"The Close" is sales jargon for the bit where you ask the customer to make a decision or to place an order. However, it doesn't always relate to sales. Many people feel uncomfortable when they ask someone to make a decision.
The reason people find it difficult is that they hate the word “no" or “I don't want to do it" or even - “I'll think about it. " We take it as rejection and most humans just hate rejection.
I'm reminded of the salesman whose wife asked him how well he'd done that particular day. “I got three orders today" he replied- “Get out, stay out and don't come back. "
If you've made a good job finding out the other person's needs and presenting how your product or service or idea meets their needs, then closing will be a natural step in your dialogue. The goal in closing is to reach agreement with the other person on the appropriate next steps. It might be about signing an order, or arranging another meeting or a demonstration of your product.
You close when - #1 The customer indicates that they're ready to move ahead either verbally or non-verbally. (A buying signal) - Or #2 The customer has accepted the benefits you've described. The customer might say “I like the sound of that" or “That looks OK to me". They may even be smiling, nodding or looking expectantly at you.
The three steps to closing the sale are -
#1 Review the previously accepted benefits. (When you presented the features and benefits of your product or service you should have checked for acceptance of these benefits. ) Now is the time to review these benefits. You might say: “As we've discussed" or “Let's go over what we've agreed so far".
#2 Propose the next steps. This is where you ask for whatever was the objective of your call and is also relevant to your customer's needs. You're asking the customer to make a commitment. However you're also making a commitment to satisfy the customers’ needs. You might say - “If you produce a purchase order I can put it through today" or “I'd like to arrange for our engineers to familiarise your people with how this machine will cut your costs".
#3 Check for acceptance. This may sound fairly logical however it's the final part of the closing process and many people avoid it like the plague; primarily because they hate to hear “NO. "
You say something like - “Can you arrange that?" or “Is that acceptable?" or “How does that sound?"
You're either going to get a “yes, " a “no" or a “maybe" when you ask your closing question. If you get a “no" or a “maybe" then you need to deal with their resistance - and that's another story!
Discover how you can generate more business without having to cold call!
Alan Fairweather is the author of “How to get More Sales without Selling" This book is packed with practical things that you can do to – get customers to come to you.
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