The 3 Words That Will Change Your Close Rate




Type “how to think like your buyer” into any search engine and you’ll receive countless links to webinars, e-publications, marketing conference invitations, online classes, and regular old books.


You could spend hours online reading white papers and parsing data but in our experience, thinking like your buyer really comes down to three words: Be a human.


Yes, it’s that easy.


These days many of your prospects have a very difficult time concentrating on your message and it’s no wonder.


Our phones, once used exclusively to transmit voice over long distances, are now tiny computers that constantly beg our attention with updates and notifications.


Reading or, more accurately, skimming text and data has replaced actual listening. If you aren’t listening to your clients, you probably shouldn’t expect them to respond to you.


Maybe it’s time to revisit two key skills that could put you inside the mind of your buyer and on track to increase your close rate.



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1. Listen Up

It seems counterintuitive, but too much time spent selling takes time away from listening.


Many sales professionals move onto the next prospect if they fail to receive an immediate response (positive or negative) from their current lead. If you’re making this mistake, you’re leaving sales – and money! – on the table.


If a prospect’s initial answer is that they are not interested in your product, service, or solution you have the opportunity to ask why, and then listen to the answer. Find out why they are saying no and you may be able to further the conversation.


JMS Elite’s business development executives (BDE) have mastered the art of listening. It’s a talent that has proven to be a major aspect of our success and why our clients like our results.


Nuances are revealed in the margins of conversations. As the seller, you’ve got to be invested in the entire conversation. You’ve got to respond not only to what you hear but to what’s not being said – without jumping to your own naturally biased conclusions.


Ultimately, the sale isn’t about you so get out of your own head. You’re courting your prospect, and asking them to take a chance, to stake a large amount of their money on your solution.


Through years of experience, our own BDE’s have learned that when they put themselves in their prospects’ shoes, they gain a greater understanding of their prospect’s motivation.


2. Create Meaningful Interactions

The stereotype of the cold-blooded sales pro ruthlessly baiting the iron-fisted tycoon is an image from a bygone era – and good riddance.


In B2B especially, “the deal” is a months-long process requiring the seller to establish trust, educate a prospect, nurture the relationship, and adjust methodology based upon a prospect’s motivation.


Don’t fall victim to the belief that your prospect “just isn’t interested” if they haven’t called back. They’re busy. They’re distracted. They may be working with multiple departments to vet your solution.


They are human. Your response to their cues should be human as well. Don’t walk away; get on the phone! Even with all of the available forms of communication, the phone is still the most powerful way to actually connect with someone.


Check-in, offer support, send an interesting article – even if it’s on something not related directly to the sale. If you’ve been listening, you’ll know what course of action is the right one to take.




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Editor’s Note: Originally published in 2014, this article was edited and updated in Oct. 2018.