Published by : Frederic Lucas
While closing a sale is easy for some sales representatives, others are much less comfortable during this final stage of the sales process. However, does a lower closing competency always mean fewer sales?
In fact, there is a difference between the competency to close and the number of sales made. However, a cause-and-effect relationship is often wrongly established between the two.
Here are 4 frequently asked questions that will help you make the distinction.
Is it essential that my representatives be highly effective at closing?
A relationship with a client can be built in different ways. The Relationship Building Competency is one of them, but it must above all be supported by other skills and aptitudes. Similarly, the closing of a sale is not solely attributable to a representative's Closer Competency.
A transactional sale, for example, requires good closing skills. However, when a consultative approach and a qualification of the client are prioritized and well done, the conclusion is more of a natural outcome of the process. It is not an event in itself where the salesperson is required to "make the sale."
Concluding with a more consultative approach also offers a more enjoyable purchasing experience. The potential client will perceive much more positively a representative who will take his time to understand his needs by asking him questions.
The benefit is also for the salesperson who becomes memorable: he builds value, credibility and trust. When a representative has an urgent need to conclude by all possible means, the client may have an unpleasant experience, which will stop the process.
I am not saying, however, that the Closer Competency is not essential for making sales. It must be part of a skill set.
In what situation would the closer competency be used?
First, the Consultative Seller and Qualifier Competencies support the desired outcome of the process, namely the sale. However, in the case of a more transactional sale, such as a cross-sell or an up-sell, the Closer Competency becomes crucial. In these cases, a consultative sale has already been made previously. Credibility and trust are already established.
The Closer Competency must merely be applied at the right time and in the right context.
My representatives have the required skills, but they're not selling. Why?
Sometimes, however, even when the required skills are present, a salesperson makes only a few sales. In this case, a lack of desire, will or commitment is often involved. The sales process is then curtailed because the sales representative gives up too soon and does not overcome the customer's resistance.
Also, one’s Sales DNA supports the Consultative, Qualifier and Closer Competencies. In addition to the competence and willingness of a salesperson, there are also his or her underlying beliefs.
When it comes to recruitment, a concession can be made with a salesperson with weaker technical skills but strong Will to Sell and DNA. Why? Because while the latter two tend to remain constant over time, skills can be quickly developed through coaching and training.
Is closing training necessary?
Not only can technical skills be developed, but salespeople with a high proportion of closing attributes have also received formal training. The same applies to consultative selling and qualification.
These skills are rarely innate. Some people naturally demonstrate more skills, but just as one is not born an electrician or plumber, the techniques underlying sales are learned through training and coaching.
The closer competency
Without training, a salesperson's abilities remain average, but a good salesperson doesn't necessarily need to be a good closer. According to OMG, only 3% of sellers are strong closers, and 27% are average closers.