Closing The Sale - Forget Closing
It's About Opening
PBS Television invited me to do a presentation on closing the
sale to their station affiliates about seven years ago.
Each station is responsible for fund raising and program
sponsorships. While it’s not like making a traditional sale, there is
a beginning and an end to the process. The end, or commitment, is commonly referred
to as closing, much the same way most salespeople refer to it.
PBS asked me to do a one hour session called
“Closing The Sale.” As a sales trainer, I had spoken many times
on the subject of closing skills, however this was the first time anyone asked
me to speak exclusively on this subject. I decided to do some homework. The
first thing I did was look up the word in a dictionary. What a surprise! It
wasn’t defined exactly the way I anticipated. According to the dictionary,
“to close” meant to “liquidate, neutralize, and eradicate,”
among other things.
If closing comes at the end of the selling cycle, it really
signals the beginning or opening of the account relationship, not the closing
of it, and certainly not its eradication. Personally, I feel some salespeople
fail to “close” the sale because they don’t find it easy to
do. With few exceptions it’s hard to say that closing is a positive experience.
Let’s reframe it and call it something else. Instead
of closing the sale, how about securing commitment or asking for the order or
getting the decision. These are more positive and accurate descriptors of what
actually happens at the end of the selling cycle.
Enough theory: Here are several ways to help someone say
yes or no. Naturally we’re looking for yes’s. We don’t want
maybe’s. If all the maybe’s salespeople had were cashed in tomorrow,
we would have enough to eliminate the national debt. Real winners don’t
bank on maybe’s, they’re searching for the “Yes’s.”
Here are a few simple, yet effective, ways to carry out
closing the sale. You should only use these statements after all potential customer
needs have been identified, your solutions have been presented, and after all
major concerns have been effectively handled.
Once you’re in this position consider one of these options:
- Do you have enough information to make a decision or
would you prefer a demonstration?
- What would you like the next step to be?
- If you don’t have any questions, I’ll go
ahead and write up the order?
- We can provide the technical product training at your
location or at our corporate training center, which would be better for your
- You seem very positive about our proposal, why don’t
we take the next step to schedule the delivery.
This one is really good!
- Do you have any questions or are you ready to take the
Think of all the reasons you put off “closing the
sale.” If you ever get anxious about securing the commitment in the future
take this advice. Decide how you will ask for the order before you make the
sales call. Since it will be brief, write it down.
Count the words, once you feel comfortable with your approach,
and practice it at least twelve times. Your total time investment will be less
than a minute. The return on your investment will be an incredible boost to
Everything gets easier with practice. Put yourself in your
customer’s shoes for a minute. It’s easier to say no to someone
who is winging it. It’s more difficult to say no to a professional. Bringing
closure to the selling cycle, is no time for improvisation.
In the business of selling it pays to prepare. It pays more
to practice. It pays even more to prepare and practice often.
If you want to be paid more, do what pays more.
When the timing is right, go ahead and close the sale!
P.S. - If
you want to sharpen your closing skills, this CD was recorded for you!
Closing The Sale
Closing is easiest part of selling - when you know the secret
to doing it right. This Closing Skills CD has it all for you.
tip - in sales your attitude is everything! Always stay positive.
Start selling more today
and everyday . . .
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