When you think of the typical salesperson closing someone, what’s the immediate image that pops into your head? For me, I think of Alec Baldwin and his “Coffee is for closers” speech.
Or as I like to call it, Closing 1.0.
Back in the day, they taught closing in a way that created animosity between salespeople and customers. People viewed closing as something you did to a customer. Heck…a lot of trainers still teach closing as something you do to a customer. It’s aggressive and fairly confrontational.
My experience in working with sales professionals across the country is that they themselves didn’t like that training. It caused them to either be “pushy” or even worse; they would shy away from closing altogether. (See number 5 below)
But what if closing was something you did for your customer? Wouldn’t that be more effective? Wouldn’t it be more comfortable for you and your customer? Of course.
We call it Closing 2.0.
Closing 2.0 is much more collaborative. It’s about working with a customer to find solutions and makes asking for the sale a totally natural part of the process.
So how do you know if you need to switch from Closing 1.0 to Closing 2.0? Here are five easy ways to tell:
You believe it’s “Us vs. Them” – In the movie Boiler Room with Ben Affleck, there is a line that says, “A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you on a reason you can’t.” If that doesn’t scream us vs. them, I don’t know what does. If you believe it is you vs. your customer, you definitely need an upgrade to closing 2.0. Closing 2.0 is not combative, it’s collaborative.
You ask only “Yes” questions – Can anyone say “Manipulation”? As mentioned above, closing 2.0 is collaborative. When you force your customer into saying yes, that is controlling. Closing 2.0 is all about uncovering if there are more “yeses” than “no’s.”
You don’t know the answer to the closing question – Most 1.0 salespeople dump a ton of features and benefits on their customers and have no idea if the customer will say yes to the final closing question.
A 2.0 salesperson will have done something very different. She will have checked in with the customer for the customer’s thoughts all the way through the conversation. Doing so causes you to know whether you will hear a “yes” or “no” to the final closing question.
You turn into a robot – If you start sounding like a scripted salesperson from 1985 when you ask for the sale, you are probably in need of an upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0! The key is being casual. Think of asking a friend if they want another beer. You wouldn’t say, “You’d love another beer, wouldn’t you agree?”
You constantly yield – I often hear salespeople claim they are afraid of being pushy. I agree, you shouldn’t be pushy. But that doesn’t mean you should turn the close into a weak question like:
- “So, do you have any more questions?”
- “Can I get you any more information?”
- “My days off are Tuesday and Wednesday. Please let me know if you want to move forward.”
All of these are indicators that you are in need of Closing 2.0 skills. You see, closing is something we do for our customers, not to them. Closing 2.0 is all about asking with confidence and knowing that you are truly helping the customer with their personal mission.
At the end of the day, closing must be a normal part of the discussion with your customers. It must be easy, low stress, and even fun. When it is, you will get to change your customer’s world.