Closing the deal can be the most difficult part of making a deal with another party. Hatching the idea, approaching a potential client with the idea (or your product) and the conceptual embrace by the would-be clients are certainly easier tasks.
Sealing a deal (or your inability in doing it) might well cause you to lose those precious 10 minutes of your sleep.
Yet, you can always be a better “closer” even if you’re not as smooth as Michael Jackson’s famed Moonwalk.
Throw the reasons to say “NO” out of the window
There are various reasons why your client might not be interested in closing the deal with you. However, all of them can be narrowed down to a few categories that you need to focus on.
- No Money: Out of a whole lot of potential clients there will always be a very small group of people who REALLY can’t afford to get along on your bandwagon. But according to data generated by applying common knowledge, a lot of those potential clients can afford the idea or the product. All you need to show them is how much and how will they be benefitted if they do decide to invest in your project. For example, If, by law, you need to get a licence like a food licence, import export code, which you provide, then you can easily create a demand for your product.
- No Time: When you casually ask anybody if they have the time to do something that is out of their comfort zone and involves a variable amount of risk, chances are, that you’re going to get an answer which loosely means “no”. However, if you carefully educate them about how they could make money or avoid losing it by investing a small amount of time in your project then this tiny little “roadblock” may be considered finished.
- No Need: This might be a genuine problem. Out in the marketing world, there are 3 types of people: 1. the ones who don’t need your product. 2. the ones who need your product and realise it and 3. the ones who need your product but don’t realise it. It’s generally easier to deal with the first two types. Stop pursuing the ones who don’t need your product and people who need your product and do realise it, are obviously easy to deal with. The third category is a bit tricky but with the right amount of convincing and pursuing, you can cause them to realise their needs. After all, even Steve Jobs claimed that “The world didn’t realise they needed an iPhone, until we gave them one.”
Get beyond “YES”
“There is many a slip between the cup and the lip”
Yes, the quote does stand true in this case. Once you’ve somehow got your potential client to agree in principle, you need to get the “YES” in writing as soon as possible. This is because hugely common sales problems such as the lure of competition and/or a better deal or any other unseen events can always creep in and cause the client to have second thoughts which can simply erode the chances of the deal getting closed. The point is, once you do get the agreement in writing there is virtually no chance that the deal can be cancelled.
Create the urgency
The client might be happy to close the deal but in “some time”. You, on the other hand might not have that luxury called time. Here, you do need to enhance the value of your product. Telling the client what they might achieve or what they might lose by delaying the deal is one way to enhance the value of your product. Sometimes, this approach might not work and you will have to use the threat of competition. Telling the client that if they don’t do the deal with you, then you’ll do the deal with someone else might make them rethink their stance. For e.g. if your client is going to file his file ITR online, then you know and the client knows, that a deal can be done. Obviously this sometimes involves bluffing but if it can get you to close the deal quickly then it’s probably worth it.
Build the trust
As a kid, everybody is taught to never trust strangers. This is a lesson which we carry with us for our entire lifetime.
The client will close the deal only if they completely trust you. After all nobody will ever risk their hard earned money in a project with somebody that they feel is a stranger. Hence, the client will generally have a resistance to your product, just because they don’t trust you. The only way by which you can reduce this resistance is by building a rapport. And to build a rapport you need to play to your client’s interests. Find the mutual interests and see what fascinates them and try to somehow link your product to these things.
Building a rapport and then playing to your client’s needs while eliminating his reasons to say “No” is the sure-fire way to close the deal. Try to create a “win-win” scenario. And if you still can’t get it done, then there’s always the opportunity to entice your customers by throwing in some concession to refocus their attention. After all, who doesn’t like cheap deals?