Sony and Philips developed the Compact Disc (CD) which they launched in 1982.  It was originally designed to store and play music. It offered much higher quality of recording than vinyl records.  It later became used for data storage; it held far more data than most personal computer hard drives. Mickey Schulhof had joined Sony …
Every organization wants to be a leader in their industry. One way to get there? Creating an innovative, user-friendly site that thrills your audience. If you’re like most organizations, you’ve used data to guide your website improvement efforts. Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics are powerful and provide essential information. However, that data only …
Peter Drucker said that– business has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Well, your company probably already has a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and most likely a Chief Innovation Officer (CINO, to distinguish from your Chief Information Officer, CIO). So you have both Druckerian functions covered.   You may also have a Chief Strategy …
Love your customers, and your customers will love you back I like to work with customers who are willing to do the personal and professional transformation to become innovative and agile. If I look at my customer set, they’re usually between 32 and 55 years old. They already have work experience, but they either want …
Drum roll please… At the beginning of each month we will profile the twenty posts from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Innovation Excellence. We also publish a weekly Top 8 as part of our FREE email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut? But enough delay, here are January’s twenty most …
In the middle of the 20th century, IBM used its headquarters in New York City as a showroom of tomorrow. Passersby could look into the window and see the newest mainframe on display, promising an exciting technological future. It was the dawn of the computer age, but marketers were largely out of the picture. It …
Readers of this column understand how the role of business itself is morphing. Technology has met customer preference and disrupted many categories. Think of Airbnb, Lyft and Uber, as well as UberEats. Look at the unimaginable growth of Apple and Amazon. Examine, too the function of innovation as a formal discipline and the rise of …
Building upon the success of Braden Kelley’s Blogging Innovation, we launched Innovation Excellence on August 1, 2011 and so 2018 was our seventh full year of operations. To celebrate we’ve pulled together the Top 100 Innovation Articles of 2018 from our archive of nearly 7,500 innovation-related articles from more than 400 contributing authors. Click the …
Drum roll please… At the beginning of each month we will profile the twenty posts from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Innovation Excellence. We also publish a weekly Top 8 as part of our FREE email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut? But enough delay, here are December’s twenty most …
During WWI there was tremendous demand for bandages and sterile dressings for Allied wounded on the Western Front.  The US company, Kimberly-Clark, developed a new cotton-like material from wood-pulp.  It was highly absorbent.  They manufactured this in large quantities to supply gas-mask filters and field dressings.  When the war ended in 1918 the company was …
The three game changers guiding Amazon’s long strategy will forever alter the way we think about customer experience. Jeff Bezos’ vision for the future of Amazon goes well beyond the short term speculation about the pending Whole Foods acquisition. The din around Amazon’s $13.7 Billion acquisition of Whole Foods has been deafening. Most of it …
Drum roll please… At the beginning of each month we will profile the twenty posts from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Innovation Excellence. We also publish a weekly Top 8 as part of our FREE email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut? But enough delay, here are November’s twenty most …
Drum roll please… At the beginning of each month we will profile the twenty posts from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Innovation Excellence. We also publish a weekly Top 8 as part of our FREE email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut? But enough delay, here are October’s twenty most …

Being successful in business requires having the ability to close the deal. It involves getting potential clients to say yes, even if they initially respond with a no.

Though this seems like it should be relatively easy, especially since you have confidence in your products and services, the reality is that no business has a 100 percent close rate.

But how do you get the highest “yes” rate that you can?

Know Your Prospects

If you tried to sell a boat to a man who lives in the desert, how successful do you think you’d be? Not very, right? That’s why it is absolutely critical to know your prospects.

What do they like and dislike? What are some of their biggest fears? What type of jobs do they do? How old are they? Do they have kids? The list goes on and on.

If you can’t currently answer these questions about the people most inclined to buy from you, Customer Think shares that you can conduct surveys, look at past purchases, or otherwise just come right out and ask your customers these questions.

The more you know who they are and what is important to them, the better you’re able to tailor your sales pitch in a way that hits all of their key points and addresses their current needs.

Be Prepared for A No

What are the top three reasons people choose not to purchase your products and services? Put another way, when they give you a no, what is the reason that generally follows?

Knowing why your target audience tells you which obstacles you have to overcome to get them to say yes. According to Branding Strategy Insider, some of the most common include not realizing they need the product or service, it requires a behavior change on their part, it’s too expensive, or they’re unfamiliar with the product or service itself.

Talk with your sales team. Together, compile a list of all of the reasons they’ve been given for not making a purchase. Pick the top three to five and come up with ways to overcome them.

“Sell an Outcome”

Business growth expert Russ Ruffino, the founder and CEO of Clients on Demand, says that turning a lead into a customer is “not simply a matter of charging money. Rather, you need to sell an outcome.”

In other words, you’re not necessarily going to get anywhere with a prospect unless they know the results you have to offer. This is often referred to as selling the benefits of a product or service versus focusing on its features.

Ruffino adds that this outcome should have a transformation component. It should tell them how choosing to work with you can make their life better, easier, happier, or richer.

Get them to see themselves in this transformed state—a state that you helped create—and you’ll have an easier time sealing the deal.

Work on Yourself

Though your goal is to get the person you’re conversing with to commit to a buy, the reality is that whether or not you’re successful in sales depends on you.

Highly successful salespeople tend to have certain characteristics or traits. Sales Hacker indicates that these include being upbeat, passionate, empathetic, well-prepared, and highly engaged.

So, the more you can display these particular qualities when talking with prospective clients, the more likely it is that they’ll want to buy from you.

By knowing what is important to your prospects, understanding their buying obstacles, offering a transformation versus a product or service, and honing your sales-related skills, you’ll be able to turn most any no into a yes.