6 Unconscious Things You're Doing to Ruin Your Sales Close
By Maddy Osman on Nov 21, 2018
From prospect to opportunity (and every possible pre-customer label in between), you’ve done your due diligence. But even with all of the research, lunch meetings, proposal presentations, and verbal agreements, you still can’t get that final signature on the dotted line. What gives?
The truth is, there might be quite a bit of sabotage at play when it comes to securing that sales close. What’s even more surprising is that the one orchestrating this sabotage is most likely you.
That’s right. Your thoughts, feelings, and actions that stem from underneath the surface can greatly impact any good salesperson’s ability to finalize a deal — regardless of how many expert sales closing techniques they put into play.
Before you can change bad behaviors, you must first recognize them. These are the unconscious things you’re doing that may be ruining your sales close.
Saying it All With Body Language
It’s funny how much you can say in a conversation without actually saying anything at all. In fact, as Brian Tracy writes, “The message you convey in a sales conversation is 55% body language and nonverbal communication, 38% tone of voice, and only 7% in the words that you use”.
With this communication theory in mind, if over half of what your sales close conversations are dominated by your body’s actions, what are you really saying to a prospect?
There are a number of body language cues that can destroy a sale. For starters, think about eye contact. Maintaining a balanced level with a prospect speaks to both your confidence and engagement in their business. If you avoid it all together, you’re likely to come across as uncomfortable or disinterested.
Excessive, unconscious movements, like twitching or twirling a pen, can come also be read as disinterest, as well as indicate a level of impatience. The next time you sit down with a potential customer, pay attention to these outward cues from your body that may be sending the wrong message.
Adhering to a Scarcity Mindset
You’ve likely heard it said before that mindset is everything. Regardless of your best intentions, when your mind resolves itself to one way of thinking, your resulting actions are inevitably filtered through that same lens.
Scarcity mindset is one such way of thinking that can ultimately sabotage your sales close. It’s a glass half-empty sort of mentality that resigns itself to the idea that there’s never enough to go around. From this breeds feelings of anxiety, fear, and worst of all, hesitation.
If you’ve ever found yourself saying things like, “The market is too small” or “The number of calls I have to make this week is definitely not enough to make my quota”, you’re thinking sales scarcity thoughts. And it’s these thoughts that could be holding you back from taking risks, engaging new potential clients open-endedly — and inevitably feeding your sales close.
Overwhelmed to the Point of Sales Close Inaction
As sales closes become fewer and far between and the weight of sales quotas grows heavier and heavier, the feeling of overwhelm can hinder more than help. It could be easy to think that in these moments, pure motivation would rocket a salesperson through to the finish line — fueling their sense of urgency. But in fact, even with all odds stacked against them, the complete opposite can occur.
In his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson writes, “People [...] fall into inaction and lethargy for fear of trying something worthwhile and failing at it”. Multiply this tenfold when already up against a wall of sales close failures and you’ll start to understand how this mindset gets in the way.
Staying motivated in the face of adversity is one of the most difficult and undervalued skills to build in a profession, like sales, that surfaces rejection on the daily.
Softening Language Out of Fear of Rejection
This idea of rejection — of fearing what you expect to be the outcome — can inevitably make its way into the conversations with potential clients. Instead of confidently walking into a prospect meeting with strong ideas about what you hope to get out of it, you go in expecting the customer to lead.
This situation is realized through the softening of language. Rather than asking for what you want from a client, you tiptoe timidly around their questions and concerns.
It’s a basic shifting of phrasing. For example, “I was wondering if you had questions about the product,” leaves the potential for this conversation to stop dead in its tracks. On the other hand, “What could be improved in your team’s daily operations?” is a more direct question guided by your desire to highlight customer-relevant product offerings.
Talking Too Much
Nerves and excitement can be your worst enemy when a sales close enters your sight. As negotiations get underway, you may find yourself to be a chatty closer. However, it’s words with purpose that move a conversation forward. Words for the sake of addressing unwanted silence and perceived hesitation can unintentionally introduce doubt.
Rather than letting your emotions and assumptions get the better of you, it’s important to remember that listening will go a long way. Take lingering customer questions and concerns as they come and provide enough space in the room for prospects to find comfort in that final sales close decision.
Rationalizing the Power of Recommenders
Driven by the need to make a sales close through any possible means, you may find yourself trapped in a loop of rationalization. Specifically, with regards to who you’re selling to, you spend all of your efforts trying to convince those who have no final decision-making power.
Award-winning Sales Strategist and Author Colleen Francis says, “Recommenders are fine, they’re just not buyers. Before you invest too much time or energy, make sure the person you’re dealing with actually has the power to sign the check, spend the money and implement the solution”.
Rather than unconsciously justifying the power of recommenders to get your foot in the door at a company, remain diligent in your efforts to get in front of the person most likely to drive a sales close.
Final Thoughts: Unconscious Things You’re Doing to Ruin Your Sales Close
Sometimes, as salespeople, we’re our own worst enemies. We get inside our heads and use past experience to fuel assumptions that can inevitably hold us back from new opportunities.
To move past a rut, some of the best steps you can take are inward. Bring those unconscious things you’re doing to ruin your sales close to the forefront of your consciousness, and take hold of the idea that small changes, small yeses can lead to big sales.
With your mindset in check, make sure your productivity is set to match. With email and link tracking, and the ability to set follow-up reminders, Cirrus Insight offers the functionality you need to remain confident and get the job done.
What unconscious things have you realized are messing with your ability to close a sale? Tweet your thoughts at @CirrusInsight.