Successful selling starts BEFORE you ever enter into a selling conversation with your prospect

Your first step is crafting the structure of your selling conversation.

That means thinking through how you plan to diagnose your prospect’s problem early in the sales process so you can offer a solution that addresses their needs.

Many salespeople get caught off guard by price concerns and other things that prospects bring up simply because they have no strategy in place to prevent that from happening.

Here are 7 tips for taking control over sales conversations so that you can increase your closing rate.

1. Early diagnosis of your prospect’s major pain points and wants

Asking questions will help you achieve this important objective. And what you learn from the answers should guide the selling conversation. The person asking the questions has control over the selling conversation. If your prospect gets off track, gently steer the conversation back to continuing to discover your prospect’s pain points.

2. Create an action plan for closing the deal

Once you’ve had a chance to diagnose what your prospect’s is trying to achieve, come up with a plan for how you are going to lead him to a sale. Your plan should include a step-by-step description of how you’re going to manage the sales process. This will give you clarity and allow you to think strategically about what you want to accomplish in every conversation. Don’t forget to consider potential roadblocks and think about ways to get around them.

3. Don’t “wing it”

Go into every sales conversation with a clearly defined plan and goal. Sure, you may not always achieve your top goal right away. But when you have a fall back goal in mind, you can, at the very least, make some progress towards closing the sale.

4. Ditch the sales script approach

It’s important to subtly guide selling conversations according to the needs of a particular prospect. Focus on selling value. If you’re not being sincere, your prospect will sniff you out. Be natural and focus on helping the prospect understand how life will be better because of the relationship with you.

5. Don’t be too quick to introduce price

Raising the issue of price too early prevents you from establishing the value you offer before you head into this tricky territory. Yes, eventually your prospect will want to discuss price. But the key is making sure YOU control when to introduce the topic. That way you can be sure to tie value to price so your prospect will see that it’s in his best interest to accept your offer.

6. Don’t put “it” all out there at once

In a sales conversation, you want your prospect to participate. Some interaction. The way to achieve that objective is to provide just enough information so you pique his interest. When he asks for additional information, it’s your signal to engage. You’re still in control but in a natural, give and take way.

7. Stay focused on your prospect’s priorities

At any point in the conversation, you can expect your prospect to introduce price objections and potential reasons why the solution might not work for him. Don’t dismiss his concerns, but bring him back to focus on the value of your solution as it relates to his priorities.