As a sales professional in an online marketing agency your role is to identify the best solutions, maximize profitable sales for your company and create raving fans of your customers. This article is about maximizing profitable sales and achieving a 100% close ratio – you heard me right…100% close ratio of qualified customers.
Maximizing the size of your average sale, regardless of whether you are recommending SEO, SEM, website development and/or a variety of other online marketing solutions, depends on several things, and those top 3 things are
- Qualify your customer - In the December 7th edition of WorkIt Richmond, I wrote about the B-R-A-T-S method for qualifying customers.
- Ask good questions and (shut up) listen – This is the only way you can learn how to add value for your customer and ultimately become a trusted advisor.
- Present options – Give your customers options that increase the probability of making the sale.
One of the principles I learned from my sales experience is called ZOPA – Zone of Possible Agreement. ZOPA is more widely known as a negotiating technique. However, It has become one of the most effective sales principles I’ve practiced and has increased the average size of a sale by at least 60%. Here’s how it works…
Through your conversations with your customer you identify the best solutions that will achieve the customer’s objectives. You also attempt to understand the customer’s budget. This is sometimes difficult but through a series of questions and techniques, you can usually gain a pretty good sense of your customer’s budget.
Upon identifying the best solutions for your customer and understanding his/her budget, you create some options. Remember, people like to buy – they don’t like to be sold. So, instead of putting your customer in a situation where it’s a “yes” or “no” to one single solution, offer your customer some options. For simplicity, we’ll call these options Good – Better – and Best. These three options are described as follows
- Good – The lowest priced solution that will work for your customer and is priced in a way that virtually guarantees you’ll close the sale.
- Better – An added value solution that will work for your customer and is priced at around 60% of the difference between your Good option and your Best option.
- Best – The “fully loaded” solution that will get great results for your customer and is priced at the very top of your customer’s budget range.
Now ask yourself – if you were the customer and someone presented three options that all seemed to make sense and were all priced around your budget range, you’d be more inclined to say “yes” to one of them. That’s how you get to 100% close ratio.
As for increasing the average size of a sale, in my experience, the customer almost always chooses the Better or the Best option.
In summary, listen to your customer, identify solutions that will work for your customer, become a trusted advisor and integrate the ZOPA principle into your sales presentations. Your closing ratio and the size of your average sale will increase.