Yes – party time.
In this post we are going to talk about my favorite part of business – closing the deal. This can also be the hardest and most adrenaline filled stage of the game, so I want to make sure it's easy to understand and formulaic.
It honestly is not that bad. And no matter what Alec says, sometimes the leads are, in fact, weak.
By now you've read through the rest of the B2B series and you're collecting a ton of prospects though your networking and inbound marketing. Maybe you've turned into a cold call terminator and are, at this very minute, putting a down payment on your new Porsche.
For the rest of us, I want to talk about what to DO with those leads.
The short answer: close them.
In this post we're going to talk about:
- Establishing the connection
- Asking questions
- Presenting your product the right way
- Overcoming obstacles
- Sending proposal
- The Follow up
- The close
This is a combination of sales and good business operations. You do not need to mirror Boiler Room to be able to do this.
Here we go.
Establishing the Connection
Here's the scene – you've done your lead generation work and you have a pile of business cards on your desk and emails in your inbox. What do you do next?
First – you need to remember 2 principles of sales:
- A guy don't come on the lot unless he's looking to buy
- You must believe that you will make this person's life better with your product
I say this because if you have their info, they WANT to hear from you. They are interested in apps and the solution you could offer (assuming you didn't just scrape these names from a database somewhere, which is unethical, btw).
You need to make the first step and establish the connection. This is another way of saying you need to introduce yourself and your product offering. You have 3 options:
- Email – send the person an email. 9/10 times this is to get them on the phone.
- Phone call – pick up the phone and call them. The first call is more about saying hello than selling. More on this later.
- In person – swing down and say hello if they are local. Usually it's better to schedule a time to do this, but it can work.
I'd recommend emailing your leads and setting up a time to call. In your email include the following:
- A BRIEF introduction + sentence that makes them know this is a personal email (mention something specific to them)
- Explain that you're excited to share some ways your app product can dramatically boost their business
- Give a free tip. Example: “One idea I have off the top of my head is to use push notifications to remind your patients about upcoming appointments. We've seen this increase rebookings by 30% for patients with other dentists.”
- Offer 3 potential times to chat on the phone and say it will not be more than 10 minutes long
- Thank them for reading.
The goal of this connection is to create a time for the prospect to like YOU, like the PRODUCT and to BELIEVE it will help them.
So how does this happen?
2. Asking Questions
Sales gets a bad rap (rightly so in many cases). But the best sales reps will tell you that selling is not about telling, it's about asking questions.
This is what you need to be thinking about when you walk into your meeting (or phone call). You're going to spend 75% of your time finding out what the prospects EXACT problems are and listening to what is causing them issues.
When you get on the phone, say hello and thank the person for taking the time. One sentence I love using after the initial banter is:
“I'm really excited to tell you all about this, but instead of talking your ear off, I'd love to hear about your current business and what issues you're facing.”
This really opens up the conversion. Some leads will be thrown off and ask a follow up like “What? Can you be more specific?” but some will instantly tell you what issues they're having. Things like:
- Not enough leads
- Not enough clients
- Not enough repeat business
Let the client talk and tell you everything that's going on with their biz. LISTEN. Take notes.
When they're done, you acknowledge that you heard them and rephrase what they just said. Something like:
“You know, it's amazing how someone can have such a great business but people somehow can't seem to find you. I've seen this happen so many times. That's why I'm so passionate about this app solution – it's the most effective way I've ever seen to solve this for dentists who need more clients.”
Acknowledge – validate – solve.
3. Presenting Your Product
Now, you're up.
The client is probably on the phone or in front of you silent, waiting for you to talk. It's time to present your product.
The key here is to present RELEVANT information.
Remember those problems the client just told you about? Now you solve them. Whether it's mental notes or written notes, you should present your product in a way that literally goes down the list and solves each one.
- Problem: We're not getting enough clients
- Solution: Our custom app platform is specifically built to get professionals more clients than they get with a website alone
- Problem: We need more leads
- The mobile trend is undeniable – most people discover new services on their phone and in the app store than ever before. Did you know that XYZ percentage of people search on the app store instead of Google now?
- Problem: We can't get people to come back
- Our app platform has built in scheduling so that when they “check in” to your office, it sets off a series of timers – they'll get push notifications and targeted information about the benefits of coming back. This leads to a XYZ increase in rebooking.
See what I'm saying?
You don't want to talk about how this app can do 500 different things – you want to talk about the 3 things it does that will solve your lead's issues.
Get creative with it, but this principle is tried and true.
4. Overcoming Obstacles
Now, if it were that easy, everyone would close the deal every time. There are these little things called emotions that we need to take into consideration. In sales, these come through as “objections.”
Objections are reasons people say No.
Here's a little secret – people WANT to say yes, but are trained to say no.
Don't believe me? Think about a product you love – say your iPhone. Do you want Apple to stop innovating and developing amazing products? Do you want to stop seeing better products come out with amazing promotional videos?
Do you want Trey to stop making insanely sick game maker software?
Hell no. We all want to say Yes…to stuff we want.
But when we're not sure if it's something we want or need, we put up objections. Things like:
- Not enough money
- Too much going on
- Not in a position to make the decision
- Unsure of impact
And you better believe that your leads are going to have similar objections, especially for something that costs a good chunk of money.
Luckily, there are some bulletproof ways to overcoming objections. (If you want an amazing template for this, check out Perry's 21 step sales letter formula):
- SHOW PROOF. This is, hands down, the most effective and powerful tool you can use to overcome objections. People have a very hard time dismissing overwhelming and irrefutable proof. If you don't have proof, go get some. “We've used this app with 4 other dentists who all had a 20% increase in leads within a month of launching the app.” GAME OVER.
- USE LOGIC. “When you get one more client from this app, it will pay for itself.”
- GUARANTEE THE LOGIC. Every sales person alive uses the sentence above, not everyone guarantees it. “If you don't get a new client within 60 days, we'll refund your money.”
- MAKE IT ZERO EFFORT. “We'll setup everything, manage it and deliver you reporting each month. This will be absolutely no more effort for you or your team.”
- USE SCARCITY. I'm not a huge fan of this, but it works. “Listen, you and I both know mobile is where it's at and where it's going. Think about what the marketplace will look like in 6 or 12 months from now? If you get in now, you'll ride that wave WAY further than your competitors.”
This is the hardest part of sales because underneath all this is the core truth that your prospect has to believe you.
The more you can use these tactics to overcome objections, the more prepared you will be.
5. Sending the Proposal
Unless the lead flat out says “Do not contact me again” you should always leave the first conversation saying “I want to send you a proposal.” It doesn't matter if they're not interested or very interested – you always want to keep it going.
(Side note, if they're ready to buy, close the deal. Don't be an idiot.)
The proposal should include:
- An overview of everything you talked about
- An overview of how the app/product will solve their problems and have a big benefit on their company
- Exact functions and deliverables
- Contact info
Usually the proposal is a friendly way of sending over a price, but it's still important to show people that you're legit.
Make sure your proposal looks great! Well designed, well formatted and tailored to who you're sending it to. I can tell you that when I was selling websites to lawyers, one of the biggest swings happened when I started making my proposals look REALLY tight.
Here are some tips for sending a proposal:
- Send it about 8 business hours after the discussion – long enough that it shows you took some time to work on it, but not long enough where it feels like you forgot about them. This means if you chat at 4pm, wait until 3pm the next day.
- DOUBLE CHECK for names, details and information to make sure you've got everything for the right person.
- Clearly show all the benefits that the lead will receive when they become a client
Send it over via email and include a note that says “I'll drop a line in a few days to check in.” Don't say “Let me know what you think.” That's not offense. That's you putting them in control…and you'll lose the sale.
Now wait 48 hours.
6. The Follow Up
This part is straightforward – if you haven't heard back from the client (and you've waited 48 hours), send over an email asking them if they have any questions.
Re-iterate that you're excited to make this happen and would love to get things turned on. It's also good to remind them that it's 100% risk free.
Don't be too pushy here. It's important that you give them space to make a decision, but you still want to reinforce how much this will help their business.
Here's a good example:
Imagine your friend doesn't believe in umbrellas. He thinks they're a sham and people who use them are idiots for wasting their money.
Yet he lives in Seattle, Washington where it rains a lot. Each day he goes to work with a raincoat and gets soaked.
You sell umbrellas. You see your friend getting soaked every day. If he bought your umbrella, he would walk into work dry as a bone each day. His life would improve more than he can imagine.
Imagine you sat down with him and explained to him all the benefits of the umbrella. You went through the objections he has and even sent him an email that told him all these points again + how ridiculously good the price is in terms of the ROI he would get.
48 hours later you hit him up to see if he's interested in the umbrella.
How would you approach him? Probably with a sense of “Ok, I REALLY want him to get an umbrella, but at this point if he doesn't get it…this is just a waste of my time.”
You wouldn't try to force it down his throat.
The same is true with your B2B app business.
That's how you should feel about your follow up – you want to close this, but you're also not interested in wasting anyone's time (especially your own).
Which brings us to…
7. The Close
This can happen any time in the lifecycle and it's important to be prepared for it. You'll definitely get some people that know what they want and are ready to buy within 10 minutes of talking to you the first time.
Hell, sometimes people will email YOU and say “hey where do I buy this?”
Closing the deal is all about 3 things:
- Having a system in place to “start the onboarding process.” Usually this involves getting a deposit and filling out some sort of form. You'll notice when you watch any of those movies about sales, whenever someone closes a deal, they send it over to someone to “take the details” – billing, legal, logistics.
- Making sure you're both crystal clear on the terms. Even if someone says they're ready to do this, make sure you both have a written document (proposal) that lists off everything. I can't tell you how many people have said they want to do a deal then called me right before they send the check and say “Hey, can you also do XYZ?”
- Setting up your relationship management. For a long time I thought getting the check meant I would feel relaxed and excited. While it definitely does, it also makes you realize you now have responsibilities. Without a system setup to nurture the relationship, you're going to have a hard time keeping the momentum going.
Closing the deal is super fun and really exciting! Plus it's a huge accomplishment for anyone who's in a B2B business.
But it's also the beginning of your operations system, which we will discuss in future posts 🙂
ABC – Now You're Making Money!
Congratulations! You're now making money in your B2B app business. You've gone through a huge part of the life cycle and you'e got money coming in the door.
The next sections of this B2B series, we'll talk about how you systematize your business and scale it to the moon.
Here's a quick action item for you:
Go get sold on something. Seriously – I would recommend a web firm for professionals (or another B2B field) and pretend you are new to the business and need a website.
Fill out a lead form and catalog the process. Take notes on THEM on how often they contact you, the language they use, the questions they ask. You'll see how much of it overlaps with what we laid out above.
Here's a link to Post 7 – Delivery Service (click here)