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Small Business Tips \ OCT 15th 2015

6 Closing Negotiation Techniques for Small Business Owners

The moment of truth has arrived. You and your customer, one on one. A deal is on the table and it is your job to seal it. What happens now?

Closing a sale is the culmination of a branding and marketing process. As the final and ultimate step, it determines whether or not your selling process has been a success or a flop. If you’re not closing deals, it doesn’t matter that your ads are super clever, that your website looks pristine, that you’re getting great press coverage or that your phone lines are always busy.

If you want to significantly increase the rate of transactions, you need to take a proactive approach and plan your deal closing strategies well. Not all clients think the same, and obviously they react differently to different styles, but there are still several guidelines that are valuable in almost every situation. These are some of the most efficient techniques for closing a deal smoothly:

6 Closing Negotiation Techniques for Small Business Owners

Decide in advance what you’re willing to compromise for

Ideally, you will close your deal without resorting to any compromise whatsoever. But let’s face it, that’s not always the case. Instead of improvising in the middle of a tough negotiation situation, you should set your boundaries in advance because not every deal is worth making. The compromise could revolve around the price, the quantity, the returning conditions or the level of customer care. The important thing is to note what concessions could be made without jeopardizing your business’ integrity.

Simplify the deal as much as possible

There’s nothing more discouraging than seeing a customer change their mind after already showing interest or even agreeing to the sale. One important thing you can do to avoid this situation is to eliminate all unnecessary steps before the deal is sealed. Make it into a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question with as few intermediary stages as possible.

Here’s an example: if filling out a contact form is part of the process, skim the form down to only the most important fields. This’ll help your client stay focused on the next step by alleviating any unnecessary distractions.

Listen to what the client actually wants

Being a good listener is a great thing in life and in business. Understanding your clients’ needs and helping to fulfill them is one of the best methods for closing not just one deal, but future deals as well. Customers appreciate marketing and sales efforts that are based on empathy and contact.

If you show them that you want to sell them the most suitable product or service for their needs, you will strengthen their conviction that this deal is good for them. On top of that, they will be more likely to becoming returning customers and to recommend your brand to others.

Connect with the entire group, not just with the buyer

If your business has a brick-and-mortar location you will encounter many people shopping with friends, partners, parents, children or colleagues. In these situations, you should show interest and be hospitable to everyone who is present, even if it is clear that only one person is interested in making a purchase.

First of all, you don’t want the whole group to think that you’re only interested in the credit card holder because, well frankly it’ll make you look bad. But more importantly, you want to create an inclusive and friendly shopping experience that will encourage clients to make the deal.  People who shop with others often consult their shopping partners about their opinion, or they sense whether or not the other person is feeling at ease or can’t wait to leave. If you’re able to make everyone feel comfortable, you’ll increase the chances of materializing a sale.

Be prepared to demonstrate

Don’t assume that your brand sells itself. Some clients need a more hands-on approach and will appreciate you demonstrating the technique or the benefits of your product in a clear way.

A live demonstration is an opportunity to both pacify your customers’ concerns and to pitch the product in an individualized manner. However, it only works right if you make the demonstration seem very seamless and smooth. Don’t let your customers wait while you unpack, assemble and figure out the operation. Be confident and competent, and show them they can trust your recommendations.

Make it about them

When you introduce your product or service to customers, try to put them in the focus of the conversation. You want to create the sense that closing the deal with you implies something positive about who they are.

For instance, if you are selling hand-knit accessories, in addition to emphasizing the quality of the fabric and coloring, describe your products as fit for people with “refined tastes.” If you are selling reusable water bottles talk about how these are perfect for people who care about the environment.

Even when describing your own products, use adjectives that are more commonly used for humans, like “sophisticated” or “elegant,” implying that this is how they will feel if they take your offer.

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