At each stage of the sales process you need to be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Invariably – the goal is to move the deal forwards – closing only comes at the end. So don’t get hung up about closing (although when you get there – don’t forget to ask for the PO!).
For example – if you are prospecting for new customers – offering products the first chance you get may be counter-productive. They have got to get to know you a little first. People buy from people – not from strangers.
As you build relationships, you also need to build trust. One good way of doing this is to ask questions and show that you want to know more about your customer and his situation. In IT Sales – the customer’s situation will include business and technical considerations – so build some knowledge and confidence in both these areas. You do not need to be a business or technical expert – but do need to hold credible conversations within these environments.
One great side effect of being clear about the next step in the sales process – is that you can track success even before you sell anything. Gaining commitment for a follow up call – that is success. Discovering an upcoming project – that is success. Finding new contacts – that is success. Once in the habit of success – great sales results are sure to follow.