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Closing!

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Closing!

Closing scares the hell out of most sales people.

I know that is a strange sounding statement, I mean it’s the main goal as a salesperson, but it’s true and here is why.

  • Reasons:
    • Scared of “NO”
    • Fear of rejection
    • Don’t want to come off as pushy
    • Invokes images of the stereotypical irritating sales person
    • All the work you put into the relationship or account may be about to go down the drain

GOOD NEWS! IT’S NO BIG DEAL!

As you do it more it’ll get easier and this will become more obvious to you.

Remember that people expect to be closed. They entered into a sales situation.

There is no mystery about what you guys are doing together; they’re looking at a product, and you’re trying to help them figure out if it’s the right one.

Everyone knows this. At some point you’re going to move on from the investigation phase and they will make a decision. This is a surprise to no one.

But wait, there’s more!

Even better, there are ways to soften the process of asking for the close.

I’m going to tell you the simplest, most stress-free way to close that you will ever learn, and I want you to commit to trying it. Here it is:

So, what do you think?

That’s it. You just tried to close a sale, and you didn’t even break out in hives. Is that a beginner’s line? Yes. Is it simple? Yes. But it works; remember your buyer knows why he/she is there, and asking that question will give them the opportunity to voice any reservations or questions, which gives you an opportunity to address them.

There are thousands of ways to close, and you can find dozens of books with advice on this topic.

I am a fan of softer closes; they just feel less jarring to me, and they fit with my sales culture, but there are certainly harder closes you can employ, and there are times when these make sense. “Harder” in this context means more direct, not aggressive and obnoxious, by the way.

Other soft close lines:

  • When should we talk next?
  • “What’s your deadline for making a decision?”
  • “Is there anything at this point that would stop you from making a decision?”
  • “Have you heard enough from me to make a decision?”

Any of those too terrifying?

To employ a slightly harder close you might say, “If I’ve answered all of your questions about the product, can we discuss pricing and how to proceed with the purchase?”

In the sales books you will probably run across something called the “presumptive close.” The presumptive close assumes the sale, and usually goes something like this, “So, who should I address the invoice to?”

Please do not ever do this. It’s terrible, it reeks of the sales stereotype, and it will tend to generate stiff resistance because you’ve just become the guy with plaid jacket, toothy overbite, and dual gun fingers.

Objections:

Understanding the sales process makes objections seem a lot less daunting. Recall that you are figuring out what the problem is (by asking questions), you’re making your presentation (using lots of vivid stories, and talking about benefits), and you’re explicitly asking for the sale. Good. But at any point you may meet resistance in the form of objections.

I love objections. No seriously. Sure, I’d much rather have the mere sound of my dulcet voice induce people to say, “How much can I get and how fast?” Barring that, I want to hear all of the objections. I want them to come up early. I want them to be forcefully expressed. Why do I love objections? Because they give me a very clear sense of what I need to do. AN OBJECTION IS SIMPLY A REQUEST FOR MORE INFORMATION.

If you’ve done your questioning correctly you probably already know what most of the objections are anyway, and have had time to think about how to deal with them.

An objection is a map. Sure, it’s a map of rough water, but I’d much rather know the rapids are coming instead of finding out after I’m sucking on gallons of water.

Even with your map, objections will still come up that you haven’t uncovered—it’s inevitable, and it’s totally OK. Objections are easy to deal with if you think about them in the right way.

An objection is simply a request for more information.

Ask and they’ll tell you. And then you may have some more questions, or you might move gently into your product vs. competitor’s speech.

For sales technique-combining bonus points, you would tie this speech to some benefits: how product is not as SKU intensive, how it reduces case entry overhead etc.

Then, if you had a story about another company who had a similar objection and lived to tell about it, well then, you just did a triple axle. Take a bow. The persuasive content of this exchange would be very high.

NEVER, EVER ARGUE WITH A PROSPECT: YOU WILL ALWAYS LOOSE.

The above conversation is an example of re-framing, and it’s something you’ll be doing a lot.

People frequently have very specific notions of what they “need”, but you will often find that these requirements, when you scratch at them a bit, are not requirements at all, and if you can show them a better way to get where they want to go, not only will they agree to go that way, they’ll be very enthusiastic about it.

An objection is simply a request for more information.

Feels like I have said that before… But, you will never get to the objections and you will never get to resolve them if you don’t ask.

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