This is the eighth and last in our in our series on Consultative Selling in the travel industry.
“Consultative Selling is personal selling in which you play the role of a consultant. You assist the buyer in identifying, or clarifying, their needs, and then suggest products that satisfy those needs.”
During this series we are considering 8 keys to consultative selling:
THE TRADITIONAL CLOSE
Closing is a sales term which refers to the process of making a sale which could mean an exchange of money or credit card details and/or a signature on a booking form.
Although there are a number of different sales models, including the Consultative Selling one featured in this series, they all have the same final objective: making (closing) a sale.
The issue you face as a sales person is that today your prospective client (lead), just like you, can spot a ‘close’ a mile off.
Here are some examples of ‘closes’ you might be familiar with:
Now or Never
This is where the sales person makes an offer that includes a special time-limited offer. For example:
“This is the last one at this price.”
“We’ve got a 20% discount just for customers who sign up today.”
The technique can work because it introduces a sense of urgency. However there is the risk that when the client has time to reflect on their decision they have regrets.
THE SUMMARY CLOSE
The sales person who uses this technique lists, or summarises, the value and benefits of the offer to secure a sale. For example:
“So we have the Hotel Fab with two swimming pools, nightly entertainment and free half-board. How would you like to pay the deposit, credit card or bank transfer?”
Now this fits in quite well with the Consultative Selling model because you are listing everything that the lead told you they wanted. However the final statement ‘How would you like to pay?’ is known as the Assumptive Close: it assumes the lead is ready to buy. It appears to give them a choice i.e. credit card or bank transfer, but in reality it gives them no choice because either way they are going to commit to a deposit. Some leads might find this too pressured, too rushed.
A MODERN CLOSING TECHNIQUE
Your job is to make a sale. Both you and the lead know that. What you do not want however is to appear too ‘salesy’, too pushy. Generally people react badly to that approach.
Consultative Selling is about discovering a lead’s specific needs and then effectively communicating how you can offer an affordable and satisfactory solution to those needs.
A prospect wants to know that:
- You understand their unique (to them) problem.
- You know the type of holiday they want.
- You know how to get that holiday.
- They can trust you to make the right recommendation.
Once you have achieved that successfully by following the Consultative Selling model there should be no barrier to closing the sale.
Once you have found the arrangement that matches your lead’s idea of the ideal holiday all you need do is just ask for the booking.
You could simply say ‘Shall I go ahead and book that for you now?”
There is a chance of course that you might get a ‘no’. It would perhaps be better to go with something like:
“In your opinion, does this holiday match all your requirements?”
“Is there any reason why I shouldn’t go ahead and book this for you?”
These questions allow you to deal with any lingering objections without losing the lead.
Once you have secured a go-ahead you can then ask for payment and close the sale.
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