Mistakes to Avoid When Closing a Business Deal
Every business deal is a big deal when you’re a small business owner. Check out the pitfalls to avoid before you attempt to sign up your next client.
You’ve been working on this business deal for too hard to trip at the finish line.
No matter how sure of a thing it may be, there is always the chance you could make the wrong move before making the sale that will undo everything.
Luckily, most common business deal ruining mistakes are small things and are thus easy to avoid — Granted you know what they are.
Do you have an important business deal coming up that you’re counting on closing? Then pay close attention.
These are some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to close a deal and how to keep yourself from making them.
1. Talking Too Much
It is possible to talk a customer into a sale and then turn around and talk them right back out of it.
Remember, silence is key when negotiating. Offer up only what information is necessary then zip your lips and wait for your customer to respond.
You stand a better chance of closing the deal if your customer thinks your listening to them. And the best way to do that is by actually listening to them — Something you cannot do when you’re talking.
The moment your customer says they’re ready to make a deal there’s no need to sell them on whatever you’re trying to sell them any further. You’ll do more harm than good if you try.
2. Not Looking the Part
It’s one of the most important business etiquette tips that often goes overlooked.
Whether we like it or not, appearances matter. No customer is going to want to make a deal with someone who comes to the table looking like they just rolled out of bed.
You are serving as a human representative of your company and your product, you need to look the part.
This does not mean you need to show up in a three-piece suit. Appropriate attire etiquette varies depending on your company and your customers.
It is possible to make a stellar impression while wearing jeans.
That said, there are a few good rules of thumb that are applicable no matter what the situation.
Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. Stains always look bad, no matter what you’re wearing.
As for your personal appearance, pretend you’re going to get a portrait taken at the meeting. Put the best version of yourself forward, it will make all the difference in the world.
3. Negotiating With the Wrong People
If you close with someone who doesn’t actually have the power to give you a yes, have you made a deal at all?
No. No, you haven’t. In fact, you might have messed up your opportunity to make a deal with that customer.
Before you get too far into specifics, check and make sure the people you’re dealing with are the people you should be dealing with.
The only way to do this is to know exactly who your customer is. Once you know who you should be dealing with, bring them into the conversation. Then and only then can you can begin setting terms.
4. Not Closing at Every Step
You could waste a lot of time actively pursuing someone who is just not going to make a deal with you. It’s easy to take someone’s lack of objection as a definite yes.
The best way to make sure a potential customer wants to make a deal is by making little closes after every interaction.
At the end of each conversation, ask your customer if they’re interested in making a deal and if they’re ready to continue.
If they aren’t interested then thank them for their time and move on to someone who is.
Formal negotiations don’t happen until the very end. But, you can ensure they’ll go more smoothly if you keep making small closes throughout the entire process.
5. Sending Too Many Follow Ups
The squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the oil. Sometimes it just gets thrown out.
Your customer has their own business to deal with. Sending them email after email following up on a recent meeting or conversation is only going to irritate them out of making a deal with you.
Unless the deal your making is time sensitive, there is no need to reach out to your customer within the first 24 hours.
Wait three to four days before sending out your first follow-up email.
If your customer does not respond wait a full week after your initial meeting before sending the second follow-up.
If your customer still does not respond they may not have any interest anymore — or they may be busy and will get back to you as soon as they can.
6. Neglecting Common Courtesy
Please and thank you are still the magic words.
If you are rude to a customer they aren’t going to want to make a deal with you — Period.
Add, “thank you for your time” to your emails. Say, “thank you for taking the time to speak with us” at the end of meetings.
These interactions, as simple as they may be, make all the difference when making a business deal.
7. Not Doing Your Homework
Know your enemy. Business deals aren’t exactly war, but it’s still vital to know who you’re dealing with before entering a meeting.
Before starting negotiations you need to know who your customer is. Know what their intentions are, what their interests are, and what their bottom line is.
It can be too easy to get caught up in your own company’s interests. But to be successful, you need to remember that, in the end, your customer’s feelings are the only ones that matter.
8. Not Asking for the Sale
Like with most other things in life, ask and you will receive. When you feel like it’s time to close go ahead and ask your customer if they’re ready to make a deal.
If they say yes, fantastic! If they say no, ask if there’s anything you can do to change their mind and continue negotiating from there.
Remember, you can’t rely on your customers to ask to make a deal.
Time To Close Your Business Deal
If you’re a small company, closing a business deal can be one of the greatest feelings in the world. It’s a major accomplishment and should be celebrated as such.
But make sure you don’t celebrate too early. It is always possible to make a small mistake somewhere along the line that derails the entire deal.
Don’t let that intimidate you though. Most of these mistakes are easy to avoid, and now you know how to keep yourself from making them.
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