If you have not glanced at an article about closing a sale in the digital age, over the past 24 hours – pat yourself on the back. You may have discovered the end of the Internet rainbow; swam past the Bermuda triangle of reminders on everything is connected, digitally.
Let us take stock of the situation here. You are reading this article on an electronic device. You are almost half a cyborg. Should you even be reminded about living in a digital age?
But, here is something that may interest you.
The art of closing a sale has not really changed.
Back to the basics of the future
The digital age has been transforming your sales prospecting strategy, your sales cycle, your sales funnel and your sales kit. Probably, even the favorite tie you wear for sales meetings. The expectations of your customers may be evolving too. It’s no longer about having a great interaction with them. It’s about crafting a memorable journey for them
But the fundamental principles that guide how to close a sale – well that has remained unchanged for decades.
How do we know this?
Future-ready since the 60s
Don Draper is the lead character from a wildly successful TV series – ‘Mad Men’ – that gives you front-row seats to the lives of people working for an ad agency during the 1960s.
Even though the show ended in 2015, it remains contextual even today; especially to new-age salespeople.
It is primarily because Don Draper helps in reimagining and simplifying the art of closing a sale. If there is one lesson to be learned from him, it is to remind yourself that people are buying the sales experience as much as they are the actual product or service.
Whether in person or through a sales app, your customers are yearning for a memorable experience. So, you must either solve a problem, improve a situation or create unexpected value. Before that, you must understand their needs. Then, they will grow confident in what you are selling.
As you may already know, timing is everything. When you walk through the front door of the customer, you must be equipped to give them what they have come to expect, if not more. Anything less and you may have lost them to a competitor.
Especially, in today’s data-hungry digital world, where there is no excuse to be unprepared. Gaining access to customer expectations is as easily-available as tapping a button or taking a swipe.
Once you unravel their pain areas, discover their growth opportunities and ideate their business outcomes, you have all the tools to convince them. With access to new and exciting technologies, literally, at your fingertips – the whole process of closing a sale is easier than ever before.
Not all constants are subject to change
Knowing what customers want is, however, only half the battle.
Where there is firepower, there also needs to be a strategy. That is how battles are won.
It is also where Don Draper comes in.
In ‘Mad Men’, Don knew how and when to sell these experiences; to pick the opportune moments. Quite simply, in the words of another famous Don, “to make an offer they cannot refuse”. Sometimes he walked away. Other times, he sold more than what was asked. He epitomized that not all constants are subject to change.
Unless the cyborg apocalypse dawns as humans turn into titanium sentinels, there is a very good chance the art of landing of a sale will rest in the type of experience you provide to customers.
If anything, there are more dangers in losing them, given the how fiercely-saturated a shrinking world can be. Nobody is competing on features and benefits anymore. Your competitors have put all their eggs into the experience basket too.
Here’s a checklist of five questions to get cracking on closing a sale without worrying about the unpredictable quagmire of living in the digital age:
- Have you done the research on your customers’ expectations, pain points, and focus areas?
- Do you have the relevant content and data on why you are in the best position to them?
- Do you share their vision on what is best for their business?
- How can you make them feel like your no. 1 priority?
- Can you passionately convey the great experience you can provide?
From Texas to Timbuktu, during the 1800s or the next millennium, your answers will help you make a strong sales pitch.
The times may be changing across the physical and the artificial world but your success story as a salesperson will depend on the certainty of human expectations.
Like Don Draper once said, “Change is neither good nor bad, it simply is”.