If you’re an SDR or BDR, you’re on the front lines with prospects gathering information and booking meetings or demos for your AE. You have the first close and it’s often the most important, without your close there is no sale. So, let’s talk about a few tips for transitioning to close on your sales calls.
First thing to know, the close can happen at any time. We need to be prepared on the first call, at the first objection, or after the first question. We also have to be sure we are setting the AE up for success by capturing the right information. This is a fine line to walk, but baby, we can do it!
Let’s set the scene, you have finally gotten through to the right prospect and they are actually engaging with you (eek!). I know it’s tempting to book that meeting immediately, but it’s important that we use this opportunity to make the next meeting beneficial for the prospect and easy for the AE. So, take a deep breath, it’s time to ask some questions. The goal in the “explore” process is to ask as many questions and gather as much info for your AE as possible.
As we’re talking to our prospect, we need to keep an eye out for Buying Signals and Buying Signs. Both are important, but they’re also different.
Buying Signals are statements that show intent to buy. They are usually geared around the use, implementation, function, or delivery of your product or service. They can sound like “how does it work?”, “How much is it?”, “Is the delivery face-to-face, is it virtual, or is it blended?”, or “My team is scattered across the country, how would you introduce it?”. All of these questions (and more) show your prospect is envisioning themselves using your product. They are all VERY strong Buying Signals. Once you hear the Buying Signals, it’s time to transition to the close!
Buying Signs, on the other hand, are a bit demurrer. They show that your prospect could be on the road to buying, but they aren’t there just yet (which is where your AE comes in to seal the deal). Buying Signs show just a glimmer of possibility. There could be a bit of discontent, a hint of interest, or maybe an upcoming change in management. Pro Tip: always start with the positive when you are asking about a current provider. “Tell me what you like about your current _________.” Then, dive into the areas of opportunity (aka the things they don’t like). Buying Signs show that you are heading in the right direction. Think of them as a puzzle, use the information you learn to connect the pieces together for the client. Once they start asking you questions, it’s time to transition to the close!
Okay, so now it’s time to close! The client has shown interest, is asking questions, and they’re fully engaged. What do I do now? Be cool, man! People don’t like to be “sold.” So, don’t be a jerk. Be casual, but also direct. You want to be conversational and relate to what they are asking, while also letting them know you’re not the right person for those specifics. As they start asking questions, you can say things like “You know, my AE would be perfect to answer these questions. You should grill him about it, let him earn his paycheck.” or, “Man, my AE, Joe, would have all the answers to your questions. Why not put him through the paces.”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, my FAVORITE transition is the “Which Pitch”. This gets them to look at their calendar without asking them to do it! “You know, these are all really great questions and I want to be sure you get the right answers. It looks like my AE has 1pm open on either Tuesday or Thursday. Which works for you? Let’s book 45 min to be sure we can cover all of your questions.”
Now, the meeting is booked and you’re flying high, but you’re not done yet! Now it’s time to start asking clarifying questions. We want to be sure that the prospect’s questions are getting answered and that you are setting your AE up for success. A couple of my favorite lines are:
“I want to make sure this meeting is a valuable use of your time. Can I ask a few rapid-fire questions to help make sure Joe has all of the information you need?”
“I want Joe to be on his game for you. Tell me….”
Pro Tip: Always Ask! “All other things aside, what is the #1 thing you want to learn on the call with Joe?”
Alright, we’re nearing the finish line. You’ve booked the meeting. You’ve squeezed as much info as possible out of your call. What’s next? Now, you need to make sure they show up! There are a few ways we can do this:
- Always send a calendar invite. Do it on the phone if you can, if not, then send it IMMEDIATELY after you hang up. You want to still be fresh in their mind!
- Send a reminder email: “Joe is really looking forward to connecting with you tomorrow at 1pm.” (a little guilt can be useful, 😉)
- Give the customer an action item: “Don’t forget to bring your wish list to the meeting with Joe tomorrow.”
- Send a video. A company like BombBomb can make videos fun, quick, and easy to send!
- Text! As you’re getting off the call, offer your cell, “In case anything comes up before the meeting…” Then in the next breath, ask for theirs. Then send a simple text reminder the day before or morning of the meeting (within business hours, of course).
You did it! You got the prospect on the phone, you booked the meeting, you squeezed all of the information out of them, and then you followed up to ensure they actually showed up to the meeting with your AE. Phew! You are a rockstar! Now, let’s do it all again…
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