In lesson #6 - "Closing!" - we are going to discuss the art of closing a deal. If you have read our previous lessons, by now you should have warm prospects that want to buy your product. Your goal now is to move them to the last step of your sales funnel and convert them into paying customers.
We are going to discuss the three most important steps in closing a deal: the Virtual Close, the Contract, and the Signature.
1. The Virtual Close
It is important to walk your prospects through a virtual close before you share your contract agreement with them. A virtual close is a description of all the steps that are going to happen before they become a customer. One of the most important steps is to identify all the decision makers involved in the purchase of your product. This will help you anticipate and handle objections. You will also be able to discover major red flags that could slow the deal or prevent it from happening, like problems with their legal department, procurement, etc... By walking your prospects through the necessary steps you will have a better understanding of their timeline and avoid any confusion that might arise during this process. Map the entire journey!
It’s important to gain your prospect’s trust so you should strive to be earnest, truthful and helpful all along the way. Some good questions to ask during the virtual close are:
- What's your decision-making process like?
- Who are the decision makers involved in the purchasing process?
- What other options are you considering?
- What is your budget?
- What will it take to win your business?
- What would be the timeline to adopt XYZ?
An interesting read if you want to excel at the art of selling to other people: http://blog.amplemarket.com/book-summary-how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people
2. The Contract
Now that your prospect knows exactly what to expect it’s your turn to send them your contract agreement. Some important rules for designing and sharing a contract are:
Create a template: Create a contract template that you can refine and re-use over time. You should mention the conditions of your contract during the virtual close, they should be clear and easy to understand. Keep your contracts straightforward and short, ideally less than 5 pages. Y Combinator has a good collection of startup documents including a sales template agreement: https://www.ycombinator.com/documents/#sales
Legal check: As you start having bigger customers their legal requirements will get tougher. If one of your prospects has a thorough legal procedure, and you experience resistance from legal or procurement, you can give examples of big customers that accepted your terms. As you refine your contract template, you will sign bigger customers and build trust in new prospects.
Signature: You should remove all barriers and make it as easy as possible for your prospects to sign your contracts. They shouldn’t have to go through the hassle of printing, signing scanning and emailing the documents. Use an e-sign service like HelloSign or DocuSign, that will allow you to share a contract that your prospects can sign electronically.
3. The Signature
After you send the contract, some of your prospects might turn silent and become unresponsive. Your prospects have other priorities and there are a lot of reasons for this to happen so do not assume anything. As a best practice remember to follow up via email and if they don’t reply you can pick up the phone and call them. Be patient and persistent and you will eventually turn them into a customer.
Don't pressure or rush your prospects. You should avoid:
- Pressing prospects to act right away
- Creating a false sense of urgency
- Refusing to give prospects time to think about your offer
- Demanding immediate responses
In the next lessons, we are going to dig into each step of the sales process. Stay tuned for the next lesson: Deliver and Support, Customer Success
Here is the outline of this series:
- The Sales Process
- Lead Generation, Prospecting
- Outreach, Cold emailing
- Follow-up, Always Follow-up!
- Sales Calls and Lead Qualification
- Deliver and Support, Customer Success
- Ask for Referrals! Referral Marketing!
- Sales hacks!
- Refine, Repeat, Scale!
Amplemarket is your AI-powered sales assistant. Amplemarket takes care of everything from prospecting to outreach, follow-ups, and scheduling of meetings. You tell us who you want to reach out to and wait for meetings to magically appear in your calendar.