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There is an art to closing the sale.
If you’re too pushy, you will scare them away.
If you’re not pushing enough, they’ll feel like you don’t care.
So you need to be attentive. But not forceful.
The best way to do this, I find, is by asking questions.
So someone comes to you – via DMs or email – and says:
I love the sound of your course, but I’m just not sure if it will cover everything I need right now. Can you help?
You have to resist the urge to say:
Just look at my sales page, it has all the information there!
And instead say:
Of course. Why don’t you tell me what you’re looking for help with?
They will tell you. And then you will have to explain, in simple terms, what your course covers. Yes, this is all (or at least it should be) on your sales landing page but they want you to tailor it to them and their needs. So do. Explain how it will help them with their specific problem.
Shut up and listen
A common mistake, with selling – especially with closing the sale; getting people to part with money – is to talk and talk and talk. The thinking being that if you make it SO CLEAR THAT WHAT YOU’RE SELLING IS AMAZING – they’ll buy it.
Actually, over-selling is likely to put them off. They may well think: why are you having to push so hard with this, is it because your product actually isn’t that great?
Instead, listen. Ask questions and then really listen to the answer. Don’t panic and start listing the benefits of doing your course. Wait until you hear what they are struggling with. And then respond to that.
And once you’ve responded, go quiet. Say your piece, in response to their query/fear, and then stop talking or messaging. Leave some room for them to breathe. To think it through.
Don’t push. Be confident that they will come
A good example of this: I recently had a ‘discovery call’ with a manifestation coach, Juliette. I mentioned her a couple of times earlier. We chatted, she pulled some tarot cards for me. The energy was amazing and I knew I wanted to work with her.
We put down the phone and I knew she could help me in the ways I needed. I’d said to her: “I’m just going to chat to my husband.” People say this to me all the time and I think – why? Can’t you make this decision? Then I found myself doing it. It’s a way of saying: “I need time to think.”
I did chat to Rich, he didn’t care either way, and I’d already made up my mind.
I waited for Juliette to follow up. I waited a day. And she didn’t. I thought: hmmm, is she keen to work with me or not? I waited another day. She never contacted me. And I thought: now I definitely want to work with her, because she has the same energy as me. She doesn’t hound.
I messaged Juliette and signed up. She did the sell on the phone then trusted I’d return if one-to-one work with her was right for me. And I did.
In our first session, Juliette said that she’d been taught to follow up three times with potential clients when she trained as a coach, but she ignored this advice and never follows up.
She lets her potential customer/client make up their own mind. She asks questions, listens, responds and then goes quiet. It works.
Different types of (potential) customer
We all approach buying differently.
The decisive ones
There are people who have the money, know what they want and purchase as soon as they see it/it becomes available. These customers are great. Decisive, easy.
The keen ones
Then there are people who want some convincing. They are likely to purchase, but they need you to gently pull them through the checkout process. This customer can be a fun challenge. Here, you really need to be asking questions; work out what their sticking point is and unsticking it.
The tentative ones
There are then people who just don’t know if this product is right for them, perhaps they’re unsure about the timing or the cost. They really don’t know. Go easy on these guys, be gentle. Ask a question, gauge from their answer whether they want to continue the conversation. If you feel you’re warming them up, persevere. Some of my really tentative customers have been the most satisfied. And that’s very satisfying for you.
These people aren’t potential customers. They want your attention. Your ideas. They don’t want to pay. They have no intention of signing up. If you get this sense about someone, you’re probably going to be right. So be polite but don’t spend too much time following up.
A real-life example
Here’s a real-life example of ‘closing the sale’. This woman emailed me, in response to a ‘selling’ email I put out, saying:
Hi AnnieLooks fab! Does this overlap at all with your other course, how to launch an online course?I often jump ahead of myself and would love to do this new course, but I am only 50% of the way through finishing my courses. Is it ok to do the sales course now? Or should I chill and wait until I’m ready to sell it? The early discount is a huge plus as I don’t have an income at the moment, so eager to jump on it now, but mindful of where I’m at.
The psychology of sales
We’ve talked about ‘early bird’ sales, when you first open sales, and having a start date. If you’ve ever followed this model, you’ll know that you open sales and there’s a flurry of sales as people snap up the discounted spaces.
Only if you’ve told them you’re about to open sales, though, warmed them up. People need to feel excited for sales to open, and to know that as the first customers, they will be given a discounted space.
Then there tends to be a quieter period in the middle. Where there’s no longer an early bird discount but sales may well be open for another week or so.
As you approach the course start date, and people know that if they don’t sign up now, they will lose their chance to join, you’re likely to see another wave of sales. As I mentioned earlier: they will often come at midnight the night before the course starts. Some people just love a last minute purchase.
So keep this in mind with your course. Yes, you can have it for sale in your shop all the time and let people order it whenever they feel ready. And your video funnel will direct them to it, maybe you’ll have a limited time discount as part of your sales funnel, if they sign up now – to incentivise.
But if you want a big launch – have a start date. Perhaps you’re offering some one-to-one time with you as part of the deal, and that’s your reason for a start date. Or Facebook Lives each week of the course. Maybe you’re giving feedback on exercises. Any ‘live’ aspect is a good reason for starting on a specific date.
Practice makes perfect
Remember, with closing the sale, that in time you’ll perfect this. If you lose a sale, by becoming impatient, or too pushy, or saying something silly: don’t worry. You can either go back and say: Hmmm, my tone wasn’t great there. Sorry. Can we try again?! Or let it go and learn from it.