Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Tips to Close End of Month Copier and MFP Deals

So, for those of you who don't have bean counters that control when the end of the month closes, mine closed today. January was kind of wishy washy with three snow storms, Holiday lag and what seemed to be another overall lack of customers committing to hardware purchases or leases.  Coming down the last week of the month saw me sitting at 50%, plus I lost a deal that was signed and sealed and not yet delivered (these things happen to me also)!

Of course you have to have a plan, and it turned out that on the last day of the month I have five appointments that were worthy of closing today.  By 8:30AM, I had my first order in the bag and it was then a short trip to my second appointment.  I had seen this customer yesterday and had to come back with some revised maintenance agreements for them so that they would have all of the paperwork needed to sign.  Alas, sometimes the best laid plans of copier sales people and Administrators do not pan out.  I was promised that the signed docs would be faxed today and by the end of the day, no docs, no response to my email or phone call (maybe they left early with the another impending snow storm that was due in 18 hours). 10:15AM came out and I was in front of another customer who was also reluctant to pull the trigger on a new wide format machine, I didn't waste too much time and left the documents and stated "if you'd like to move forward, then please fax them to me".  From their I was off 12:15 lunch appointment with an existing account and after 7 months of negotiation we finally put ink on paper for two color machines!  My fifth appointment was lined up for 1:30PM and that customer also signed for another color machine. 

All in all it was a good day, I'd take three outta five all the time!!  By 2PM I was back in the office finishing up paperwork (worst, worst part of the job) and then I'm crossing my fingers that all will be approved.  I'll save the approval part on leasing for another blog.

Back to the topic, and here's my 5 points why I was able close the three deals:

1. On previous appointments and phone calls I stated my intention that we need to get this done by the 25th, it was the end of the month, I needed to write the business to stay on track with what my company requires from me.  It's honest, upfront and to the point, the customer knows you are there to get the order signed.

2. I prepared all of my paperwork the night before for all 5 accounts.

3. I had also prepared alternate sales orders just in case I was thrown a curve, too me sales is similar to chess, you always have to be thinking a couple of moves ahead and be prepared for something unexpected.

4. I made a mental list of possible objections for each and account and was prepared for them with the appropriate response (yup and I had to use two of them for two different customers).

5. I listened to the customer and clammed up after I presented a close.  Used this once, the other deals pretty much closed themselves. You always need to listen more than you talk and then you need to shut the trap after the closing statement. We all know the first person who speaks loses.

Thank goodness the month is over, alas it starts all over tomorrow and we always remember you're only as good as your last month.

-=Good Selling=-

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