Asking for the sale, the Konami code of business

Asking for the sale, the Konami code of business

You want to close the deal, everything sounds great on the phone, but suddenly the deal hits a wall. The deal falls through, the prospect stops responding, doesn’t really matter, the deal is lost. Chances are, you’re not asking for the sale…

Why every sales rep should ask

Setting “next steps” isn’t enough. When you’re speaking with a prospect and trying to move them into the closure phase of the deal, your power move is to simply ask for the sale. Setting next steps is great for the discovery call, but once you’re past the discovery and talking about your product, you need to literally ask your prospect, “can we move forward with this deal?” You’ll get one of three responses:

1. The roadmap

Well…I just need to speak with John from IT, and have Karen review the contract.” This is great, your prospect has just outlined everything you need to close this deal. If they’re in a giving mood, it’s a good idea to keep pressing. “Are you aware of any concerns John might have? Let’s hop on a call together. How can I make Karen’s review easier?” Asking these type of follow up questions will position you as an ally of your prospect, not the sales person trying to rip money from their wallet.

2. THE GONG BANGER

“Yes, we can move forward with this deal.” There’s obviously nothing better than this (gong rings in background). Reply with “That’s great, thank you for your business. I’ll send the contract over while we’re on the phone. That way if you have any questions I can address them.” There’s a chance you might get an objection after mentioning this; if that’s the case refer back to number 1; The Roadmap.

3. THE OBJECTION

I don’t think so, you’re product doesn’t have this functionality.” The first thing you need to do is work on how you qualify. There’s a chance the prospect is simply not a good fit for your business if they are asking your questions. Try replying with “On our previous call, you mentioned that A, B and C were the key initiatives you needed help with. You didn’t mention <missing functionality>. If <missing functionality> is a showstopper for you, I think we should stop this process now. Are you still looking to improve A, B and C as your key initiatives? If so then I can help.

Although it sucks to lose a prospect like this, chances are this is the one that was going to go silent on you anyways. You’re saving yourself a lot of work. If their objection is something you can overcome, then put your best objection handling skills to work and ask for the close again.

The art of the ask

The key thing to remember is that if you don’t ask, you don’t know. What’s the worst that’s going to happen, the prospect says’s no, we’re not going with you? That’s fine! At least you know. There’s a number of different ways to ask for the close, I’ve listed a few below:

 

“Can we move forward with this deal?”
“Are you ready to sign a contract today?”
“Is there anything else you need to see before I earn your business?”
“Are you ready to sign?”

Take the opportunity to ask why and figure out how you can prevent that in the future. If you’re a sales rep reading this post, I challenge you to ask for the sale in half of your post-qualification calls this week. Let me know in the comments below which half of your deals had a higher closing rate.

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