September 17

How to triple your sales call close rate by selling less

What is the one thing people hate? Being sold to.

What is the one thing people love to do? Themselves. So speaking about themselves as a by product of this is one of the favourite activities people have.

Just think how many people (outside close friends and family) are genuinely interested in you if there is nothing for them to gain from it?

It’s not rocket science, and people generally know this.

So it’s pretty strange when sales reps or founders do the complete opposite on a demo when pitching their product.

I use our 5-step demo analysis tool to uncover the biggest friction points anytime we look at optimizing demo presentations, and here is what I see 99% of the time…

The sales person speaks at 3000 words per minute, everything is too technical (boring), long, and not relevant.

We recently completed a project with B2B2B startup.

I remember this quite vividly because it was a striking example of how not to do things.

Their product was a social media analysis/social media listening tool sold to marketing agencies who would combine their product into their service offering.

We took them on as a client in order to streamline their sales, and within this we also optimized the sales presentation.

Very soon it was obvious that market-match, positioning or lead generation wasn’t a problem. Converting leads into paying customers was the main hurdle.

The biggest mistake this founder kept making was not listening to his prospects. His tendency was to go on and on about his product.

He would go over every minute aspect of the software.

After we went through the 5-step optimizing process and worked on corrections and training, they tripled their closing percentage.

Overall, the product itself was great, but the sales technique suffered.

Among many smaller technical fixes, we introduced one ‘new’ concept – silence.

Every seasoned sales professional knows that silence, and the tension it creates, is one of the most powerful sales techniques.

Before going into the sales call, you need to be crystal clear on what pain points this particular prospects faces.

Then, showcase the 3-4 most relevant product features (or aspects of your service) that address these pain points, re-affirm they understand it, and engage them in the conversation.

Let them explain it to you.

There needs to be a rhythm to discovering the pain points or uncovering the usefulness of it in their business.

Ask about the usefulness of the feature in their business, ask how they would implement it, ask how the problems are impacting their profitability, future plans, other aspects of their business, etc.

Ask > silence & let them speak
Ask > silence & let them speak

Do this during the presentation/sales pitch, but also during closing.

Go on mute. People will try to fill in the silence. As I said before, people love to talk about themselves, and it’s sometimes hard to stop them when they get into their problems.

This is what we want.

If you talk too much it will bore your prospects. They will become quickly disengaged and any good impact you made will be severely compromised towards the end of the demo – that’s how the mind works.

They will mostly remember the opening and ending (primacy – recency effect), so how you finish is important.

So what I mean by selling less? Sell only what is important, what is specific to them. The vehicle to knowing this is silence.

…Be silent and let them speak about their problems in full, tailor your pitch to be relevant
…be silent and let them explain why they need a solution that you offer
…be silent and let them explain to you how the product fits into their processes and tech stack
…be silent when you present your price, let them internally battle with their need to get over the fence

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