International Sales Expert Shares Five Tips to Close Sales

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To move a sales conversation to a successful close, international sales expert Lenann McGookey Gardner says in a new article, “It’s important to keep your prospect talking about his PAIN – rather than you talking about your product or service. In modern selling, PAIN is the most powerful thing you can know about your prospect."

Lenann McGookey Gardner

In modern selling, PAIN is the most powerful thing you can know about your prospect.

To move a sales conversation to a successful close, international sales expert Lenann McGookey Gardner says in a new article, “It’s important to keep your prospect talking about his PAIN – rather than you talking about your product or service. In modern selling, PAIN is the most powerful thing you can know about your prospect – what’s hurting him, what’s causing her to fall behind, or worry, or overspend.”

Her article, “When and How to Close,” was just posted to her website, http://www.YouCanSell.com.

“Once you start to talk about you or your company, your prospect may go silent. Most people would much rather have YOU talk than reveal their biggest challenges and PAIN,” says Gardner. “The best time to close is when you've amassed enough PAIN that the prospect admits having, to justify his or her taking action on it now!”

Explains Gardner, “If you start talking about your services or product too early, prospects are likely to sit back and ‘listen.’ When they do, they're likely to hear something in what you say that they don't feel they need. And that becomes the reason not to work with you!”

Gardner offers these five tips for successfully closing sales conversations:

Know The Prospect’s Time Limit

Always confirm the time allocated for this conversation near the beginning of it. “If I know the prospect's time with me is limited, I'd probably spend two-thirds of the time collecting PAIN, not talking about my company's services,” says Gardner.

Find Their PAIN

“In order for the prospect to take on the pain of having to give money to you, he has to have so much PAIN in the front of his mind which he believes you can solve, that the pain of spending the money is much less than the pain of continuing to exist with the problems,” explains Gardner.

Transition with Biggest PAIN

“The way to transition to a discussion of a product or ‘How we might work together’ is to repeat the biggest pieces of PAIN - unless the prospect has just mentioned MAJOR pain and turned to you and asked, in effect, ‘Is that what you can fix?’ If that happens, answer, ‘Yes,’ if that’s true, and then shut up,” says Gardner.

Confirm Their PAIN

“Pay attention to your prospect as you talk about his PAIN, and be sure he's agreeing that yes, that’s a problem, at each mention of PAIN! When the prospect has agreed to having some major PAIN say, ‘Would you like to talk about how I can be of help there?’ Wait for him to ask you to talk - or at least for him to nod,” explains Gardner.

No PAIN, No Prospect

If a contact does not admit to having any pain - he is not a prospect, even if he's willing to have a long conversation or even a meeting. Gardner suggests, “You might consider saying something like, ‘Mr. Smith, this really seems to be a great situation you're in! I don't see many people who feel so on top of this. May I ask, what's the secret of your success?’ I'm always surprised how many people wait until very late to admit that they really do have problems!”

Lenann McGookey Gardner has worked with professionals from over 45 countries around the world and in 32 U.S. states, to help them massively improve sales results. She is an award-winning salesperson and marketing executive, a winner of the New Mexico Business Weekly’s 2010 Top Performing CEOs Award, and winner of the American Marketing Association’s state Professional Services “Marketer of the Year” award. Her book Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services was nominated for the Axiom Business Book Award as the best sales book of the year. Her website is http://www.YouCanSell.com. She also offers executive coaching through http://www.YouCanLeadCoaching.com.

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