As a CEO, president or business owner you know that sales are everything to your business. Especially profitable sales from both new customers and repeat, long time customers. But what about the times when your business doesn’t close a sale?
All sales begin with prospecting. So actually, prospecting is everything to your business.
The three basic key elements to this continuous cycle are:
- Sales Process
- Close the sale
- Repeat the sales cycle.
If your company doesn’t sell something the business doesn’t succeed. Each sale needs to be profitable. If not, your company cannot continue to exist.
So many times, CEOs, presidents, business owners or a member of the sales team will go on an appointment and return to the office with the words: I didn’t sell it. That’s when a question needs to asked: Why?
Your company was invited by another company or individual to have a conversation about the products and/or services offered; had indicated some level of interest in buying yet didn’t say “yes” at the end of the meeting. Why?
If you analyze why you or a member of your sales team walks away from a meeting without the commitment to buy from the prospect, you are going to discover the #1 reason sales are not being closed. In fact, you may eventually develop a list of reasons as more and more prospecting and sales presentations occur. Response patterns will emerge. The reasons will vary. Often business people want to quickly conclude sales are lost due to the pricing of the product or service but that is usually not the most predominant or #1 reason in losing a sale. Dig deeper than price as to why sales are not closed; quotas are not met.
- Why aren’t sales being closed?
- Is it the salesperson?
- What does the salesperson need to close more sales? More training? More visual marketing tools? Better demonstration skills? Does the salesperson have the right skill set?
- Is it the product or service offered?
- What about company reputation? Is the brand developed enough online/offline?
- Was it the decision maker?
- Was the right company targeted when prospecting for business?
- Were there any objections or unanswered questions remaining at the end of the meeting?
Everyone in business has a different way of delivering the message to prospects or customers. This is a question then to always ask yourself:
- Was the right message delivered?
Business issues that seem complex should always be broken down into the simplest, least complicated form for best results.
For example, with sales:
- Establish the customer’s need for your product or service
- Deliver the message as best you can to meet the specific needs
- Provide the product or service at a price the potential customer can afford, finds value and solves their problem or need that your company can deliver.
If your sales department is not closing profitable sales at regular intervals, then you need to ask yourself: What’s missing?
It’s not really much different with operating a car. You go out to where the car is parked, attempt to start the engine but it doesn’t start. You call roadside assistance to restart the car or have it towed to the dealership location of your choice to have the issue properly diagnosed and repaired. In other words: What’s wrong?
Now apply the car example to sales.
What is the #1 reason your business doesn’t close a sale?
- Are you taking the time to diagnose the lack of sales at your company?
- Are you tracking the closing ratio of each salesperson?
- Are you tracking how many phone calls or contacts it takes to get an appointment with a prospect?
- Are you tracking how many appointments it takes to close a sale?
- How often do you look at sales reports?
If, as a CEO, president or business owner, you are not asking these basic questions about sales then how do you know if your company is doing well or not?
You need to compare the statistics or numbers of every salesperson.
Why is one salesperson doing so well and another is not?
Spend time with your salespeople. Ride with individual sales team members to prospecting and sales presentation appointments. Listen to how they talk with customers. Get to know each member of your sales staff as well as all employees at your company. Though an employee may not be directly selling to a customer, each employee is “silently” selling through their job responsibilities and customer interactions.
Not everyone at your company is going work or sell at the same level. If you have an individual with what you consider to be a poor or a sub-standard job performance level including:
- Not closing sales consistently
- Not finding leads or prospecting
- Not presenting the product or the service to build a level of trust with customers
… then the success of the company and its reputation is in peril. Even if it is only one person creating such a situation, your company profits are being jeopardized. As a CEO, president or business owner you need to quickly assess how to improve sales at your company.
If you determine…
- Why customers are not buying
- How to effectively train salespeople on an ongoing basis
- How to best deliver your company’s message
… you will see sales skyrocket and profits increase significantly.
Sounds simple, but it requires a lot of work, thought and strategy on your part as leader of the company.
Make a renewed commitment to your business.
Be a student of the sales process.
Let’s not just say: I’m going to talk with them.
- What you are going to specifically say?
- What does the customer or prospect need?
- How do you custom your words to show how your company can help?
- How can we better listen to what the customer has to say?
The last bullet point listed above includes a very important word: Listen.
To be successful in business and especially with sales, you must be an excellent listener. Without the ability to listen, you cannot close a sale (unless you’re just lucky). You need to listen to engage in conversation with customers; draw out what their needs are. To close a sale you must listen; listen well.
Business is about solving problems. Your company solves the problem (whatever it may be). The customer or client pays your company.
If you don’t know what the problem is and you’re just selling what accounts to “empty words” such as “wonderful company” or “great product”; the precise need isn’t fully understood. The chance of closing the customer is slim to none.
What is the #1 reason your business doesn’t close a sale?
Why aren’t your salespeople closing more sales?
Answer: Not listening and understanding the needs of the customer.
Business success begins with how you think.
Closing a sale begins with how well you listen.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide range of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, practical advice, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.
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