1. If you are giving a sales presentation, make sure to only give that presentation after you thoroughly understand your prospect's specific problem and motivation to solve that problem.

2. Ask the Magic Question: “After our conversation (discussion/you see our presentation…) if you see that our product/service is a perfect fit for you, what would happen next?" Any answer other than the prospect would be ready to move forward means that you have more work to do to close the sale.

3. Be relevant. The more relevant you are to your prospect, the greater will be their interest in your product/service. Conversely the less relevant you are, the less will be their interest. There is a direct correlation, so only present those aspects of your products/services that are relevant to your prospect’s specific challenge. Generic does not work.

4. Ask for the sale. One of the biggest reasons that sales professionals do not close sales is that they never ask. Determine how you are going to ask for the sale, practice out loud and when the time is right, ask your prospect for that sale.

5. Closing questions are a great way to ask for the sale. Ask your prospect:

"Are you ready to get started?"

“When would you like to get started?”

"Shall I draw up a contract?"

"Should we go ahead and finalize the details?"

"Which plan do you want to go with?"

“Do you want plan A or plan B?”

6. Shut up. Once you have asked for the business be quiet. Let the prospect think and decide how they want to proceed. Too many sales professionals keep talking and thus blow the opportunity to close their sale.

7. Gain commitment to the next step. If you need to have further meetings or additional phone calls, schedule them now. If you are faxing or emailing a contract or letter of agreement, schedule time either face-to-face or on the telephone, to go over the agreement with your prospect.

8. Summarize what you have discussed. Whether or not you’ve closed the sale, write down the main points of the meeting, what you discussed, what you’ve agreed upon points and any action steps that need to be taken. Email or snail-mail this to your prospect. This document will help the prospect remember what was discussed and what they’ve agreed to. It will also help you if you need to have future meetings or conversations with this prospect.

9. Once you have closed, do everything that you have agreed to do for this new customer. Make sure they get what they’ve purchased when they expect it, in the manner that they expect it with no problems and/or surprises. Happy customers buy more and give you referrals.

Author's Bio: 

Wendy Weiss, “The Queen of Cold Calling,” is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. Her recently released program, The Miracle Appointment-Setting Script, and/or her book, Cold Calling for Women, can be ordered by visiting http://www.wendyweiss.com. Contact her at wendy@wendyweiss.com. Get Wendy’s free Special Report, Getting in the Door: How to Write an Effective Cold Calling Script, at http://www.wendyweiss.com.