Article written by Mike Kaplan
Over the past 25 years, I’ve been fortunate to build 3 multimillion-dollar sales companies which ended up employing hundreds of salespeople. As a business owner responsible for profitable growth, one of my primary objectives was to maximize my return on our advertising dollars used to generate prospect leads. To do this, I needed the best sales closers I could find to convert those prospects into customers. However, since salespeople are not all created equal, it was essential to have a system that could turn ordinary salespeople into extraordinary master closers.
If you want a greater return on your advertising dollars, or you have any salespeople you feel are not master closers and should improve their closing percentages, I invite you to read further.
Closing More Sales Is All About the Correct Fundamentals
Many years earlier, when I was a salesperson, I saw my own sales and income rocket up each year as I learned and applied the essential fundamentals of selling, most of which I had to discover or develop on my own after being dissatisfied with the training options that were available.
Believing that a full understanding of any subject or activity starts with a good definition, that’s where I started – what is selling?
Selling is, “A process of persuading or convincing someone to buy your product, service, or idea.” Simple enough, however, the key word within that definition (and the one that opens the door to further understanding) is the word, process. A process is an, “Organized series of actions directed to some end.” It’s a method of doing something with all the steps involved.
If someone knows and completely understands the process (all the steps) involved in an activity, then he or she will be successful in that activity. That is a fact. Without knowing the process of an activity you’re involved in, you’re destined for uncertainty, confusion and poor performance.
Reverse Engineering Closing More Sales
So, what is the process, or organized series of steps or actions to make a sale?
To find out, I reversed engineered (taking something apart and analyzing its workings in detail) a typical sale by starting from the end and working backwards to the beginning to make sure I had every step of the process.
I simply started off by posing the question, “What is the very final step of a sale?” That was easy, and I noted down the obvious: The final step was when the prospect (potential buyer) became a customer and owned the product or service. With that answer, I then asked, “What has to happen right before a buyer ‘owns it’ to make that happen?” And once that was answered, I asked again, “What has to happen right before that to make that happen?” and so on, all the way back to the first step that starts the sale process.
It may sound too simple, but by doing this, I uncovered vital steps in my sales process that were missing! These missing steps turned out to be the difference in being just an average salesperson and becoming a master closer.
With all the steps discovered I now had a ‘Road Map’ to follow for any sale:
The 8-Step Road Map to Closing More Sales
8. Buys product
7. Wants product
6. Aware of product and how it solves his/her problem
5. Attention directed to product features/benefits
4. Wants problem solved and wants to hear solution
3. Problem found
See how this works?
Before someone will own a product, he (of course) has to buy it. Before he will buy it, he has to want it. Before he will want it, he has to be aware of how it will solve his problem. To do that, the prospect has to have his attention directed to the features and benefits of the product, and he won’t let that happen unless he first wants his problem solved—and that won’t happen until his problem is found.
When all these steps were uncovered, I truly knew for the first time what the process of selling was all about, and once I learned how to accomplish each of these steps my confidence and closing percentages soared. I understood exactly where I was headed when I started every sale. I knew at all times where I was in the process and exactly how to get to the close.
Do Not Miss A Step In Closing More Sales
If any of these steps are missing, you’re going to have a hard time making sales because each one is a fundamental building block necessary to build a completed sale (a close). Each block is built upon the previous block. Each step is done to be able to accomplish the next step. If a step is skipped or poorly performed it can negatively affect the outcome of the sale.
For instance, a salesperson is going to have less of a chance of closing a sale if she jumps right into her presentation, telling the prospect all about her product’s features without having first discovered which problems are important to the prospect. Also, the salesperson will have trouble if she fails to get the prospect’s willingness to want to solve his problem and to listen to a presentation. A salesperson will also have trouble closing the prospect on the price of her product or service unless the prospect is first closed on wanting the product or service. Not knowing how to achieve each step, or to recognize when a step has been accomplished and move to the next in a timely manner will also cause failures.
While the 8-Step Road Map above works as I have laid it out for most industries, products, and services, there may be circumstances peculiar to your sales that require some adjustments. I suggest that you do what I did many years ago and make any needed modifications by reverse engineering and working out your ideal process by starting from the final step and traveling backwards step by step to uncover any parts unique to your company or product.
Better Training = Closing More Sales
With a properly trained sales team which has mastered the fundamentals, you will feel confident that your investment in lead generation will bring the greatest return possible for your business. Maximizing profit comes from maximizing efficiencies, and having professionally trained sales closers is a major contributor to that efficiency.
Over the years I have refined my training system and turned it into a state-of-art online course called, Secrets of a Master Closer. Each step of the 8-Step Road Map is fully explained, from the bottom up, including each step’s purpose, how to achieve it, sample scripted wordings, and lots of practice exercises to ensure each skill is mastered.
I invite you and your sales team to learn more about closing more sales at www.secretsofamastercloser.com and try out the first 2 lessons for free.In 2012, Mike Kaplan authored the best-selling book, ‘Secrets of a Master Closer’ which is based on his proprietary sales training system used to build 3 multi-million dollar sales companies and also train thousands of salespeople. In 2013, he released an on-line sales training course based on his book to train individual salespeople and full sales teams. His goal is to provide business owners with a proven, cost effective system to train master closers so they are closing more sales.