So, you just met with that new customer and demonstrated the power of a custom online store.
You rocked that presentation.
But, no high-fives just yet. You get the sense that they are still on the fence about something
The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas on how to close that deal. And I mean right now before you leave.
We know that every selling opportunity is different, so it helps to have a few tools in your toolbox that you can use when the time is right. Let’s take a look.
Before the Close
Before you get too far into the sales closing process, remember it is your job to educate your customer on what you are trying to sell. You have to show that value. If there is any doubt lingering in the air, make sure you have fully covered everything.
It’s going to help if you have the points that matter written down on a branded leave-behind. I’m sure you did a great job with your presentation, but maybe one or two points didn’t sink in enough with your prospect. Having the key bits of information built on something allows the person to read again what you were saying.
Call it reinforcement.
Also, be sure you know exactly what their pain points are and how you can solve them. This information will present itself if you are asking good questions and follow up during the conversation. It can also give you a good tip on how to close the deal, as the customer’s comments can give you a clue as to what is important to them.
Make sure you listen closely.
Tip 1 – Help Them Visualize Success
During your presentation to the Athletic Director for the high school, you heard him say “I really don’t have time to be messing around with shirt orders.” This is a perfect opportunity for you to stress that using the online store that you manage will allow the student’s shirt orders to be processed without him getting involved. There won’t be any paper forms and personal checks to manage. In fact, you can have all of the shirts shipped to the student’s homes, so that his staff doesn’t have to end up distributing the shirts.
They can concentrate on what matters to them most, which is coaching kids and winning games. Not putzing around with a trying to cobble everything together to put in the order so the shirts will be in before the big game.
Paint the picture of how it will work with the first order. How the store will be marketed by the school on their Facebook and Instagram feeds. When the deadline for ordering will be. How the money is processed, and also when the fundraising check will be sent to the school.
Reiterate how everything works, and the fact that the school doesn’t have to do much except help market the store to the students.
Close the sale with, “So Coach, we will build a custom online store, collect order information and payments, process the orders, deal with returns or problems, and after each store closes remit a fundraising check to the school. All your staff has to do is post the marketing information that we will provide you, with the frequency we’ve outlined here. We just need your approval so we can get to work. Let’s do this! What do you say?”
Tip 2 – Ask A Question
You just met with the HR director for a large manufacturing plant regarding handling their employee company store. They wanted a company store for new employees and onboarding, but also for current staff that wants to augment their daily workwear. During the conversation, she says, “The last company we used totally botched our logo. Our marketing team was all over me because the blue didn’t match the correct PMS color that we need for consistency.
This is your opening. One way to close this type of customer is to ask a question to drive home the close. For example:
“We will provide printed samples of the garments you want and send them to your branding department for approval, if they are accepted can you sign with us to handle your company store? We’d love to get started!”
Tip 3 – Urgency
For some customers, a greater sense of urgency will help push the deal through. It can actually help that you have a production schedule to keep, and they have a target deadline to receive the order.
Play into that.
For example, the customer wants an online store to use for merchandise for an event. This obviously is time sensitive. They need the shirts on a specific date, and there are many steps involved to be able to handle that correctly. To get them to agree to the order, outline what’s needed.
You have to stress the checkpoints along the way so they can see that they need to start now.
“For you to have shirts for the event, we will need to quickly build an online store for you so you can market the link. From there, we’ll set a deadline for the participants to order. After the cutoff date, we’ll pull the information, produce the order and ship it to the event. Everything will be packaged and ready to go for your staff to easily distribute. But, in order to handle all of that with enough time for you to market the merchandise store correctly, we need to get started right away. Is there any reason why we can’t start now?”
Tip 4 – The Wheeler-Dealer
There are some folks out there that will always press you for a better deal. You know who I am talking about.
For those people, come prepared.
It helps to have something in your back pocket that you can use to counter-offer when they start throwing up objections or haggling.
Often, they like that part of the process as they want that control. It’s almost like a game to them.
Give something to them, but request something in return. In our example, let’s say that you have presented your online store capabilities to a national organization. They have chapters all over the country, and you would be fulfilling orders for each. The organization wants a bigger percentage of the sale going back to the organization.
“Ok, I’ll give you the percentage you want, but only if sales are over “x” amount each quarter. Anything under, and we’ll keep it at the same rate we presented. Since you know your members best, do you think they can achieve that minimum amount of sales to give you a bigger royalty?”
Ask for the Sale
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t get around to this point.
One of the biggest parts of the selling process is asking for the sale.
If they say yes, that’s a big win.
But, if they say no or give you a stated objection sometimes that is just a good. For starters, it may give you a hint as to what you need to do to win the sale.
A tried and true method is to simply ask a question. “So, in your opinion do you think that our online store platform solves your ordering challenge?”
This type of question allows you to find out if they are ready to get started working with your shop, or if there is something left you to need to explain a little better.
Your questions allow you to focus on the solutions that will matter most to your customer.
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Production Manager Tool
From day one, we’ve been devoted to making InkSoft the most useful tool for printing and customization professionals across the industry. While thousands of users are growing their businesses with InkSoft Stores and the Design Studio, we know we still have a lot of work to do to help print shops run more efficiently.
The next big step is a production management tool. We want to bring InkSoft full circle by providing a powerful way for you to streamline production and communication, ultimately boosting profitability and reducing costly mistakes. Not to mention, solving the challenges outlined in this article.