Close the sale on a good note.

I’ve noticed some interest on how to close a sale. It seems like a good topic. Sales isn’t really my specialty, but I think I can provide a customer service perspective on the topic.

Before you have convinced the person that buying is a good idea, here are some things to consider:

  • Don’t upsell. I talked briefly about upselling here. If you are in any sort of business where you want repeat customers, loyalty, and referrals (most businesses), don’t try to upsell customers. Suggest what you think is right for them and what you think will meet their needs.
  • Don’t hide the fees. If there are any hidden fees or something like that, don’t hide them. The price you give should include (or at least, plainly mention) any of the fees that may apply. Things like sales tax are expected, but if there is a “processing fee”, you should mention that.
  • Follow-up. If a customer shows interest, but doesn’t buy – follow-up the next day. See if they are still interested, if there are any questions you can answer, or anything you can help them with. Don’t be pushy, but simply offer to help.
  • Don’t discount. I prefer to add value instead of blatantly discounting. Throw in a free printer (instead of just taking the $50 off). However, make sure it’s something the customer wants. Ask them what they’d like and you may be surprised.
  • Address concerns. If a customer is on the fence about something, ask. Try to address those concerns.
  • Be honest. Seeing a theme? You want to be honest and build a positive relationship with the customer. Tell them what you think of various products, what you think will work for them, what the warranty covers, and so on.

These things generally help close a sale. You want to be attentive and honest. If you are those things, the sale is likely to happen.

The next question is, what do you do after the sale is closed and it’s time to check out?

  • Speedy checkout. Try to make it so your checkout processes are as speedy and streamlined as possible. Go get the box or whatever so the customer can see it and look at it while you are doing the paperwork.
  • Go over charges. Go over charges and anything else that is relevant. Highlight the number that they need to write a check for or that will be charged on their credit card.
  • Go over support options. Talk about anything they may need in terms of support, service, etc. down the road. Go over the options and how it is relevant. What’s included, what isn’t, etc.
  • Thank the customer. Obviously, you want to thank the customer for their purchase.
  • Help them if needed. Offer to help carry things to the car, wrap things, etc.
  • Thank again. You can never have enough thank you’s.

And once the customer has left the store:

  • Follow-up 1: Follow-up in about 48 hours to make sure everything was setup and in the box as expected.
  • Follow-up 2: Follow-up in about two weeks to ensure that everything is working well so far and works as expected.
  • Follow-up 3: Follow-up about a month before the expected service period (i. e. 6 months, 12 months, etc.) and make sure they’ve been happy and ask if they need any assistance.

What are your suggestions to close the sale on a good note?

3 Responses to “Close the sale on a good note.”

  1. Pete Aldin said:

    Apr 19, 07 at 8:13 pm

    Great point about upselling. I used to teach people to do this until I realised the truth about it. People will come back if they feel valued rather than feeling milked for the value (=$$) they bring you.

  2. CustomersAreAlways said:

    Apr 23, 07 at 7:30 am

    Carnivale of Customer Service: The Good Treats Edition…

    Ok, folks, you’re in for some fun rides and yummy treats for this edition of Carnivale of Customer Service. I am your host for today – although I am looking for more hosts! Today we start off with a couple……

  3. Service Untitled » Sales After Service - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Feb 06, 08 at 10:03 pm

    […] Not that long ago a reader asked me to write a post following up after a sale to thank the customer and then offer any help. This is an issue I sort of talk about in a post I wrote about closing the sale on a good note, but not exactly the same. […]