“A guy don’t walk into the lot unless he’s willing to buy.” The immortal words of Alec Baldwin have become part of a motivational mantra known as “Always Be Closing”, the ABCs of selling.
Prioritizing closing the sale at every stage can help to enhance your sales strategy and get more customers to sign on the dotted line.
How does it work? We’re glad you asked!
Closing: a huge challenge for today’s MSPs
Closing the deal is the most important part of the sales process. After all, finding leads, having foundational sales calls, demoing your technology or getting additional stakeholders on board means nothing if you can’t ultimately seal the deal. By the time you get to the close, you should be confident that the customer is ready to sign. And yet, for MSPs, closing is an increasingly difficult challenge.
Chris Wiser, founder and CEO of 7-figure MSP comments that every day he hears from MSPs and IT business owners that they are struggling to close deals. “It doesn’t seem to matter how many leads they have – some people have tons…some have none…but the single constant I see is a lack of a solid, consistent sales delivery process.”
Tips for getting into the “Always Be Closing” mentality
So, how can you use the idea of “Always Be Closing” to help close more customers for your own MSP business? Daniel Pink, social and behavioral science expert and business guru suggests six top tips.
Always be prepared: Be ready to sell yourself and your business at all times. You never know who you will meet, even when you’re off the clock. Being prepared means anything from making sure that your website is fully up to date, to ensuring you have relevant references or reviews on your LinkedIn profile.
Utilize urgency: When you talk about the deal, describe it with urgency. That means ensuring your prospects realize they are getting a once in a lifetime opportunity by working with you. This motivates them to buy now, rather than wait until later. You could do this by offering a time-sensitive deal or discount on your services.
Leverage FOMO: Heard of Fear of Missing Out? This is a way to utilize urgency, and explain what they would be missing if they didn’t sign with you. By mapping their environment using a tool like Network Discovery, you can speak from a place of knowledge and explain exactly what you’re offering, which they wouldn’t have if they don’t sign.
Come armed with solutions: Closing a sale means having answers to objections. Most customers will have fears about committing to a managed service provider, and it’s part of your role to recognize these ahead of time and have ready solutions. If you think cost is going to be the problem, have payment options available. If the issue is scope of services, create smart integrations and partnerships that you can leverage in a modular way.
Don’t force the sale: Sometimes, too much pressure can put a potential client off. Make sure you’re giving the customer the space to think things through themselves, and come to an independent decision that they want to work with you. There’s nothing wrong with a day or two of consideration time. Over time you’ll get a gut feeling whether it’s time to push or retreat.
Know when you’re wasting your time: Part of the ABCs means knowing when it’s time to walk away. If you can see that the customer is not interested, don’t take it personally! Not all prospects will be a good fit, and wasting more time trying to force it won’t get you anywhere. As Daniel Pink says, “Sometimes it’s more efficient to look for new prospects or ideas, rather than pursuing a bad lead.”
Is Always Be Closing too pushy for today’s customers?
If the idea of Always Be Closing doesn’t sit right with you, you may be associating it with a certain style of salesperson who doesn’t take no for an answer. It definitely doesn’t have to come across that way, as you can see with Daniel Pink’s advice above, but some MSPs and businesspeople have amended the ABCs to the ABHs: Always Be Helping.
This is a more subtle way of approaching sales, and involves explaining your value to the potential client with continual support and guidance. Ideas include:
Providing free advice: Offer helpful social media posts that solve common IT issues, or a free discovery call where you can discuss a customer’s most pressing challenges before they sign. In this way they see your value ahead of time.
Listen hard: When you’re talking to a prospect, you shouldn’t be talking that much at all. Instead try to listen to what they need, only asking clarifying questions where necessary. Hearing what the prospect needs is half the battle, allowing you to come up with the right solutions.
Utilize a trial: Some customers just need to see the value before they are willing to close. Offer some kind of trial process or provide a feature trial, such as running a Network Discovery scan, or completing some break/fix tasks so they can see your working style and communication before making a longer-term commitment.
Always Be Helping and Always Be Closing are really the same mantra, both meant to motivate businesspeople to keep their eye on the prize, and recognize that the most important thing is getting that all-important signature on the dotted line. With the right technology stack and smart and skilled people on your team, you should feel confident that you’re providing value to the customer, and so a win for your business is a win for your customers, too.
Believe in yourself, and remember, coffee is for closers!
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