10 sales strategies to transfer to your e-commerce business
Many people believe that they could never sell. They don’t think they have what it takes. They present a range of reasons why they could never make it in sales: they’re not persuasive; they can’t influence people; they can’t close a deal. And this is the issue with most underperforming salespeople. They don’t use closing techniques effectively.
In this article, you’ll learn the most effective sales closing techniques. Onboard these in your content marketing strategies, and you’ll find your conversion rates explode.
First things first: effective closing starts when prospecting
The earlier you start closing, the more sales you’ll make. So, closing a sale starts from your very first contact with a prospect, and even before. You must establish that your product satisfies the prospect’s needs. The first step to closing a deal is to learn what the prospect’s needs are. Qualify the prospect by establishing:
- What is their need?
- Does your product satisfy that need?
- Can the prospect afford the product?
Establish these three things, and your conversion rates will take off. The following strategies all increase sales rates in the brick-and-mortar world. Transferring them to the e-commerce world produces equally eye-popping success.
Your first close: get the prospect’s attention and book an appointment
Cold-calling is hard work, and even seasoned salespeople fail to get that first appointment. Why? Because they describe the product over the phone. You’ll increase your appointment setting rate if you tell the prospect they’ll need to meet with you to discover more about your product. Next time you cold-call a prospect, take this approach:
- First, establish that you are talking to the decision-maker.
- Next, ask them if a product that will give them a certain benefit (you will have researched this beforehand) would interest them.
- When they ask what it is, tell them that you’ll need an appointment – just a few minutes of their time – to explain all, and show them how they can reap those game-changing benefits.
Bang! You’re in. You’ve made your first close. You’ve got your sales appointment.
Start closing at the start of the sales appointment
Another common mistake made by many salespeople is leaving the close until the end of the sales appointment. In fact, you should start closing as soon as you begin your sales presentation. As you progress through the sales meeting, you can use different closing strategies to reinforce the prospect’s needs and how your product satisfies them. Let’s walk through the sales presentation and outline the most effective sales closing techniques used by the most successful salespeople today.
1. The approach close
Resistance to buying is highest at the beginning of any sales meeting. Get over this by asserting that you are not here to sell, but to demonstrate why others have bought your product. Ask the prospect to tell you at the end of the meeting if the reasons others have bought the product are why it would be ideal for them too.
2. The demonstration close
This close also starts early on in the meeting. You simply ask the prospect, if you can demonstrate that the product does what is needed, would they decide today. The focus shifts immediately to you, showing that your product does what the prospect needs. At the end of the meeting, you already know that the prospect can make the purchase.
3. Find the key requirements
Early in the sales meeting, establish rapport and listen to what the prospect is telling you. There are always key benefits that a prospect is looking for in any solution. It’s your job to find these, and then demonstrate how your product matches benefits to needs. A good salesperson will always listen more than talk. Ask open questions, and listen for the clues to what the prospect really wants. Then sell to those needs, and those needs only.
4. The trial close
This is a continual process throughout a sales meeting, when you ask if a feature/benefit of your product will help the prospect’s business. As you progress through the meeting, you are cementing why the prospect needs your product, and tackling objections. With every affirmation, you are a step closer to closing.
5. The invitation to test
Invite the prospect to test your product. By doing so, you remove the financial side from the decision-making equation. You’re offering a trial, during which the prospect will have time to make their choice (while you remain in touch and ensure that they are achieving the benefits promised).
6. The ultimatum close
This is a closing technique to use with a hesitant prospect. You’ve met with them several times, but they still haven’t decided. It’s time to get a yes or no, before you continue to waste time and energy. You may provide an ultimatum, such as “It’s time to make a decision. After today, I can no longer offer the same deal.”
7. Remove objections
Most objections to buying are excuses. Remove the objections by providing a solution. For example, if the prospect says that the funds are not available to make the monthly payments, offer a structured deal whereby financing the purchase can be made over an extended period, with the result that monthly costs are lower. You’ll either close because of the solution to the objection, or discover the real objection and be able to tackle that.
8. The alternative close
In this closing technique, you simply offer a choice between two products, or two versions of the same product. The prospect will either make a choice between them, or say neither. If the answer is neither, you can then ask why and have another shot at selling by tackling objections.
9. The limited offer close
Before asking for a decision, suggest to the prospect that the offer being made is limited (either by time or product availability). This places the emphasis on the prospect to make a decision, and if you have confirmed that benefits match need throughout (see trial close above), then the sale is usually made because the prospect doesn’t want to miss out.
10. Pros and cons close
At the end of the sales meeting, use the information you have gathered from the prospect, and together make a list of the pros and cons of them making a purchase. In effect, you are summarising why they should buy. The pros list, of course, will be longer than the cons list. It’s hard not to buy when confronted with such indisputable evidence.
How will you use these closing techniques?
The closing techniques that I’ve described are tried and tested. They’re among the most successful closing strategies used by the most successful sales teams. They are also easily adaptable for use in the digital world, and ideal for online and email selling strategies.
Content marketing is a powerful process, and one in which traditional sales closing techniques can be transferred effectively. Identifying your prospect’s needs and demonstrating that you offer the solution to those needs is the starting point of content marketing strategies. With well-defined calls to action, you establish the foundation to use the appropriate closing techniques in the digital world.
To discover how content marketing could transform your e-commerce sales, contact SSI Design today and begin building your unique digital strategy.