Women in Sales Blog

How to Prep before a Closing Call: Ask Yourself these Questions before you Get on a "Closing Call"

Posted by Jan 22, 2014 10:47:39 AM Ali Powell

Prep before you have your ":closing call." More than other calls you have in the sales process as an inside sales rep you need to prep more than ever for this call. If you have done a good job along the way at the sales process this call should be very natural and come easily. You should have an idea of what will happen in this call. Make predictions as to how you think that this call will go so  you are prepared with things that might come up. negotiation_in_the_sales_process-1

Before a "closing call" I will do these things:

  • Go back through the opp in my CRM to make sure I have everything in order. 
  • I need to know why we are having this call. If I don't know why I am having the call then I probably have not done a good job at the sales process before this. I missed something...
  • Go through your notes from each call and activity records to make sure you remember everything. 
  • Come up with your own assumptions as how the call will go and write those things down on a note pad so you can remember to talk about them. 

A Closing call can go two ways:

1. Either it is timely, they believe they are a good fit and they are ready to get going. In this case this call should be used to tie up any loose ends with the company before getting started with you. 

  • Make sure that your prospect understands what happens when you get off the phone. 
  • Make sure that he or she knows what will happen when they sign on the dotted line. You want the sales process to be a good reflection of how they will interact with your company after they get started.
  • Talk about how they want to pay and make sure you know the process internally with that company on how they will get started. Cross everything off your list here. Make sure you know everything you can about their internal processes and what should happen from here on your end and their end. 
  • Be as helpful as possible. 
  • Talk to that person for as long as you need to. Make sure they are comfortable with everything. 

2. It is not timely and for some reason they have decided not to go with you. If you have done a good job at the different parts of your sales process up until now then you sholud be talking about ways to make this work in the future. If you have not done a good job at every step in the sales process then they might just tell you they are not going with you. At that moment you should know you have not done your best with them. 

  • It is your job early in the sales process as a sales person to make sure they are a good fit and need your help. You should have qualified them that they need your help, want your help and you actually can solve their problems with your product or service.
  • If you get to this call and they tell you they aren't going with you, you likely have not done this yet. This is your fault, not theirs. 
  • Look at yourself always and your process before you tell the prospect that they are wrong for not going with you. 
  • Once again, be helpful. Stay on the phone with them and hear them out. Listen to why they aren't going with you and think through it with them. if you see something they aren't seeing tell them about it and tell them why you think that way.

Things to think about on a "closing call" so you don't forget anything that could help you close the deal now or in the future: 

1. Do they think they are a good fit for your service or product?

  • Why?
  • Let them explain it to you. 
  • Do they fully understand what goes into using your product or service in general? Can they tell you that without you telling them?

2. Recap what you have spoke about up until this call. 

  • Do they agree with your points?
  • Do they have anything to add?
  • Ask really good questions and clarify their questions or thoughts.

3. Understand where they are in the process. Don't assume that just because this call is supposed to be where they tell you they are ready to buy that they are. They might not be...

  • Make sure that you are both on the same page with what this conversation is going to be. 
  • Ask the prospect or potential customer where they are in the process.
  • Figure out what you can do to help their decision making process if anything. 

4. Ask them if they have everything they need to know from you to make a good, educated decision. 

  • Your job is to be helpful at all times. 
  • If you don't ask them if they need anything else they might not tell you. 
  • Think of things on your own based off of what they are saying that might help them understand different parts of your offering better than they do now. 

5. If they are deciding not to go with you now but might want to in the future get all the facts about what you are both doing from here to move this forward.

  • Back up again and ask the prospect if they agree they are a great fit for what you solve for. 
  • Ask them if they definitely want to use your service or product? 
  • Ask them if they had the resources in place, or had the budget, or had whatever it is that is leading them not to be able to buy now - would they use your product or service if they had those things?
  • Expose what will happen when you get off the phone. 
  • When will you be talking again? Why?
  • What are they going to do between now and "then" where this will be a better fit for them to get started with you then?how_to_be_nice_in_the_sales_process

Always be nice and be kind. If you come off harsh and taken aback on a call like this it will be reflected in your voice. Be honestly concerned and honestly wondering why they are making the decision they are making whether they have decided to get started or not. Your job is to bring on good fits for your company. If they are not ready to go or don't think they are a good fit, understand why. Take a step back and assess the situation. If you need to do more work with them to help them understand those things then do that. 

If they understand they are a good fit but just don't have the resources to do this right now. Don't pressure them. Hear them out and understand why they are saying that. If you have done a great job in the sales process you will probably agree with them. Don't think about hitting your number right at this moment. Think about being as human as possible and think about how you can help them figure this out for the future. If they want to use your service or product they will. 

When this happens and I know they want to buy but just can't for one reason or another I will:

  • Figure out what needs to happen from here for them to be able to say yes in the future and get started with me. 
  • Ask them how I can help them if at all.
  • Really listen to them and figure out ways to work with them.
  • Ask them when they think this will be more timely and how they will make it more timely. 

Here is an example: My prospect knows he is a great fit for HubSpot. But, the issue is not budget, is not that he doesn't believe in what we do, it is that he doesn't have the resources internally to do the work it takes to use our software. 

That is okay with me. I don't want people to come onto our software and not use it. That doesn't help anyone. They won't be happy. They will be paying for something they are not using. If you really know in your heart and they have told you that they want to use what you sell. They will figure it out. They will figure out ways to have that happen. 

Make sure you guide the prospect or your potential customer on how they can make this happen. If for example they need to hire someone to manage your product or service or reallocate resources then help them understand how they could do that. Ways I do this at HubSpot is by guiding them in what makes a good fit user for HubSpot. I can send them a guide line they can use when creating the job responsibilities so that they match what HubSpot does. Give them ideas to the type of person that makes a good fit for using your product. Get a sense of how long they expect this to take internally and find out when you should reach back out. 

Make sure that when you get off of a closing call (whether it went in your favor or not) that you know what you need to do from here. Make sure you fully understand what needs to happen from here. And more than anything stay HUMAN and be real. Do not  be salesy. Be helpful, honest and make opinions based on what they are telling you. Think about if what they are saying makes sense. If it does then you have usually done a good job in the sales process. It is now on the prospect to tell you that they are a good fit and are ready to get started. :) 

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Topics: sales process, women in sales, timely sales opportunities, timely sales process, closing call strategies

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