I’m going to set the stage before I tell you the best way to close a sale.  

First of all, you need to understand that closing a sale is a process, not an event.  Second, if you want to increase the number of sales you close, you need to start with the best possible prospects.  It is highly probable that your very best next sales will come from a current, happy and satisfied customer. The next best source for finding that sale will come by way of a referral from a happy and satisfied customer.  With that background, here is the best way to close your next sale.

  1. Make a habit of regularly visiting your current and past customers.  Ask the appropriate questions to ensure they are happy with the products and services you have provided them.  If they are dissatisfied in any way, do whatever it takes to make things right. No one can afford to have an unhappy customer.  The level of satisfaction from your customer base, in large part, influences your future sales success. Once you know they are happy, probe for any new opportunities to provide products and services.  If they have a need, the sale is automatic. Why would they buy from anyone else if they are happy with you?

  2. If your probing for opportunities comes up dry, ask for referrals to companies that they know, who could possibly use your products or services.  Prime the pump a bit by giving them some ideas of the types of companies that would make good referrals. It might be their customers or suppliers.  It could be companies that make similar products, or provide similar services. When you receive a referral, the relationship that they have with the company they referred carries over to you.  People make buying decisions based on relationships more than any other reason. Your happy and satisfied customer will do a much better job selling you and your products or services to the company they referred you to than you ever will.

  3. Set the stage with every sale you make. Tell them if they buy from you, and if you have met their needs and made them happy, then you will be asking them for referrals.  Let them know you will make regular contact with them to discover other opportunities to provide the products and services they need. Suggest that no one else will take care of them with the same concern and understanding that you will provide.  Be bold and tell your customers you will work hard to earn their business for life.

The odds of closing a sale with a happy and satisfied customer are greater than ninety percent.  The odds of closing a sale with a referral from a happy and satisfied customer are more than fifty percent.  The likelihood of closing a sale with a “cold call” is less than ten percent. If you want to increase you success by closing more sales, start with the best opportunities.  If you haven’t realized it already, all sales opportunities are not equal.