For most of us, we understand that the end of a sales conversation comes down to the closing. This is one of the major points of the conversation for both parties. Without a closing, the work and effort that we have put in and the time that our customer has put in has just been a conversation. Without a closing, we are not solving any problems for our customer; we are not satisfying any of their needs. We have built trust and companionship, but have not achieved our goal to improve both parties’ lives. Yet, even knowing this, most salespeople don’t ask for a closing commitment. That needs to stop for us. We need to be there to ask for that closing. What we are doing now is running most of a marathon and then walking away without crossing the finish line even though it is in sight. We may not win, but we should at least cross that line.
There are two broad ways to ask for that closing commitment and they each work for different types of people. For those people that take a time to come to a decision about something, an incremental close is usually the way to go. These are people that we will likely talk to on multiple occasions and will have follow up questions. The incremental closing is a method to set up that final closing, it is an action to moves the process along but does not result in a final answer. This is a call to action at the end of a conversation that leads us into the next conversation and keeps our guest involved in the process. Usually, it is asking them to do some research that will support what we have been saying and builds trust with the customer. That way, when all is said and done, the closing is already set up, we have already moved them along to that decision point.
With the more direct people we deal with an immediate decision closing is the way to go. These people are not the sort to go back and forth about a decision; they want to get it done and off their plate as soon as possible. We need to be able to realize and accommodate that style and actually ask for a closing commitment at the end of the conversation. If we have identified and addressed their problem or need at this point, this should be easy and natural. If it isn’t, then we need to take a look at the rest of the process and see if we are actually improving their life or if it just a matter of our own fear of rejection that keeps us from asking for that close. If it is our fear, which is something we need to get over. Either they see the value for their lives or they don’t, it does not diminish the value of our lives or of our effort to help. If is a matter of a faulty system, that needs to be looked at and resolved so that asking for a closing is natural and easy.
What steps are you going to take at this point to make sure to separate yourself from the pack and actually ask for a closing? I use a tally sheet that lists the conversations I have compared to the ones that I ask for a close on. It is a startling visual for myself and drives me to ask more than I would naturally. Come up with something that works for you and actually ask. If you don’t ask, you are assuming they are a no, and that is a bad road to let yourself wander down.
Life’s Too Short to Have Bad Days! What are YOU doing to make today Fantastic? Please leave us your comments.