The quest of everyone in business is to close more sales. If we are being honest, closing sales is not particularly easy. There are so many variables that influence consumers’ buying habits. The mistake a number of people make is to sell hard. Consumers generally do not like to be hammered with calls to buy something. If you did not know this you need to start working it into your mindset as a business person. The best thing you must do is to be subtle when endeavouring to close sales. By ‘subtle’ I am referring to not being obvious or barely noticeable. Here are some subtle ways to close more sales:

Understand (Instead Of Pitching)

I usually see this common trend with most Zimbabwean businesses. They are so bent on pitching that they do not stop to understand what someone wants. Sure enough, you want someone to buy, which is understandable. However, first things first – seek to understand them. Seeking to understand them entails seeking to know their problem(s) or challenge(s). Understand that people do not just buy things for the sake of buying. They are seeking to address a pain point in their life. Understand also that you can only accurately address it if you understand it.

When you fully understand it you are better positioned to suggest working solutions. You can even admit you do not have what they need – if you are a businessperson of integrity. Many consumers do not experience that many businesses genuinely seek to understand the consumer. If your business builds that culture of understanding consumers first, you will boost your brand reputation. In due course, you will notice sales improving because word spreads.

Nurture (Do Not Try To Convince)

To nurture entails to nourish or nurse; it means to care tenderly. Think of it from a nursing perspective to get the implications. If you want to close more sales, do not hurry to convince. Convincing usually involves using persuasion, often mixed with logical arguments. This can put off a prospect if you are not careful. Instead, you should nurture a lead or a prospect. Treat them kindly and with extra care. Nurturing also implies that a sale might not be immediate.

It might take time, so patience is a virtue. This means your sole focus should be on their needs. By coming to you or getting in touch with you, they definitely have a pain point. Your goal is proving you care about making their pain point disappear. When you genuinely nurture them, it will not be obvious you want to close a sale. Nurturing also builds trust, something often complex to foster between a business and a lead, prospect, or customer.

Guide Customers (Do Not Hard Sell)

I am sure you have come across price guides. At times you encounter them as price lists. A price list is in essence, a price guide. I am using this as an example to enunciate what guiding a customer entails. A price guide showcases what is on offer, the features or characteristics, and the prices. It can also include payment methods, payment terms, and so on. A well-done price guide can converse with a prospect without anyone else involved. When someone considers buying based on that price guide, they are highly likely to buy. Why?

It is because they would have been guided (not forced or coerced) to get to that decision. This is what you should always do as a business principal—guide customers so that they make purchase decisions without you having to sell hard. Yes, you can provide information and even suggestions but avail all of that as a guide. Guiding is about pointing the customer in the right direction, which should not be done manipulatively or coercively. Guiding also makes customers feel important because it shows them you value their decision-making power.

Create Impact (Do Not Spam)

This is best explained by the 80-20 rule of content marketing. Maybe you regularly post content for your business on the internet and social media. Maybe you do it via SMSes or instant messaging platforms. It might even be via print and other forms of electronic media. The bulk of your content should be about creating impact. That also applies to your interactions with people, be it leads, prospects, or customers. Your thrust should always be to give them value; to impact their lives positively.

More than 80 percent of the time, that should be focus. Providing people with valuable information is highly impactful. Only 20 percent of the time should you directly talk about stuff you are selling to them. If you effectively handle the 80 percent you might not even have to worry about the 20 percent. They will just buy without any solicitation. If you invert the ratio, i.e. selling (often hard selling) more than 80 percent of the time, you will blow it. People consider that spamming and might even disconnect themselves from your business.

These are the 4 subtle ways to close more sales you should prioritize in 2023. These ways are tried and tested; businesses that apply them excel. Understandably, these ways may sound counterintuitive. If you had been used to hard selling, then indeed they can sound counterintuitive. You will have to shift your mindset. After all, you cannot get to higher levels with low-level thinking. Dare to do things differently in 2023.