How to get lead responses with virtual close?
Virtual Closing is not a revolutionary technique or specific hack for closing sales. It’s a very simple method to take control of trading in a consultative way.
In fact, being consultative is great, but if you don’t have the slightest aggressiveness to confront the reality of your lead, you won’t be able to win it. Especially in outbound.
In fact, most salespeople do little confrontation with their leads and ask about closing too late. Many salespeople are afraid to hear no and that turns out to be their Achilles’ heel.
It’s time for you to change your method of closing accounts, being consultative and aggressive at the same time!
Today, third Flipchart Friday, we’re here to talk about the questions you should be asking throughout your sales process.
In particular, we are going to talk about what Steli Efti calls Virtual Close, or translating it to our Portuguese, Virtual Close.
What is the logic of virtual closure?
Throughout the entire sales process, you need to ensure that the lead will actually close with you don’t you?
So, one of the biggest questions for every salesperson is when he should be aggressive and when he should generate rapport. The big fear and this is a natural fear for every salesperson, is losing a lead.
In this case, we have to remember what is the worst response you can get from a lead: the maybe. Why the maybe?
Because it makes you fall into your biggest mistake, which is taking too long to receive a no. It’s better to get a quick no than a no-long one.
No delay means that you will spend a lot of time doing follow-ups and trying to talk to the lead, reducing your operational efficiency, your results and, of course, increasing your cost of customer acquisition (CAC).
On this path, what do we have to do? We have to become as productive, efficient and effective as possible.
Always Be Closing
The logic of virtual closing says, precisely, that you have to be always closing. It is the ABC, Always B, and Closing or is always seeking closure.
We take the logic of ABC from a very good movie, Glengarry Glen Ross, which is Portuguese is The Success at Any Price.
In the film, Alec Baldwin talks about ABC and the logic spread to most of the people who understood the concept.
ABC assumes that every time you talk to the lead you have to be trying to close with him.
The consultative selling model and the solution commitment
Within a consultative selling model, it is very common for the salesperson to start closing, but be afraid to put the lead against the wall.
You have to understand, all the time, that you are talking to someone. You have to understand her side, understand what she is going through, but more than that, you have to generate strong commitments to her.
Commitments are a two-way street, meaning you have a commitment to deliver something, whether it’s a proposal, a contract, or even more information during the purchasing process.
The lead is committed to aligning the timeline and sticking to that timeline.
If you cannot stay within the agreed timeline, you have to understand what is the correct way to generate the best result and how to readjust that purchase timeline.
How to avoid the maybe or not with virtual close?
This is very common to happen and you have probably already been through a situation like this.
I call a lead, talk to him, qualify him, understand what is happening, present the problems, he understands them and I present the solution that will solve these problems.
Upfront, after he receives the proposal, he asks for a week to respond.
A week later, he’ll say he had something unforeseen. Maybe he doesn’t show up at the call, maybe he sends an email or a message saying that he will need more time and that he won’t be able to participate in the call that day.
You look for the lead and ask what is the next day they can talk. He disappears, doesn’t answer for a while, or he answers and asks for another week, or he says that the project has been postponed, that he has to wait for the month to turn, and so on.
Do you know why this happens? Because you are not asking the virtual closing question correctly.
That’s the winning question. You have to understand that, throughout your process, the lead needs to demonstrate what the actual purchase path is, what the remaining purchase journey is for them to become a customer.
Why do we put 4X here? Because that’s the number we’ve found as a reference for the minimum number of times you need to ask this question for a lead.
If the rapport was generated correctly, the lead is satisfied with the conversation and is opening up to you, he or she already understands the issues and is almost confiding in these issues with you. Why?
Because you understand the lead, you’re talking to him in the same language, you’re talking about things he likes to talk about or things no one else talks to him about.
He won’t want to disappoint you when you ask this question, he won’t want to answer:
So I’ll need two months to close, I don’t have the strength for that.
I have to convince my manager, I have a director who is against this right now, I want to close it, but I still have to convince them and it will be difficult.
He invested X before I joined and now he doesn’t want to make a new investment, he’s more conservative and doesn’t want to bet on something that I believe will work.
And that’s where it starts, you have to ask more questions:
Seller: So what do you need?
Lead: Ah, I need to talk internally about Tajarat.
Salesperson: Exactly who are you going to talk to internally?
So it’s just repeating the same question over and over, going deeper and acting like you’re a kid asking why. And if the answer is not satisfactory, keep asking why.
At the end of the day, you have to know if there’s anything within this process that might make the lead change his mind, that might make him change his mind.
Something that, in the end, can put this deal that was there in your forecast, that you counted on it to hit the month’s goal, down the funnel.
You, as a salesperson, want to plan the commission that will go into your pocket, and you, as a manager, need to meet the goals and have to be aligned with the company, which is why it is so important.
What are the benefits of virtual closing?
Within this logic, what is the benefit of practicing virtual close, or virtual closing?
First, I’ll be able to map the lead buying process, understand possible gaps, possible red flags where it might not work.
So, for example, when he still has to do a strong validation with a manager: why doesn’t he involve me in this validation?
As a salesperson, I have much more input about my solution and about other success stories that I can present to the manager.
I will probably talk in very clear language, in the same way, that I have talked with other managers, to ensure that we are aligned and that he also wants to close.
Perhaps, he will send the proposal to the legal department, which is external and takes a long time to respond. Then I will make a more assertive forecast and understand that, instead of closing with me in a week, it will close in two or three.
These red flags are clear with virtual closing.
And the main thing, you’ll anticipate the lead’s decision throughout the process because you’ve created a natural consistency trigger. This is precise because of expectation and commitment.
What is the expectation that you, as a salesperson, have within your process? When you look at the lead, what do you expect it to do?
What is the commitment he really made? Will it close or not? Will he make it happen or not?
Within this path, if I anticipated his decision, I made a trigger of natural consistency, in which he aligned with me what he would do, aligned that he really had that problem and that he wanted a solution.
Also, he lined up with me what he needed to do to secure confirmation, and finally, he lined up that there was nothing that could happen for him to change his mind or for us to ultimately lose that account.
That’s what the virtual closure will bring.
If you have a well-done buying mindset throughout the sale, you make it clear to the lead that, despite the friendly relationship and, as Thiago Aspira says, even though you are getting into the lead’s mind, what is happening?
The lead is still at one point in the purchase process. So, that’s your expectation and that’s the real commitment he’s making to you.
This is our third Flipchart Friday, we got some direct feedback, especially in my LinkedIn inbox, asking to talk about how to close more sales.
After a first quarter, we need to accelerate, we want to understand what are the main mistakes a salesperson makes and how I can train my salespeople as manager of Capital smart city train theirs.
Virtual closing is an excellent way to improve your team’s sales. Training everyone for this is amazing.