Closing sales tips – The stages of following up

There seems to be a few stages and things to check to following up on B2B high value sales;

  1. Does it make sense? Do they like the proposal and what we’re suggesting? Are there any changes that need to be made?
  2. Budget? Is our contact they happy with the price? Are we changing the proposal?
  3. Do the powers-that-be like it? Does the Area Manager/Finance/CEO also like what we have to offer?
  4. Can we do this? Are we happy to go ahead in principle?
  5. Have we tidied up the little bits? Payment terms/agreement/notice to supplier


You may have more or less stages, but from our experience these seem to be ones that companies usually go through. As the sales person, it’s your job to ensure that all of this goes through without incident. That’s no easy task!

As you know, the great thing is this can all be handled with persistence and a little creativity


Always be of value when Closing sales

Remember, a customer is nervous about making a decision because this affects a lot of people. What’s more is that making a decision on purchasing your product isn’t even their main job and if they’re not the main user of the product, they’re probably not that informed about what needs to be done


That’s where you come in. There’s nothing more offputting than a salesperson that just phones up, looking for the sale. You know who I mean, those salespeople who aren’t helping anyone sort out anything, they’re just phoning up to see if and when they can collect their commission by signing you up.


There’s 1,000,000 of those sales people around and you aren’t one of them. Make sure that you’re of value when closing sales. Ensure that you’re following up whilst adding value. Following up is your chance to ingrain yourself in how that company operates.


You want to use following up as a way to open a dialogue about you fit in with their company. You do this by asking questions that genuinely are of value. Ask questions that surround all the mini-yes’ they need to do. Call to find out things like:


  • Did the proposal cover everything you wanted? I can quickly explain it to you now if you like
  • I’m double checking that it’s in the budget for you, because I can tweak things to fit it in
  • You mentioned that the current suppliers don’t do YY as often as you like, I’ve included that in, did you notice?
  • You mentioned about how it’s important to have XX, did we put enough in?


These are example questions which you can use, but get creative about it! Use the stages of following to think about what the customer needs to figure out next and help them figure it out.


When you do speak to them, always find out a time to follow up about it. This way, you have another reason to hold them to the timescales to expedite the sale. Similarly, you can use the pre-imposed timescale if needed to get an idea of when they might be looking. If it’s not this month, then don’t worry! I’m sure ‘your Manager’ can extend the offer for another week, can’t they?


closing sales


Get an answer


Most importantly, always get a final answer out of them. Do this via email, phone, schedule a 2nd meeting, whatever it takes to help them answer all of the questions that they have.


Of course, everything I’ve explained above is usually a few month’s worth of contact from quote to final answer. Don’t go hounding people for answers, but if do it in the right way, you’re receptive to their situation and you genuinely help them figure things out, then you’ll be praised for your proactiveness and selecting you as their company will seem like the natural choice.


Closing sales tips summary


Remember, your job is to help them systematically answer all of the questions that they have about you and your company. Your job is to make it incredibly easy for them to tick all their boxes about your product, so that they can give you an answer sooner than later:


Phone or email follow up – Make personalised follow up. Instead of asking for signing the agreement, focus on what the next step is “Did the proposal cover everything you wanted? I can quickly explain it to you now if you like”


Always set timescales and next steps – When speaking to your Prospect, always set a timescale. Ask when they’re likely to hear back from the finance team, for example. This gives you a reason to follow up


Make it easy for them to see why you’re amazing – Help them to solve problems and answer questions, so that they can see how you fit in with their company


Here are some more tips on closing sales. Check out our webinar on how to get the prospect to pick you.