‘So, that’s great Mr. Prospect…’ says the salesperson. I’ll have the contract sent over to you today. That’s 1000 Type A widgets including taxes and shipping comes in at $60,000 on the nail.”
“Sixty thousand dollars”
“No, no!” says Mr. Prospect, “when we spoke over the phone last week you said sixteen thousand…”
A fatal mistake to make, doing a deal over the phone where one person might be hard of hearing, or the phone signal keeps dropping out. The consequence equals one lost sale and many very disappointed people.
But how can sales deals be sealed simply and quickly without dozens of phone calls and hundreds of emails flying back and forwards between the parties involved?
This is where the concept of the digital sales room comes to the rescue. A digital sales room, or ‘virtual deal room’ is a secure online venue, accessible by password-protected invite only, where pertinent documents can be stored and managed – so that any person with permission to access the ‘room’ can read, download, and (in some cases) edit documents so that everything is transparent for everyone concerned and misunderstandings between figures like sixteen and sixty, as shown in the example above, are prevented from occurring.
Security and Certainty for Everyone Concerned
The main purpose of a digital sales room is to offer a centralized location where everyone involved in a potential transaction can access and share pertinent information.
Depending on the person’s assigned permissions, they can collaborate and comment on documents, which allows all interested parties to see any and all comments relating to any given sales negotiation process, reducing the risk of mistakes and misunderstandings.
Furthermore, a digital sales room can provide better security and privacy access levels compared to other methods of sharing and storing information, such as email or Google documents, without the need for external IT support.
This is achieved by using strong security features such as deep encryption, password protection, and access permissions, which can avoid sensitive information being accessed by unauthorized people, or worse still, fraudulent editing by potentially dishonest people – because full version histories are kept backed up in the digital sales room’s repository.
So, if a document appears to have changed in any way, the identity of the editor is clear to see, along with the date of any revision. Some digital sales rooms even offer the services of a resident AI ChatBot to answer questions about the contents in the room, another facility offered by the marvelous capabilities of conversational AI.
Timeless Sales Techniques
It’s all very well having set the scene for making sure that misunderstandings are removed, and that only authorized people are allowed access to the digital sales room, but that still doesn’t consider the fact that, in order for any sale to happen, whether it’s via online shopping or a face-to-face meeting with a customer, the old-timer’s golden rules of closing a sale still need to be followed.
Old-school sales trainers still use the mnemonics Accept and ABC – to remind the salesperson that the following rules always apply:
- A – is for Acknowledge. Acknowledge your prospect’s desires and thoughts, then just as importantly, make sure that they know you have understood these by repeating their words back to them. “So, I understand you need a loan that is under five percentage points on interest and won’t extend over 24 months…
- C – is for Clarify. Clarify the precise details of the deal, and what the customer requires in every detail- of course, using a digital sales room is one way of ensuring that everything is clarified, and seen by everyone to have been so.
- C – is for Considering. Consider what aspects of the deal are most important to your prospect. Is it size, convenience, speed of delivery, or good old-fashioned value for money? Gather ideas to support those aspects and reinforce the deal by ensuring they are listed uppermost in the prospect’s mind.
- E – is for Explore. Explore alternative solutions to offer an alternative for the prospect if they start to waver. The salesperson offers to type A widgets in black at a dollar apiece, but the prospect finds that too expensive. ‘I can do a discount at 80 cents per unit in red, so long as you sign up for at least a hundred…’
- P- is for Propose. This is part of the closing process – let them know why this deal is best for the prospect and can deliver a product or service that will exceed their expectations.
- T – is for Timeline. Fully explain the timeline of the deal process, and how long it will take to complete, and make the intermediate deliverables clear so that the prospect knows exactly when the whole deal will be completed. This paints a clear picture of exactly what the deal entails – prospects are usually impressed by a salesperson’s attention to detail. It shows professionalism.
It’s as Easy as ABC
And as for ABC – it comes from a memorable line spoken by Alec Baldwin in the seminal salesperson’s movie ‘Glengarry Glenross’ – a David Mamet film produced in 1992. The film is used by sales trainers today as a case in point on how to close, and how to avoid mistakes, in sales situations.
So even when you’re taking the sensible option of using a digital sales room, remember that sealing deals will be as easy as ABC: