there anyone else besides yourself?” You don’t remove them from the process. You include them in the process. If they’re a decision maker, you immediately will know. They will say, “No, I’m the ultimate decision maker.” You say, “Great. You have the budgetary authority to make this decision.” They say, “Yes.”

If they say, “Well, I’m just getting some information so that so and so can make a decision,” you say, “Well, here’s what I need. I need to, because of my ethics, I need to meet with the person who can make the ultimate decision and I need to do that because this is the person who has the authority.” If they balk, if they push back, don’t take the meeting. It’s a waste of time for you to meet with a decision influencer always without a decision maker present.

Those three steps, they have to have money, they have to have a problem you can solve and they have to have the ability to make a decision. You’re going to ask a lot of questions upfront before you even schedule a meeting. The final thing you’re going to do in the qualifying process is you’re going to say to this person, “Here’s how our next meeting will go. You’re going to meet with me and I’m going to ask you some questions and you’re going to want to ask me a lot of questions. After we answer those questions, we’re going to decide mutually whether it makes sense for us to move on to the next step in our relationship. That next step will look like,” and you tell them what the next step is after that meeting.

You say to the person then, “Will you be comfortable doing that, yes or no?” They’ll tell you yes or no. Then, you’re going to say to them, “Listen, you may think that you’re gathering information and you’re going to want to think it over. That’s not something that’s going to be acceptable to me. Here’s what I want. I want you to tell me yes or no whether it makes sense for us to move on to the next step at the end of this meeting. No is a perfectly acceptable answer.”

You say that right to the client all through the selling process. You offer the potential client the opportunity to say no to you and the reason that you do that is because it puts them at ease. It makes them feel like they have the opportunity to say no at any time. If they feel that way, they’re going to give you definitive answers as long as they’re a decision maker.

Step three in this process is to offer choices of yes. Offer choices of yes to your potential client, your prospective client. Now, you’ve had the meeting with the client and the meeting’s gone well. The client says, “Okay, what’s the next step?” You say to them, “Well, we have three solutions to your problem that I think would be a good fit.” You present all three solutions. The person says, “Okay, that’s great. Which of those do you think would be best for me?” You highlight which one you think is best for them but you presented three to five solutions.

Now, here’s the thing. These solutions will vary in value. At the low end, you have a solution that is perhaps your budget minded solution. In the middle, you have mid-range solutions and at the high end, you offer the ultimate, the platinum standard in solutions in your service, in your product, in whatever it is you do or whatever it is you provide, always offering choices of yes. This does two things. It makes you “buyer friendly” because you have offered them a range of solutions varying in price and varying in value and you are giving them the opportunity to say yes regardless of what they have in mind from an investment perspective.

The second thing this does is it prevents negotiation. If you’re offering them ranges of value, they’re going to have to make a decision among all of the choices you’ve given them and it takes away them coming back and saying, “I want this product but I want it at a lesser price,” because you’ve offered ranges of value, critical, critical element in this sales cycle.

Step four is the closing process. Now, most people think the closing process takes place right here. I’m going to tell you it really took place upfront when you did all the qualification and everything. What you’re going to do in the closing process is you’re simply going to verify the points of pain. You’re going to verify the points of pleasure. You’re going to verify what the motivation, the emotional motivation was for the person to do business with you and then you’re going to match up how the selection of your service, whichever service they selected, takes away that pain or whichever service they selected leaves through that pleasure. You’re going to match those things up and you’re going to verify it with the client. You’re going to confirm it all with the client.

Then, once you’ve done that, you’re going to give the client the final opportunity to say yes or no. You’re going to say to the client, “Okay, we’ve agreed that we’re going to take away all this pain. Are you okay with making that happen now?” They’re going to say, “Yes.” You’re going to be happy. They’re going to be happy. Then, you’re going to welcome the client into the fold and make them feel like they’re part of the family.

The final step in this part of the selling process is what I call the post sell. The post sell is having a third party go and confirm that these people have made a good decision. At this point, you take someone who you may have used as a reference upfront or someone who you would use as a reference, a client or an influencer in the community and you have them call your client and say, “Hey, I heard the great news. I heard you’re going to be working with so and so. This is a fantastic decision. You’re going to be really happy with the results.” This is the same as providing a reference except that it’s after the deal has already been sealed because this will help you prevent back-outs.

Finally, you’re going to want to have the client get first steps on how to work with you immediately. The day after the sale is closed, you’re going to call the client or you’re going to have your service people call the client and they’re going to say, “Welcome to our family. Welcome onboard. Here are the first few things we need you to do. This is what I want you to do to get started.”

This needs to be done as soon as possible to make sure the client feels like he’s part of something really special and part of something really big. Then, you’re going to get the client to send to you something in writing within 60 days of your work with him as to why he chose you. He’s going to have all this great feeling and you’re going to get the client to say something in writing as to why he chose you.

Here is the language you use to do that, “Mr. Client, I know we just started working together. It’s only been a couple of weeks. I’m really proud to have you as part of the family. Can I get you to do something for me? I want you to critique my work and just give me a reason why you selected us and put it in writing in an e-mail or in a letter to me. That would really mean a lot to me because it would help me become better as a salesperson. It would help me become better as a business owner. It would help me become better as an entrepreneur.” This putting it in writing is critical because it cements the relationship between you and the client and once the client puts it in writing, he will never ever go back on it.

The final, final step in the sales process is preparing. You’re preparing the client for the assault that’s going to come from your competitors. Here’s how you do that. You’re going to tell the client that his business is always valued at your company. You’re going to tell him that there’s always going to be an opportunity for someone else to work with him. You’re going to tell him that your company while it’s strong in these areas, and you highlight these areas, has areas of non-strength. You’re going to tell him that your competitors are going to attack those areas of non-strength and you have to prepare him for that.

What you’re going to do is you’re going to rehearse, yes I said that, rehearse with your client how to handle inquiries from other salespeople. You may even want to role play it. You definitely want to talk about it because just like with any other relationship whether it’s a business or a personal relationship, great communication is the key to success all along the way. If you communicate about the assault that’s coming from your competitors because these people will know that they’re doing business with you, because everybody finds out everything in every industry, if you prepare your client for the assault that’s coming from competitors, he will be able to handle it.

You give him language. You rehearse him so that it’s second nature when those things come, there’s nothing left unsaid. There’s nothing left unspoken. I want you to think about it just like you think about a relationship in your personal life. You’re married to someone and there’s always going to be somebody good looking that could come along. There’s always going to be somebody with more money that could come along. There’s always going to be somebody who could offer things in different areas that are different from you but what you have to offer your spouse or your significant other is so compelling and so overwhelming that it creates good feeling that will overwhelm the desire to go somewhere else with someone else.

You’ve got to prepare your client for the same exact thing because that will happen. If you prepare him or her, you never have to worry about them having a conversation that is a surprise or having a conversation that takes them unaware. They will be ready for the competitor’s assault and you will have addressed it preemptively. These are the six steps to selling. If you follow them, you will be overwhelmingly successful. I wish you the best as you make a great living and live a great life.

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