First, a Warning…Make the Sale with These 3 Great Closings
I’m about to arm you with a machine gun, so I want to begin with a warning. I always hesitate discussing techniques on closings until I’m sure that I’m not arming a sales terrorist. The techniques I’m about to share with you will help you make sales. That can be a good or a bad thing. It’s a good thing if you use these closings thoughtfully and with a desire to serve your clients’ actual needs. But these closings can be bad if used for self-interest.
Also, I differ with sales managers who teach young salespeople to, “Close, Close, Close!” Such managers are short sighted. In some cases they’re getting pressure from above to hit the numbers. In other cases they’re simply feathering their own nests. Some sales forces work on a plan that expects high turnover and they simply want a person to sell until they burnout or get fed up. In an earlier time, some car dealers did just this. They would hire just about anyone hoping they would stick around long enough to sell some cars to their friends and families. Then, if they left—so what? There were more where they came from.
This is not how a great sales career is built.
This is why I don’t believe in closing at all costs. Actually closing should only be done when you have a fully qualified prospect. Assess his needs and you are fully confident that your product or service is a good fit with true benefit. Remember, there are lots of fish in the sea. Sometimes it’s best to cut bait and find another fishing spot.
Great selling boils down to asking the right questions…and doing a lot of listening.
Here are 3 of My Favorite Closings and Closing Questions
Not every one of these will fit your personality. That’s okay. There are plenty to choose from. Most of these are not original with me. But they are all time tested. They work.
Frankly, I don’t know the source of most of them. But where I do, I’ve given the appropriate credit. The titles you see are, in some cases, my own and in other cases they’re titles used by others.
My hope is that you will find a few that you like best. Commit them to memory. And, as I said earlier, practice them over and over. Then “can” them…so well they don’t sound “canned.”
1. The “Compromise Closing.” When you have come to the last moment of the presentation but your buyer is holding out with a single objection that you have the ability to eliminate, a great question is simply, “If I can do that for you today, will you okay the purchase?” (Note, that I prefer the phrase, “okay the purchase,” instead of, “sign the contract.”)
This is a good close, because it both solves the problem and helps you
determine whether the buyer’s objection is real, or simply an excuse for not buying.
2. The “Were You Sincere Closing.” There will be occasions when you’ll get the sense that you’re being strung along by the buyer…but you aren’t totally sure. You don’t want to say, “Were you telling me the truth or were you lying when you said you wanted to buy this?” A simple closing question that has helped me is to ask, “Were you sincere when you said that you wanted this product (or, that you had the power to make a decision, etc.)?” This will put the pressure on the prospect to fess up. They either have to say yes, or begin making excuses. If they do the latter, I generally excuse myself for greener pastures.
3. The “Consultative Closing.” A good way to gauge the prospect’s interest level is to ask, “Are we tracking so far? Do you feel like this product is what you need?” If she says, Yes.” Great! Pull out the contract. But if she hesitates or says no, your response is, “Why not?” Then listen closely. You’re about to get a good temperature reading on where she’s at in the process. You will either need to discuss the matter further, or boogie out the door.