By Amy O’Connor
Let’s face it, there’s a lot of bad sales training out there as it relates to closing skills. And that bad training leads to bad technique, but maybe even worse, bad training leads to bad mindset. It’s important to understand that flawed mindset always leads to flawed technique.
Below are the top ten closing myths (or flawed mindsets as it relates to closing a buyer) that negatively effect sale people’s performance and the realities we should embrace in their place.
- Closing myth: Closing is all about getting the sale. Reality: Closing is about problem solving. Keep in mind that all buyers buy for the same reason – to improve their lives! Find out how their lives need to improve (i.e. discover their dissatisfaction) and show them how your product makes their life better. That’s effective closing!
- Closing myth: Closing requires me to create urgency. Reality: Closing requires me to discover urgency. When a buyer appears in front of you (a salesperson!) by their own choice, know that their sheer presence alone tells us they have urgency. Our task is to ask the right questions to bring that urgency to the surface.
- Closing myth: Customers must agree with me. Reality: Customers must agree with themselves. When we get a customer to describe what they want, then we show them what we have that most closely matches their description, and finally we ask them “will this work for you?” they are not agreeing with us, they are agreeing with themselves. In closing, discovery is key!
- Closing Myth: Buying signals tell me when to close. Reality: Buying behaviors tell me when to close. Watch for the emotional moments. When the buyer’s behavior shifts from stoic to ecstatic, that’s the moment to ask for the close.
- Closing Myth: Closing is the last step in the process. Reality: Closing takes placed throughout the process. Allowing the buyer to make small decisions throughout the sales process creates cognitive ease. Remember the law of continuity says – “when a buyer starts to say ‘yes,’ they continue to say ‘yes’!”
- Closing Myth: A slick closing script will save the day. Reality: A smart closing strategy seals more deals. Slick closing question aren’t funny or cute, they’re a major turnoff for buyers. Ditch the cheesy closing questions and create a strong closing strategy instead. (Hint: see #6 above)
- Closing Myth: Closing comes down to product and price. Reality: Closing comes down to meeting needs and solving problems. Here’s the harsh truth: you never lose a sale to the competition over price. If the customer can afford your product and the competition’s product, but they choose your competitor over you, you didn’t lose on price. You lost on the value perception. You didn’t prove that your product was superior in meeting their needs and solving their problems.
- Closing Myth: Closing is something you do TO a customer. Reality: Closing is something you do FOR a customer. Asking closing questions creates clarity for the customer. It forces them to evaluate if your product is right for them. It’s also respectful. NOT asking the closing question can make the buyer feel like you don’t think they can afford what you’re offering.
- Closing Myth: Customers don’t want to be closed. Reality: Customers don’t want to make a bad decision. Of course no one wants to feel pushed, pressured or manipulated, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be closed. Closing done properly reaffirms to the buyer that they are making a good decision.
- Closing Myth: Closing is about signing on the dotted line. Reality: Closing is about celebrating a major decision. After asking the closing questioning and receiving the ever important “yes” from the buyer, take a moment to celebrate with them before moving straight to the paperwork or contract. Buyer’s want and need the emotional high associated with making a purchase decision.
And finally, closing isn’t about the big fat commission check, it’s about helping to change people’s lives.