When it comes to selling, I am terrible. If you told me to convince you to buy a red plastic cup, I wouldn’t be able to do it. But if you told me to sell a million of these red plastic cups to Walmart, it’s very likely I could do that.
Over the years, I learned that although I suck at selling products to individuals, I am great at closing big deals with businesses. As an entrepreneur, I have closed deals ranging from $240,000 to $1,200,000 a year.
Aside from knowing what you are going to sell, here are the 5 tactics you must use if you want to close big deals.
Step #1: Create a bond
People like doing business with those they can relate to. If you are going to spend money, why not spend it on people you like, right?
The best way to get people to relate to you and your product is to create a bond. You can do this by telling stories or by just “shooting the shit.”
One thing I like doing is to talk about my past experiences. I tend to talk about my childhood or teenage years. Once I do this, the other person usually feels comfortable enough to talk about his or her life experiences.
The whole purpose of doing this is to get to know the people you are “courting” on an intimate level. At the same time, they’ll quickly feel like they’ve known you for years, when, in fact, you’ve just met.
Step #2: Be logical
The tactic I use most often when trying to close a big deal is logic. If a company is spending $100,000 with someone else and you can do the same thing for $50,000 while still maintaining a healthy profit margin for yourself, why not talk about how you can save the company $50,000 every year?
In addition to saving others money, I always try to talk about the fact that my services and products create better results than the competition’s. Through the use of case studies and testimonials, you can easily achieve this.
Another tactic you can utilize is breaking down how much additional revenue you can bring a company. A logical tool I have found to be useful is called “effectuation.” For example, I once did a pitch to Blue Nile in which I outlined how I can drastically increase the amount of traffic to their website, what percentage of those visitors would convert into customers, and the average revenue/profit per new customer. I also pointed out that this would help increase the company’s growth rate and potentially raise its stock price.
Step #3: Change their mood, not their mind
Although logic is great, not everyone bases his or her decisions on logic. Many people are motivated by emotional triggers. Instead of trying to change a person’s mind, try changing your prospect’s mood.
Let’s say I am offering you a tool that helps you increase your revenue through conversion optimization. If I am not able to convince you to use my tool through logic, I’d figure out a way to change your mood. Changing sentiment can be as game changing as using cause/effect analysis.
If, when utilizing Step #1 (creating a bond), I learned you loved Madonna, I would try to find a Madonna concert I could get you tickets to. Or I would buy an autographed Madonna album on eBay and mail it to you.
It’s true that money can’t buy everything. Sometimes understanding the sentimental value of things, particularly the value individuals place on certain items, allows you to get a better understanding of how to change moods positively. Typically what people are missing isn’t work related, so you’ll have to think outside the box.
Step #4: Create a sense of urgency
Now that you have the other party interested in your product or service, you need that party to move fast. The best way to do this is to create a sense or urgency. Playing on the idea of supply and demand can have great results. Terms like “limited supplies”, “limited time only”, and “while quantities last” put pressure on your prospect to move quickly.
The way I create a sense of urgency is by stating that we only have one opening to take on a new enterprise customer and that it will be filled within the next 30 days.
When creating a sense of urgency, make sure you aren’t lying because it can backfire. When I tell companies that I only have one opening, I mean it! Yes, I can take on more customers in the future, but that involves scaling my company, which takes time.
Step #5: Turn the tables
Although this is the last step, in many ways it is the most important step. Not only will it determine the size of the deal, but it also determines if you are able to close the deal.
With most business deals, you’re the one who is pitching, which naturally gives the other party the upper hand. And when they have the upper hand, not only will they make you work to earn the deal, but they’ll squeeze you on the price too. This will make the deal less lucrative for you.
Leveraging Step #4, i.e., creating a sense of urgency, is the best way to turn the tables. Here is what I typically say to turn the tables:
As you already know, I only have an opening for one client. I only want to work with companies who are doing fun, exciting, and revolutionary things. Why should I choose to work with you?
Believe it or not, you’ll get a response, and it’s typically one that will defend the company’s right to be your client. In essence, they are now pitching you to work with them. Now when you send them a proposal, they’ll be more likely to sign a deal.
Following these steps won’t help you sell that single red cup, but it can help you close big deals. At first, you may struggle at closing big deals, but with some practice, you’ll get good at it.
If I was able to close six-figure deals while I was in high school, there is no reason why you can’t do it as well. Try it out and let me know what you think.