As an entrepreneur, closing deals is part of the job. There’s no two ways about it. You have to learn the art of persuasion and get people to buy from you. Bonus points if you get them to rave about your brand too!
But you’re disgusted with the idea of selling.
You can’t stomach the thought of feigning interest, flashing on that fake smile, and showering your prospects with a bazillion of insincere compliments just to get them to say yes to your offer.
It sounds unethical, yes? It just doesn’t click with you.
Although there are some kind folks from sales who are genuinely helpful, the very word salesman brings to mind a host of negative descriptives: aggressive, pushy, and worst of all, liars.
How can you close deals without being aggressive, pushy, and insincere?
First of all, here have a digital high-five because you think being sleazy is unsexy!
Second, you’re in great company because marketing and sales in 2016 has come full circle. With 2016 recognized as the year of relationship marketing, being pushy and pitching in like a robot are so last season.
In this blog post, you will learn how to effectively close deals without doing all the sleazy traditional tactics that we’ve been told to do for ages.
Let’s get to work, shall we?
1. Stalk Your Prospects Online
Wait, whoah. Stalking is shady, right?
Here’s the thing, there’s a huge difference between stalking your prospects online and following them around while they do their weekend grocery shopping.
Finding out what your prospect is displaying online in their blogs and social media profiles for the world to see is nothing short of shady.
Not a single inquiry about your wedding photography services? Why not check out wedding planning forums or niche blogs dedicated to wedding?
By doing so, you’d be able to get a clearer picture of your prospects’ pain points (what is it really that they’re looking for in a wedding photographer?) and position your services based on these pain points.
Furthermore, you’d be able to learn the language or jargon used by your prospects and use them yourself when positioning your services.
Sales Linguistics expert Steve W. Martin writes in this Harvard Business Review post:
“Most companies arm their salespeople with a one size fits all company sales pitch. Unfortunately, each person on this planet speaks his or her own unique language. All the mundane and traumatic experiences of your life have determined the language you use — where you grew up, the language used by your loved ones, where you went to school, your friends, your career, the amount of money at your disposal, and even your spirituality.
Just as no one else has had your exact life experiences, no one else speaks your precise language. Therefore, the language two people use to describe the same situation — or the way two people interpret the same language — may be very different.”
By speaking in the same language as your prospects, you’re one step closer to closing a deal.
2. Teach Instead of Pitch
Instead of endlessly pitching about the features of your oh-so-awesome app, why not educate your prospects first?
When you tell people what to do with their problems or issues, they’re going to see you as an authority. You will gain their trust and eventually win their confidence to do business with you. This is often referred to as thought leadership.
Treat your prospects as friends who need your expertise. Strive to make their life better one thoughtful chunk of lesson at a time rather than giving them cold servings of your sales pitch.
As Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi explains, the more we educate them or entertain them, the more they don’t mind being sold to.
3. Shut Up (And Don’t Take Their Money Just Yet!)
Chief marketing strategist Kira Moore writes:
Novice sales crew often make the mistake of talking too much about the product, service, or worst, about themselves. Remember that a sales pitch is all about helping your prospects find a way to help solve their problem.
If you keep talking, it’s either your prospects will be able to tell that you’re not as confident of what you’re selling or that you’re trying to hide some product flaw.
The next time you’re interacting with a prospect, make it your mission to simply listen and make pitching a second priority. Just shut up, have consistent eye contact, and personalize your pitch based on the information your prospect is providing.
If they’re not talking about issues with the price of your software services during the conversation, why would you even mention bulk discounts?
Selling doesn’t have to be all about closing the deal asap. Like most meaningful relationships, selling is like dating your prospects first and knowing them as a person not as a nameless target persona.
The truth is, people are tired of those annoying and pushy salespeople whose aim goal is the classic Always Be Closing mantra.
Why not change your perspective to Always Be Helping?