The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    9 Steps To Close More Sales

    by Kristi Shoemaker / August 8, 2011

    Today's Sales Coaching Blog is written by our friend and EcSELL Institute Pillar Partner, Tony Cole, President of Anthony Cole Training Group. Lean more from Tony at our August 29 Sales Management Webinar where he will show you how to identify the symptoms of a dysfunctional, under performing sales team and then how to motivate sales people and restore your sales performance health.


    "9 Steps to Help Your Salespeople Close More Sales"
    Includes sample qualifying questions and closing questions.

    By Tony Cole, President & CEO, Anthony Cole Training Group

    There are typically three things that a Sales Manager should help his/her salespeople improve and these include (1) see moreTony Cole, Anthony Cole Training Group people, (2) manage their time better and (3) close more business.

    Years ago, I was taught that “the close” is an affirmation of the conversations a salesperson has had with the prospect. The problems arise if the qualifying steps were not as strong as they needed to be to set up the closing in an effective way.

    Let's do a quick recap how you should coach your rep in preparation of the qualifying process and prior to a salesperson showing up for the close.  Ask them have they:

    • Built a relationship based on confidence and trust
    • Identified the motivation or compelling reason for the prospect to take action
    • Had the prospect tell them that they wanted to fix a problem or that they need a currently unrealized benefit
    • Come to an agreement with the prospect that they will invest time, money and resources to fix the problem
    • Agree to a decision making process that includes:
      1. The salesperson providing a solution that fits their specifications
      2. The salesperson offering a solution that is within their budget
      3. The salesperson answering all of their questions
      4. The prospect agreeing to be prepared to make a decision of yes or no
    • Sent an “as we agreed to” letter
    • Followed up the “as we agreed to” letter with a phone call confirming the contents of the letter

    If, in fact, the salesperson has done these things, then the close should be an affirmation of everything that they’ve already agreed to. If the salesperson has not executed on these items, there will be trouble at the time of close.

    Here are the 9 steps that will help every salesperson close more sales:

    1. Make sure that every step noted above in the qualifying process is executed
    2. Prepare to be dazzling. Salespeople must prepare completely for the call.  They should find their sales manager or their co-worker and role play the call.  They should not leave the office to go to the appointment until they have done a run through 
    3. Review with the prospect the reason for the meeting and presentation:
      • There is a problem that needs to be solved
      • There is an agreed to investment to solve the problem
      • There will be a decision today to either solve the problem or not solve the problem (They will tell the salesperson yes or no)
    4. Place their 3-page presentation in front of the prospect:
      • Page 1 - cover sheet
      • Page 2 - list of problems identified in the qualifying process
      • Page 3 - list of salesperson’s solutions to their problems
    5. Ask the prospect which problem they want to discuss first
    6. Provide the solution and answer all of their questions
    7. Ask the prospect to rate the solution such as, "On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being perfect, 1 not an option, which is it?”   If it is 7 or better, the salesperson is in good shape, but if the prospect does not have all of the information they need, they will now have to ask them "What information do you need to get to a 10?"
    8. Proceed through each solution in the same manner
    9. When all of their solutions have been presented, they should ask the question, "What would you like to do now?"

    If a salesperson has followed the qualifying steps above and executed these 9 closing steps, they will get a decision. But remember, a decision can be yes or a no.  Certainly every salesperson wants to hear ‘”yes” but they should consider a “no” a good option as they are not left with “I’ll think it over,” which is the worst answer a salesperson can get. 


    Check our our August Sales Coaching Webinar, feature Tony Cole, President of Anthony Cole Training Group.  Tony was an instructor at our Spring 6 Pillars of Sales Productivity Workshop. We are thrilled to bring him back to share another perspective on sales management.

    "The 5 Dysfunctions of Most Sales Teams"
    August 29 Webinar
    10 PST /12 CST / 1EST
    Learn more and register online.



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    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi is a marketing communications and public relations expert with over 30+ years of experience in a variety of industries. She was an integral part of EcSell's go-to-market strategy and execution from 2008 - 2012. Kristi enjoys taking a holistic approach by integrating all the key marketing disciplines to create synergies that generate maximum results. She is currently the president of KLS Consulting in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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