Every high-performing salesperson is focused on the same thing: closing deals with new vendors as often as possible.
For the most part, winning business is easier said than done. By following this seven-step strategy, you can increase your chances of closing more deals and taking your organization to the next level.
Step 1: Start with a Calibrated Question™.
When you’re sitting down at the table with a potential new client, kick off the conversation with a Calibrated Question™. For example, you might ask: What does your vision for a partnership look like? or How do you see us being able to assist your business?
Remember, one of our Laws of Negotiation Gravity is "Vision Drives Decision". If they don’t have a vision when you hit them with these questions, it’s a red flag that indicates you’re unlikely to get a deal.
Step 2: Follow up with Labels™ and Mirrors™.
After they respond to your Calibrated Question, follow up with Labels™ and Mirrors™ to gather additional information and uncover hidden sentiments. Using Labels and Mirrors, you can figure out your counterpart’s pain points and understand what they’re currently doing and why it’s not working.
Step 3: Ask a Proof of Life™ question.
At this point, it’s time to ask a Proof of Life™ question: Out of all the companies that could help you, why are you considering us?
Your counterpart’s response to this question makes all the difference in the world. If they speak your value proposition for you, it carries a ton of weight—far more than if it came out of your mouth.
On the other hand, if they say something like, I was hoping you could tell me, the deal is on shakier ground. Use Labels if that happens: It sounds like you’re not ready to commit to us. This is likely a time where you'll have to give some of your pitch. i.e. explaining why clients do business with you.
Step 4: Provide a Summary™.
Now, it’s time to use a Summary™ and summarize the conversation as thoroughly as possible so that the other side has no choice but to respond with these two magic words: “That’s Right”™.
Once that happens, it’s an epiphany moment that brings both sides together. Everything you’ve said is so good that the counterpart feels you understand them completely, setting the stage for trust-based influence.
Step 5: Make your sales pitch.
Now, for lack of a better term, it’s time to make your sales pitch. Tell them how your organization can solve their problems based on everything that’s been discussed. If any objections come up, handle them with Labels and Mirrors.
Step 6: Use the Rule of 3.
Your sales pitch has been effective, and it appears there’s a deal to be made. Congratulations! But your work isn’t done yet.
Use the Rule of 3 to get your counterpart to agree on what the next steps will look like at least three times. For example, you might ask What do the next steps in this process look like for you? Again, use Labels and Mirrors to respond: It sounds like next Tuesday would be a great day to finalize the contract. If they agree, say something like If I don’t hear back from you by end of day Tuesday, what should the next steps be?
You want the other side to fully commit to how things will progress after you get off the phone with them. Without using the Rule of 3, you're a lot more likely to get ghosted.
Step 7: End on a high note.
You won’t end up doing business with everyone you get on the phone with. When it looks like things aren’t going your way, you can always resort to a last-ditch Label: It sounds like there’s nothing I can do to get you to change your mind.
If that doesn’t work and there’s still no deal to be had, be sure to end on a high note. Tell your counterpart you’ve enjoyed speaking with them, you appreciate their time, and that if the opportunity presented itself in the future, you would love to work with them.
After all, the last impression is the lasting impression. End on a high note, and your counterpart will think highly of you, making a future deal much more possible.