You cannot close a sale you never open. Many sales people don’t lose sales because they fail to close, but because they can’t effectively open the sale. Studies have shown the major reason that potential customers fail to make a purchase is due to the salesperson failing to make a personal connection with the customer. People buy from people they like. Be likable and build a relationship and you’ll find much more success in your closing conversion rate.

Prospects want to feel a salesperson has their best interest at heart. Many times it’s a human interaction weakness of an individual that limits their ability to succeed as a salesperson.  Successfully opening a sale is in how you approach, greet, welcome, respond, and touch them personally. You can make or break the sale with your skills in “opening the sale.”

The following are 15 tips to guide you toward success in opening a sale:

1)    Be sincere. A good, sincere greeting is worth everything. You never get a second chance to make a first good impression. The right attitude is everything.

2)    Use their name often. Customers love to hear their name. Introduce yourself early in the greeting, allowing you to use their name.

3)    Dress for success. We are all instantly judged by how we look; people want to deal with people who look professional.

4)    Give her your full attention.  If you do not give your full attention, you are telling her you are not interested in her.

5)    Non-verbal listening. Use your body language and eye contact to show the prospect you are completely focused on them.

6)    Active listening. It’s all about slowing down and listening to the customer so they know you care about their problems.

7)    Open ended questions. Show you care by asking them about what they are concerned. Ask them about their expectations.

8)    Ask about feelings rather than thoughts. When you ask about feelings you tap into a whole new level of building rapport.

9)    Echoing. Repeat the last or key word of their comment as a question. Echoing gets the prospect to continue to talk and gives the salesperson an opportunity to listen and show interest.

10) Disclosure. Share your own similar experience during a discussion to build rapport.

11) Frame you answers with the customer in mind. The answers you give can be very helpful in building a positive rapport. Always focus your answer with the customer’s needs in mind.

12) Never interrupt. The information they are giving you is far more important than anything you have to say.

13) Be enthusiastic. You must share your excitement about the product or service.  It is difficult to develop interest without excitement and enthusiasm.

14) Smile! Nothing helps to create a connection more than a big, warm smile.

15) Use humor. Situational humor is always a welcoming method to connect with others.

Go into your sale greetings with a plan to build a connection with your prospect. Do your homework by studying the above tips, formulating your own ideas and scripts, and practicing in role playing situations. When you go into each conversation well prepared and confident of your success to build good relationships, you will close more sales.

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