Top Sales Skills Every Closer Needs
The Top Sales Skills Every Closer Needs
“Sales skills + motivation determines the level of success each salesperson will have in their career.” Michael Pedone
The #1 reason to be in “sales” is to make money. To maximize your earning potential, you will need to master particular sales skills to increase your Closed/Won rate.
Yes, you will earn more by focusing on helping people get what they want – and that is the best way to approach sales. However, at the root of having a career in sales is to earn as much as you possibly can. And to maximize the number of deals you close, you will need to raise your sales skills level as high as possible.
Closing is a skill; A teachable sales skill.
Top closers have a checklist that they go through before asking for the order. If you want to close more, here are the top sales skills you will need to master to increase your earning potential and get more prospects to say “yes.”
Sales Skill #1: Problem Recognition
Salespeople prefer inbound (warm) leads – whether they know it or not – because the prospect already recognizes that they have a problem and started searching for a solution.
Outbound salespeople often struggle when cold calling because they do not even realize that establishing “problem recognition” is a critical sales skill.
Learning how to get your prospects to recognize a problem by asking the right questions and at the right time is a sales skill. After all, you can’t just call and tell your prospect that they have a problem because they will doubt you.
PS… Sales reps that handle inbound (warm) leads often lose deals by skipping the “problem recognition” phase in the sales cycle because they assume the prospect has a clear understanding of their problem. That is a huge mistake.
Being able to ask a question or two that opens your prospects up and lower their guard to share/clarify what problems they are looking to solve is a massive sales skill advantage.
If you’ve ever had a prospect say to you, “Your (product/service) sounds good but, I think we will just stick with what we have,” it was because you failed to get problem recognition.
Sales Skill #2: Identifying the Real Decision Maker(s)
Whenever I start a new sales training class and ask the group how they identify if their prospect is the decision-maker, I overwhelmingly hear that they know they are speaking with the decision-maker based on the prospect’s title.
To which I respond with, “have you ever had a prospect you determined was the decision-maker because of their title, say “I need to speak with my _____” after you tried to close them?
Every salesperson reading this has had that happen to them. And now you’re stuck like a deer in headlights because the prospect is either telling the truth (they do need to involve someone else) or lying.
If they are telling the truth, but you handle it like an objection, you risk jeopardizing the relationship you’ve been working to establish.
If they are not telling the truth and you don’t try and handle it, you may never get them on the phone again.
Having the sales skills to know how to avoid this scenario while properly qualifying your prospect’s real role in the decision-making process is next-level salesmanship.
Sales Skill #3: Ideal Solution
Once you have problem recognition and have correctly identified your prospect’s real role in the decision-making category, the next top-level sales skill is to get the prospect opening up about what their ideal solution looks like.
Average salespeople are afraid to ask questions like this because they are afraid of the prospects’ answers.
Top-level salespeople understand they need to make sure their solution will hit the mark before they give it. If it’s not, they need to be aware ahead of time and adjust their presentation or spend more time discussing why the prospect answered the way they did and getting them open to other solutions.
Sales Skill #4: Time Frame
When going for a close, a popular scenario is to have the prospect push the time frame out later.
They aren’t saying “no”; they are just saying “not right now.”
It can be deflating to do all the work and put your time and energy into an opportunity to have them say, “we’re looking at next quarter.”
Sometimes they are telling the truth, and other times, not so much.
A perfect way to avoid this scenario is by mastering the “Time Frame” sales skill.
You have to know when, how, and why to ask it and what to do with the answers you receive back to be a top salesperson, but the question itself is straightforward:
“Mr. Prospect, once you find a solution you are happy with, how soon realistically are you looking to get started?”
It’s critical to ask this question at the right time during the qualifying phase. If you wait to ask this question until after the prospect gives you a stall/delay, it’s too late to use it to your advantage.
Sales Skill #5: Qualifying on Price
Most salespeople wait until after the presentation to discuss price.
Top closers know that waiting to discuss price AFTER the presentation is a huge mistake.
Mastering the sales skill on discussing price before giving the presentation increases win rates by 50%.
How? Because when you do it correctly, your prospect can no longer say “it’s not in the budget” when you go for a close.
Knowing how to qualify your prospect on a price before giving a presentation takes a primary sales objection off the table before it can be used.
“But, my industry is special…”
No, it’s not. Your targeted audience’s problems are unique – but making sure your sales team is all on the same page, knowing what questions to ask, why to ask, when to ask, how to ask, and what to do with the responses they get back – that’s universal sales skills.
Get your sales teams qualifying skills up to par and watch how fast sales increase.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
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