Sealing the deal with a customer over the telephone entails far more than having a flair with words and access to reliable sales leads to capitalise upon.
To conduct a successful outbound marketing campaign you not only need good leads, a variety of traditional marketing methods to spread the word , and an ample budget, you also need the skills to help customers identify their personal needs, and use effective closing techniques that empower you to seal the deal over the phone.
Outbound marketing – What is it?
The art of spreading the word about a product or service, outbound marketing attempts to create awareness of products and services through various traditional marketing methods.
When you think of marketing in its most traditional form, you’re thinking of outbound marketing, and the traditional marketing methods it employs you’re surely familiar with, since they include:
- Television and radio advertisements
- Ads in print mediums, i.e. newspapers and magazines
Despite the meteoric rise of inbound marketing, where customers find businesses through a variety of paid and natural search engine marketing methods, outbound marketing is still effective, and therefore still has plenty to offer businesses looking to garner greater exposure for their products and services.
However, outbound marketing is not without its drawbacks, most notably its lack of cost-effectiveness in comparison to inbound marketing, as well as:
- Tracking returns on investment (ROI) often proves problematic
- Its increasingly high cost, yet relatively low yield nature
For reasons like these, many businesses have completely switched from outbound marketing to inbound marketing. Nevertheless, many businesses still find outbound to be worthy of inclusion in their marketing arsenals.
Closing strategies aren’t always what they seem
If you’re to use outbound marketing with any degree of success, you need to employ closing strategies that will help you seal the deal over the phone.
These strategies often come with names like the sympathy close, i.e. the puppy close, or the cradle to the grave close, and there are more of these strategies than most could ever hope to memorise, if indeed there’s actually any point to doing so.
Here are a few to give some thought to.
- The opportunity cost close
Using this sales closing strategy, you describe to the customer the cost of not purchasing the product or service.
- Exclusivity close
This is one of the oldest sales techniques in the book. Basically, you give the customer the impression that not everyone can afford to buy the product or service.
- Valuable customer close
The salesperson offers a ‘special deal’ on the product or service because the customer is so valuable to the business.
If you have heard of these closing techniques before, or even used them yourself, you’d know well that whilst they are often effective, there is much more involved.
It’s all very well to think you have a few tricks up your sleeve, but generally speaking, anyone who really believes that they’re holding all the cards usually only has one in their hand. And that’s the one with their name and picture on it – the Joker.
Closing strategies that seal the deal
The following closing strategies haven’t been the recipient of catchy names like the ‘standing room only close’ or the ‘1-2-3 close’, but they’re strategies that work.
You can still use the infallible closing techniques of your choosing in conjunction with the following strategies, but always remember that when trying to seal the deal, the customer always comes first. Lose sight of that and you simply won’t succeed.
- Get in touch with the decision maker of the business (or household)
The first step to sealing the deal should always be to identify who the decision maker is, whether that’s a business or household, and focus your attentions on that person.
Where businesses are concerned, there is always the possibility that the key decision maker will have someone else confer with you in their place, but still act as though you are addressing that key individual. It’s crucial to sealing the deal quickly.
- Always be genuine and never act like you don’t care about their interests
They may not be able to see your face as you’re talking on the phone, but customers are usually savvy enough to understand when someone isn’t being genuine.
Conveying the impression that you genuinely care about the person, their interests, and not just earning your sales commission is important, so avoid putting them off by coming across as a calculated salesperson.
- Know who your competitors and what they potentially have to offer
Can anyone honestly, and convincingly, say that what they have to offer is better than what their competitors have to offer without really knowing that to be the truth?
In a nutshell, no. Being prepared for a customer’s questions is crucially important to sealing the deal and you have to know the areas in which your business is stronger or more competitive than your competitors and vice versa. This requires research.
- Use deadlines and other techniques to create a sense of urgency
Creating a sense of urgency is a time-honoured sales technique, one to employ with caution so as to not rush the customer, but still give them an incentive to commit.
- Prepare counterarguments so that you can overcome objections
Once again, research is crucially important here, so preparing the sales presentation to address the customer’s potential objections and overcome them is essential.
Along with the presentation itself, think of arguments the customer may give for not wanting to make a purchase, and prepare strong, but not pushy, counterarguments.
- Don’t put your foot anywhere near your mouth, i.e. watch what you say
Remain professional at all times by thinking before you speak, not losing your cool, and keep your sales pitch to the point. You’ll seal the deal soon enough.
Provided that you find outbound marketing cost-effective and in line with your business objectives, these closing strategies can prove instrumental in helping you seal the deal with customers over the phone.
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