by Ryan Taft
Every one of us, at some point in time, has been a part of that awkward moment called, “The first kiss.”
You know what I am talking about.
At the end of a first date, you found yourself at the front door saying goodnight wondering if that magical first kiss will happen.
It is certainly an awkward moment, right?
Women across the country have shared with me in seminars that if a guy waits too long during that awkward moment, the kiss doesn’t happen and the man is banished into the category of “he’s just a good friend.”
For reference here, watch the movie Hitch with Will Smith.
A similar pattern, more or less, appears in the sales process as well (Minus the kiss part).
Think about it.
You invest time with customers, creating a relationship with them.
You uncover their needs and show them how your product or service will solve their problems, which is often the goal of dating.
Then, at the end of your presentation, there is a small voice that tells you to ask for the sale.
I believe it is the same voice that tells us to go for the first kiss.
For sales people all across the country, this is the moment where they either create a customer or decrease their conversion ratio.
I have studied this moment at length.
In the last several years, I have observed over 1,000 sales presentations and have uncovered an interesting pattern.
Here’s the beauty of patterns; once you identify a pattern it enables you to predict it and then change it if desired.
Here is the pattern.
At the moment when the voice tells you to “ask for the sale” that awkward pause more often than not, rears its’ ugly head.
Both you and the customer feel the pause.
If you wait too long, customers will distract the sales professional with a question.
• Can I get your business card?
• Do you have a packet or brochure?
• What are your days off?
• Can you tell me more about ________ (your product or the terms)?
• What time do you close?
Do you recognize any of these?
If you do, there is a good chance you are falling victim to the closing pause.
Here are three ways you can avoid the closing pause.
1. Have a “Go To” Close
If I were to ask you to give me your “go to” close, would you have it at the ready? Or do you have to think about it?
If you have to think about it, you’re toast.
I recommend having it down.
Even if it is as simple as, “Are you ready to make this yours?”
I get that you may alter your close depending on the customer, but you should still have a fall back, “go to” close.
When I say practice, I don’t just mean memorize your close.
According to Edgar Dale’s Cone of Learning, simulating the real experience is the best way to learn outside of doing the real thing.
Get a co-worker or friend to practice avoiding the pause with your “go to” close.
Practice it until it becomes an auto-response.
3. Use The Law of Continuity
I can sum up part of the reason why we pause in the first place in just one word; uncertainty.
If that’s true, then it makes sense to create a sense of certainty.
You do that using the Law of Continuity.
The law states that when people say ‘yes’, they will continue to say ‘yes’.
In other words, when customers agree with you on multiple smaller decisions throughout your presentation, the pressure is taken off of the final close.
This will help eliminate uncertainty for both you and your customers.
When you eliminate the closing pause you give your customers the best chance to enjoy your product or service.
You also give yourself the best chance to change their world!