I wanted to cover a subject in my blog that has probably been written about more than the news coverage on a missing airplane from Malaysia. There are hundreds of training programs dedicated to the art of closing more deals. What it all comes down to is having the data or information that you need to close the deal. Without the proper data, you are like a blind man walking across a six lane interstate; dead. I wanted to select a few scenarios and apply specific guidance to each that I hope will help readers potentially find new ways to increase their ability to close deals. The first scenario is selling a software application to a call center to help improve sales. Before the sale begins, one must know exactly what information they need in order to close the sale. In my opinion, there are three individual components that are required to be successful in closing this deal. You need to know the number of sales staff the call center has, the cost per individual staff member, and the customer’s average sale size. The cost per sales staff member is already known to the salesperson going into the deal. During the sales call, the remaining data must be collected and calculated to be able close the deal. Once the number of sales staff is known, the salesperson has the total cost to the call center for the software application. They now simply have to justify the cost by showing how their application will drive a specific number of sales (since they now know the average sale size) to be more than the cost of the application. I usually like to have three to four times revenue gained to cost of product being sold. In a second scenario, let’s use a consultant trying to sell services to a client. The data needed this time is a little different. The consultant knows what they will charge (per hour/day/flat fee) but needs to find a problem that is causing the company to lose money. The data gathering does not end there, the consultant additionally needs to know what the company will do with the lost revenue that will be returned once the consultant has eliminated the problem. The close in this scenario is all about what the client will do with the recovered revenue. Does he take a long planned vacation, buy a boat, or reinvest it in his company? It is about the DREAM from the fix not the COST of the problem. My last scenario is how a candidate can close the deal on an interview. This again is all about knowing what data is needed to close the deal. I take for granted that someone interviewing for a job will do their homework and be as prepared as they can be for a productive interview. The candidate also needs to know exactly what is expected out of them (in specific detail of both numbers and revenue) during their first 90 days and subsequent first year anniversary. They also need to know the average cost of the product/service the company sells (in some cases this can easily be found on the company website). With this information, the candidate can close the deal by stating from their past how they have exceeded exactly what the company is asking of them and will therefore be a wise and low risk investment. Please don’t be one of those candidates that, when asked if they have any questions, answers nope, I’m all good. I hope that I have provided a few different examples of the data obtained by great salespeople. It’s like building anything, you need certain things (instructions, tools, parts, skill) to be successful in your task. Think about what data you need BEFORE your next sales appointment/call and see how it changes the outcome. Most of all, don’t forget to actually close the deal and ask for the yes.