The most successful salespeople I know don’t play the numbers game. They don’t have to. Their closing ratio is through the roof! I bet you know folks like this. And I bet you wonder how these people are able to sell just as much as anyone else given half the number of prospects. So how do they do it?

1. Use Storytelling

First, successful sales closers are storytellers. They don’t bore prospects with facts and figures, features and benefits. Notice I didn’t say they don’t USE those things. Instead…

You’ve seen this your whole life. You may have even stopped realizing you’re being sold things through storytelling.

Apple is one company that does a phenomenal job at storytelling to sell their products. Here’s one of my favorite Apple commercials called “Misunderstood”. Notice there are no spoken words here. The features and benefits of the iPhone and Apple TV are told through the story. Can you tell what they are?



2. Get Reviews

I don’t know about you, but when I start researching products and services online, I place a high value on reviews. There’s not much I buy these days without scrolling through both positive and negative feedback. I want to know what I’m getting myself into.

The same goes for salespeople and their companies. If your prospects are researching you at all, they WILL be looking for and paying attention to any reveiws you’ve garnered.

I’ll be the first to admit that review gathering is something we tried to do in the past at Southern States Insurance with little success. I’ve learned a lot since then.

How we’re improving our reviews gathering efforts this time around…

A couple of years ago, I was so focused on trying to send new clients to Yelp and Yelp only. We got plenty of reviews, but they kept disappearing. Then I discovered that Yelp has a “sophisticated” way of identifying and erasing reviews from people who appear to have signed up for Yelp just to leave one review.

This time, we’re approaching it differently. The idea came from Copyblogger’s article about improving search rankings for local businesses.

Every new client we bring on will receive an email asking for them to review us online. The important thing here is that we’re going to give them choices:

  • Google+
  • Yelp
  • Kudzu
  • AngiesList

Just by giving our clients options, I think our hit ratio on reviews will increase dramatically. Stay tuned to find out.

3. Get Published

Imagine this…You’re in a meeting with your prospect. They mention that they’re having a tough time renewing their clients in this economy when competition is high. You leave the meeting and email them a helpful blog post you wrote called How To Renew More Clients In A Hard Market.

BAM! You’re suddenly seen as an expert in their eyes. Someone they can trust. An authority in the business world.

If you don’t have your own blog, ask your company if you can contribute to theirs. If you ARE your company, check out WordPress, the #1 blogging platform. Don’t overthink it. It’s really not that hard.

JUST GET STARTED!

4. Create Social Proof

Peer pressure is alive and well in the business world. Now more than ever, with social sites allowing people to (passively) boast about their popularity (or following). If you’re not using sites like LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter, you should be.

Even if you haven’t written any original content yet, these sites are a treasure trove in which to connect with your target market.

Here’s a couple of ways to build your social followers:

  • Comment on content you like
  • Share content you find helpful (others will probably see value in it, too)
  • Write recommendations for people on LinkedIn

Just get active. Make a habit of spending just 20 minutes of your day connecting, commenting and sharing and you WILL see results.

BONUS TIP: Once you start writing blogs and using Google+. Register your blogs with Google Authorship and your blog posts will start showing up in search results like this…

Jim Schubert social proof using Google Authorship tag

Remember, people like doing business with other people. Having a professional picture of yourself will dramatically increase the likelihood of someone clicking on your blog post to read it.

5. Give References

One of the best closers I’ve met in the insurance industry uses references as his key closing tool. He specializes in writing churches. Anytime he get’s the feeling one of his prospects is on the fence, he gives them at least 2 or 3 names of other churches and tells them to call them as a reference. Did you hear that? He gets his OWN clients to close the sale for him. Brilliant!

Did that cost him anything? No. Did it take him much time? No!

Do this right now:

  1. Make a list of 3 – 5 clients in your target market who would be happy to vouch for you.
  2. Call them and ask if they mind you using them as a reference.
  3. Carry that list with you (complete with phone numbers and email addresses).

Use that list anytime you feel like the power of a trustworthy reference could help seal the deal!

Conclusion

I hope these steps have given you some inspiration to get out there and close more business. Do me a favor. Take just one of these steps and implement if for a week. Then come back here and let me know what kind of results you’re seeing by posting in the comments below.

Happy closings!



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