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Necessary Skills of Sales Part 6
Guest articles > Necessary Skills of Sales Part 6
by: Daniel Milstein
As a salesperson you must appeal enough to your prospective customer in order to prepare them to make a transaction. However, the most important step in the sales process is being able to close that sale.
Don't Forget the Close: Once you have the customer engaged and potentially ready to purchase, you have to take that last, critical step. You have gained an opportunity to sell your product or service, now you have to be able to close the sale. Obviously, closing is a greater challenge when dealing with prospects who aren't yet convinced they need the product or are still shopping other firms. The close is much easier when you are talking to a referral or someone else who is already primed to purchase from you. In my first two mortgage broker positions, I lacked the requisite knowledge about interest rate locks and other aspects of the closing process. I was passionate about sales, but didn't have a sufficient understanding of the basics to convince borrowers to purchase right then. Once I was more knowledgeable and also had more backroom support and the ability to provide customers with specific solutions for their purchase or refinance, my closing rate increased dramatically. There are many salespeople who are extremely knowledgeable about their particular industry, have a strong work ethic and appear to be quite successful, yet don't reach their potential because they fail to achieve the most important goal; a high closing rate. This deficiency can prevent even the most determined salesperson from succeeding. I know a financial services advisor who often visits a restaurant frequented by a variety of professionals; the type the financial planner would certainly like to have as clients. He is friendly and a great talker. In fact, he occasionally spends a few minutes behind the grill assisting the cooks or socializing in the bar. Everyone seems to like him. However, I learned that the majority of these prospects aren't especially interested in investing in his firm's programs. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps people think he is 'nice,' but not especially knowledgeable. Whatever the reason, he isn't closing. Salespeople often cite a myriad of excuses for their inability to close: 'The prospect just isn't ready to buy,' 'It wasn't a good lead,' 'The competition has a better deal,' or, 'It's winter and people aren't leaving their houses to shop.' Whatever the excuse, this salesperson is unable or unwilling to take advantage of the momentum already established in previous discussions with qualified prospects (not those who are merely 'testing the waters' regarding a product or service). He may come within an inch of closing, but ultimately let the sale stall with the hope that he will make it happen the next day. However, by that time the prospect may have talked to another salesperson or put the transaction on the 'back burner.'
These skills, the ABC of Sales, when put into action will enable you to have a successful, long sales career.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
Published here on: 20-Oct-13