By Amy O’Connor
Various dictionaries define “closing” as: a concluding part, a closable gap, or a meeting of parties to a deal for formally transferring title. All of these definitions represent closing as a single moment in time.
However, I contend that we should view closing as a process. Habitual closing, if you will.
Stated another way…the moment when you specifically ask your customer for a buying decision is (hopefully!) NOT the first close you make during the sales process.
Far too many sales leaders crack skulls with the concept that closing is something we must “do” to every customer. “Ask for the sale every single time!” “Till they buy or die!”(Can you picture your sales manager saying or possibly shouting this? Almost like a battle cry, right?)
And this “Close!” transforms itself into a big, hairy, scary, overwhelming single-moment-in-time for both the salesperson and the buyer that will end in either “Yes” or “No.”
You either win or you lose. But the whole game, if you will, comes down to that one single solitary moment.
Does that seem overwhelming to anyone else besides me? No wonder so many sales people feel anxiety (to put it mildly) when it’s time to ask for the sale.
Shifting your paradigm here can swiftly relieve your anxiety. Here’s the shift you need to make:
Closing is not a moment in time. Closing is a process.
Traditional closing techniques focus way too much on one single question: “Do you want to make this yours today?” And, because of this myopic focus, we overlook all the other critically important closing moments that happen before this final step.
In our tunnel vision drive to arrive at the final close, we miss 95% of the closing process!
Ideally, we should define closing as a series of small agreements that occur naturally throughout the course of the sales presentation. By following this closing process, you give your customer an opportunity to make their buying decision a little bit at a time.
Properly done, the “final close” merely serves as the natural culmination of the buying process.
And here’s best part about all of this: When you gain small agreements throughout, you actually make it EASIER for your customer to make a buying decision because you eliminate the anxiety of answering “the big question” at the end.
Work on seamlessly weaving closing questions into the sales conversation at strategic moments:
- “How does that sound to you so far?”
- “Are we headed in the right direction?”
- “How are you feeling here?”
- “Did we get that right?”
- “Is this what you were hoping for?”
The best salespeople deliver this almost subconsciously as part of their sales presentation. Closing becomes conversational, a natural extension of any dialogue.
So stop making your job harder! Quit focusing on the mega-close at the end of the conversation.
Start embedding small closes into your normal, everyday conversations. Start making it easier for your customer to buy.
Create this new habit and you’ll change someone’s world!