As a small business, closing a deal is critical. You may have the best product or service available but without a wise strategy to close a deal or complete a sale, your business will struggle.
Here are some tips that might help you close the deal:
- Move beyond the “yes I am interested” frame of mind: Come with a written proposal, and as you prepare to close the deal, not only say it but write it down. If you and the client have been discussing different amounts, make sure you come to the closing meeting with a written offer. You can leave room for negotiation but be prepared with something on paper. Having it in writing makes people feel more comfortable and gives the deal a sense of seriousness and trust.
- Designate the appropriate amount of time: Make sure you allocate the correct amount of time for the closing meeting so you can go over all the details of the proposal and, more importantly, answer any questions. Don’t tell the client that it will only take five minutes, and don’t rush the meeting. It doesn’t matter how large or small this client is, treat them with the same respect you want to be treated with. It also helps to be early, which shows your client how important he/she is to you and that you are interested in his/her business.
- Bring sufficient copies of important documents: When ready to close, make sure you bring enough copies of the proposal and contract to this meeting for the client or business representative and for any other players involved with the deal. In some cases, depending on the size of your client’s business, this may include an accountant, attorney or other team members. Be prepared with plenty of copies.
- Know when to stop: Remember that every person is unique and each company has its own culture. Be clear and concise on your offer, answer all questions and then stop. Some business owners refuse to work with someone who is pushy so make sure you are familiar with the potential client prior to the meeting so you don’t push the product or service to a level that makes him/her uncomfortable.
- Set a realistic start date for products/services: As a small business, you may need more time to start providing the service or product after closing the deal. Make sure you have a realistic start date, and be clear with your client on when it is. Don’t create unrealistic expectations for the start date that might cause problems when closing the deal.
- Don’t let a “no” shut you down: The other thing to keep in mind is the fact that due to the economic times we are facing, some companies may not be ready to close on any deals right now but they may be ready next month or even next year. Keep in touch with them on a regular basis, show them that you are still interested in their business and you are ready to close on their time table. Remember that your product and service are out there to help others.