Slow down in order to accelerate

Today, well be talking about how to ask the right questions during a sales call and close the deal.

I want to show people how simple sales is, and that theres nothing magical about it. There are only a few things you need in order for someone to buy from you: the buyer needs trust in your product or service, he needs an impulse purchase when theyre ready when they have money available, and finally he wants assurances of quality.

Ill be talking about selling in a complex, business-to-business environment. That means you sell something expensive or complicated that may change the way things are done. In this case, your sales cycle is likely longer and more people have to approve of the purchase.

Dont be discouraged. Were here to help.

If youre not in a position to close the deal, no matter what you say it wont happen. Hacking at the beginning of a sale is much better than trying to hack when they get distracted or lose interest.

Its said that if you want to go fast, you have to start by going slow.

If we slow down at the beginning of the sales process and cover all our bases, then end result should go a lot smoother. Thats why it is important to be aware of any hacks that happen before the sale.

I want to share with you some of my favorite tips for getting things done.


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

9 Sales Hacks to Close the Deal

I dont just want to use scripts and shortcuts in my sales process, because it wont work.

I dont rely on hacks, because they can result in missteps that will lengthen your sales cycle and even lose you a deal. For me, its about doing the things that are absolutely necessary from the very beginning until I close my sale.

Sales Hack 1: Create an ICP criteria

The first step is to create ideal customer criteria. For me, its all about saving time and not wasting my efforts on the wrong prospects. One way to do that is by creating a set of criteria for you that will help you determine if theyre going to be good prospects or not.

The best way to create ideal customer criteria is by looking at data on existing clients. For example, which customers had the shortest sales cycle? Which bought the most products over time? Who renewed their subscription or service after a trial period ended?

When you cant make an informed decision, use your data to create a profile based on facts rather than intuition.

Sales Hack 2: Maintain control of your funnel

Its important to prioritize and allocate time wisely. One of the most helpful things a salesperson can do is manage their funnel.

Its important to focus on what matters most, but if you only focus on the urgent and not the important, then youll end up making mistakes that are critical.

The first step in a sales funnel is to close the deal.

Your first priority is to fill the top of the funnel and to qualify. Youll spend most of your time verifying or qualifying.

Its important for you to spend time every day at the top of your funnel. You need to follow your sales process and make sure that you are asking the right questions, taking the appropriate actions, in front of who will be able willing to buy at some point.

Managing your funnel means looking at it regularly to make sure that there are enough leads at the top of the funnel, and if theyre not then take a look at what steps you missed. Make sure opportunities move through with the right velocity, or else things get slow.

Sales Hack 3: Do proper research 

Do your research. The more you know about the company, people, or industry before reaching out, the better.

Have you researched the companys mission, values, and vision?

I cant remember their top three initiatives this year.

There could be a lot of different reasons why they might not have responded to you. Its possible that there was an emergency or maybe their phone died.

Keep an eye on what your prospects are doing. Keep track of the trends in their industry and see how they might impact them.

Keep in mind that different people have had different experiences with other things. For example, if they were burned by a solution before, it might make them wary of the same thing happening again.

Sales Hack 4: Recognize your customer

You need to know your customer, and what they want. You may already understand that you have a product or service for them, but do you also understand their individual goals?

Youll need to figure out what matters most to each person involved in the buying decision. What you talk about with them will vary depending on their concerns, goals, and point of view.

When you have multiple people involved in the decision, it is important to know what matters most to each individual. The better you know your customer, the easier it will be for them to stay focused and engaged during a discussion.

If you miss the details that matter to your customer, theyll go somewhere else.

You cant afford to waste time. It will never be enough.

Sales Hack 5: Pose excellent questions

You need to ask good questions if you want to understand your customer. The most important thing is that they talk about what matters, what might not work, and any obstacles or processes that must be overcome.

One of the best ways to close a sale is by listening. You should allow your customer all the time they need before you speak, and dont forget to take notes.

Im going to give you the 10 tough questions that I think are important for a candidate in just a few minutes.

Sales Hack 6: Solve the problems

Salespeople often make two mistakes: assuming our product is great and not considering how it affects the customer.

When youre selling to the customer, it doesnt matter how good your solution is. The customer just cares that they have a problem and whether or not you can solve their problems.

Dont avoid asking tough questions.

Sales Hack 7: Keep an eye out for purchasing indications

Be careful to keep pace with your clients. If you get too far ahead, the sale will slow down.

If you want to make sure the sale doesnt stall, ask for clear next actions. Make it a habit of asking what their next action is at each meeting and set an agreed-upon date when they are expected to take that step.

Sales Hack 8: Recognize the purchasing process

It is important to understand your customers buying process. Every company has a different way of going about making purchases, and you have to know what questions they will ask when purchasing from you.

Be sure to ask about timelines, who will be involved in the purchase and what processes it will affect. You should also ask questions like: What is their budget? Who approves this budget? Will legal need to review the contract before signing off on it?

Sales Hack 9: Get ready to close the deal

Closing a deal is all about preparation. If youve done your homework and know what to do next, then closing will be easy.

You cant just go in and pitch a product to an unready customer. You have to talk with them, find out what they want, and figure out if your company can provide it.

10 Questions You Must Ask to Close the Deal

Here are some questions to ask, again and again during the entire sales process. These will help you avoid surprises when it comes time for closing.

Question 1: How would our solution satisfy your requirements?

It doesnt matter how good your solution sounds, if it does not meet the needs of the customer, then you are making a bad decision for them.

When talking to customers, its important to take the time to understand their needs so you can figure out how your product or service will meet those needs.

Question 2: Have you considered any alternative solutions?

If youve ever lived near the ocean, you know that turning your back on a wave is never a good idea. You need to face it head-on (literally) and go with the flow.

Make sure you keep an eye on the competition. If they do something, make a note because it could affect your own business.

Question 3: Who will be engaged in the decision-making process?

Salespeople often say, I know my guy. Theyre referring to the person who is buying influence and you are in contact with them regularly. While having a coach like your buyer isnt enough, its great.

To consistently win complex deals, you have to know who all the decision-makers are and build relationships with them.

Question 4: What is the most effective approach to involve everyone in decision-making?

Your guy is a great person to help you build bridges and get in touch with other people who can be influential. If they feel like theyre in charge of the sale, then its likely that theyll try to stop you from getting involved.

If you phrase the question right, theyll be more likely to help. Ask.

Question 5: How Much is your budget?

When I first began hiring salespeople, one of the mistakes I made was constantly testing pay and commission structure. To me, it seemed like if they had a base salary plus commissions on top of that, their motivation would be enough.

I always talk to my team about budgets early and often. I try not to be surprised by the costs.

Its important to know what the company budget is before you make an offer.

Question 6: What criteria will you use to make your decision?

Before you talk to stakeholders about the criteria they need, tell them how they can come up with their own list of what goes into a successful hire.

If you find that the company doesnt meet your criteria, then either work with them to change their criteria or look for a better lead.

Question 7: What is your implementation schedule?

Knowing when the project needs to be completed is important for salespeople, and it helps them get motivated.

If they dont know how long it will take, help them come up with a timeline. Figure out what needs to happen on your end and theirs to meet the deadline.

Question 8: What is your timetable for decision-making?

Its difficult to come up with a decision when it takes too long for the process to be completed.

If your customer needs to make decisions that will delay the projects completion, talk with them about what you need from them. If they are unable to complete any of these steps in time for the deadline, let them know how this could impact their timeline.

Question 9: Is there anything more we should cover?

Even if they havent said anything, it doesnt mean there arent important issues that need to be discussed. As salespeople, we often dont give them the chance to add something to our question list.

They will be thinking about it and you can wait for them to answer.

Question 10: What are the next stages for us?

The most important question you should ask is, What are your goals? Its a good idea to do this before the end of each conversation.

The time to do this is before the meeting ends, and it should be something that can happen within a few weeks.

Key Takeaways

Its not a question of magic words. If you use the hacks and ask the right questions, then it should be easy enough to close deals.

The best time to negotiate a contract is when the client has expressed interest and you know their budget. Once they have completed your service, it should be natural for them to want that paperwork signed.

If you enjoyed what we talked about today, please email me at liz@aliceheiman.com or connect with me on LinkedIn.

And if you connect with me and let me know where we met, I will send you the 10 Tough Questions To Close The Deal download. It was a pleasure meeting all of you today! Have a great day and happy selling.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.