Closing The Sale & Closing Techniques
A Close is defined as “to put an end to; to finish.” In selling, this means the process used to bring your customer to a decision, whether it be yes or no. Closing actually is a logical progression of ideas bringing about a decision and closing techniques can include many specific approaches.
When To Use Closing Techniques
Since the close is the process of helping your customer make a decision, you should keep in mind that everything you say during the approach and the demonstration is directed toward closing the sale. You begin closing the sale when you first meet your customer. From the very beginning, all of your talking, thinking, and action is directed toward closing. Remember, the ABC’s of selling are extremely vital to your success. ALWAYS BE CLOSING.
The Greatest Closing Techniques
As was mentioned earlier, the very best close is a really enthusiastic and excellent presentation. By creating an excitement and desire for your product through an enthusiastic and excellent presentation, a “yes” in the final close is almost assured. One of your purposes for closing is to help fulfill needs, problems, and desires that were established during your demonstration. Something to keep in mind is that many times you have more knowledge than your customer about how your product will fill their needs, problems, and desires. Therefore, it is important that you use your tools of salesmanship to show them how the product you’re showing will fill their needs, solve their problems, and fulfill their desires.
Remember: One of the greatest closing techniques ever is an enthusiastic, emotional packed, fantastic presentation!
A basic human instinct is one that we are all aware of and that is to “put off `till tomorrow.” One of the biggest problems people have is making decisions, and because of that, many things that could be accomplished never are. Another basic human instinct is that people FEAR making the wrong decision. Because of this FEAR of making the wrong decision, people will put off making any decision. Many times your dealer will want to order the product you’re showing but because of his past habit of not making decisions, he will hesitate to make one at the end of your demonstration. It is very important that your customers make a decision–whether it be a yes or a no–so that you can react to that decision and close again or move on if necessary.
How To Close
The how of closing involves several specific steps or closing techniques. Among these are the trial closes, the use of third person selling, attitude, and knowing your “close questions.”
It is much easier for the dealer to make decisions on minor points. That is the purpose of the trial close questions. The dealer makes a series of smaller decisions rather than being confronted by one large decision. Trial close questions give you an indication of whether the dealer is interested in ordering or stocking the products or not–it tells you the dealers temperature.
- Can you see how having graphical tools built directly into the word processor could make a “finished” newsletter easy? It could, couldn’t it.
- Wouldn’t this product make a great add in with your Pentium computers?
- Can you see how this version of Windows could make un-deleting easier. It could, couldn’t it?
- Can you see how Franklin Day Planner users would love this PIM? Can you see how it would help you become more effective?
- If you had this contact management software, wouldn’t it help you keep better track of your clients?
- Can you see how this program would automate your regular backups? It would, wouldn’t it.
- Wouldn’t it be nice to fax right from windows? Wouldn’t you like to use this yourself?
Eight Yes’s Secures A Sale
Statistics show that if you can get your customer to say “yes” at least eight times through trial close questions then you will secure a sale! When asking trial close question, always help the customer to say “yes” by nodding your head up and down–they will automatically nod with you. Have you ever tried to say no while your were nodding your head up and down?
Using trial close questions as one of your closing techniques in the presentation is like going down Main Street through traffic lights. As long as the lights are green, you can keep on going. If you ever come to a red light, you have to stop. At the yellow lights, you either proceed cautiously or come to a stop, at that point, a change has to take place before you can proceed down the street.
The same is true in closing. Each trial close is like a traffic light with the dealer at the controls. As long as he gives you a “yes” (a green light) you can keep on moving with the presentation and progress toward the sale. The minute you hit a “no” (a red light) you have to stop, handle the objection and then ask more trial close questions. When a dealer continually responds negatively to trial close questions, shorten your presentation and, if necessary, gracefully finish up and move to another appointment–you can only do so much.
Remember, when people see red lights or green lights, they pretty well know what to do. It is the human problem of what to do on the yellow lights that causes most of the trouble. The same is true in the close. In selling products, it is not the yes’s or the no’s that will cause you not to do well, but the maybe’s.
When a customer responds to trial close questions with maybe’s or indecision, proceed with caution by showing more and asking additional trial close questions. You hope all of your dealers are excited and say “yes” to every demo. The important thing is that you gently bring them to a point of decision–even if the decision is not to get the product, NFR (not for resale) or the eval unit yet.
“The” Close Question
For every demo you should establish “a” close question that is designed to induce action. It is imperative that you develop a close question, usually within the first week of a tour, memorize it, and ask it to get “results” from every demo.
- “The regular price for Ami Pro is $495, about $267 through distribution. However, Lotus has allowed you to get a copy for the store and/or the employees for only $50. This offer is good during the time of our promotion. It doesn’t really make much difference to me if you get just one store copy or half a dozen for the employees, whichever you prefer. Would you like to take Lotus up on their discounted offer and order a store copy or would you rather get personal copies for some of your employees also?”
- “Retail is $99. Distribution copies of DR DOS 6.0 are about $69. So that you can have a chance to get up to speed with the new DOS, the company has allowed me to sell you your own personal copy below cost for only $19.95. Would you like to order just your own copy or would you prefer to order a few for some of the reps also?”
- “The new 486 to Pentium chip converter will sell for $299 and your cost through distribution will be about $195. However, you can get a special one time only test sample exactly at material cost for only $135. Would you like to order one of the specials at this time and save $60 or would you rather get it through distribution and pay more?”
As you memorize and practice your tour’s close question’s you will have confidence to get results. You can best serve your customer by going through the close question word for word with each demo. This accomplishes two things for your customer. One is it helps him to make a decision. Secondly, it saves the dealer and the field rep valuable time by getting the decision out in the open. That means you will be spending less time in the sale situation and it allows you time to serve more dealers.
The fear of asking a customer to buy is one of the greatest mistakes new reps make. Remember, even though you want your dealer to say “yes,” the important thing is that you want him to say something.
It is extremely important when asking the close questions to have a completely positive mental attitude. Assume your dealer is going to buy and never doubt his intentions to do so. Your confidence and assumptive attitude will affect the customer’s confidence and attitude in making a decision. By the same token, you want to help the dealer feel that it doesn’t matter to you whether he buys or not (it is “his” decision, not yours). You should be low-key, but at the same time, you have to do everything you can to help him see how the product will help him to help his customers.
The purpose of the assumptive close question is to make it easier for the dealer to reach a decision. Direct questions like, “Do you want it?” put a lot of pressure on the person. It makes it more difficult for the dealer to reach a decision.
In summary, the close question primarily does two things: it helps the person who is interested to decide. It makes it easier for the person who is not interested in buying to tell you so. Your primary goal is simply to bring your customer to a point of decision–you must help him overcome his natural tendency to procrastinate.
First To Talk Takes The Goods
Once you have asked the close question, “SHUT UP!” The first person to talk, after the close question, takes the product. When you ask the close question you must allow the prospect a chance to answer. He will answer with an objection, or with a positive response. If it is an objection, handle it, give “one more reason to buy,” and ask the close question again (based on the new information, the prospect can now make a “new” decision). If his response is positive, immediately write the order–do not stall. Stalling by continuing to talk questions his decision, rather than reinforces it.
If a prospect hesitates to answer then just wait. It may take a minute or two but do not talk and let him off the hook–you must ensure a response, one way or the other. If there is a pause, then the prospect is merely “balancing the budget” in his own mind. Allow him time to do so.
If the dealer is having a difficult time in making a decision then use one of the physical action closing techniques and start filling out the order form–even if you have to leave it with him. By personalizing it, it becomes “his” and lends itself to quicker attention.
Roller Coaster Closing
Many new reps make the fatal error of asking the close question when their dealer is at an emotional low. You never want to close your customer until he reaches an emotional high. In the presentation for example, everything you say and do from the approach to the price saving’s buildup will help you bring your customer to an emotional high–which could be likened to the top of a roller coaster.
Once you start talking about money, however, your customer will drop to an emotional low–to the bottom of the roller coaster hill. It is here that many new reps will close–causing “death to the sale.” Before you can close effectively, you must get your dealer back to an emotional high, or back on top of the roller coaster hill. The best way to do this is through third person testimonials, by painting a picture, and reviewing your dealer’s hot buttons.
One More Reason To Buy
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons and closing techniques a salesperson can learn is how to close sales without any pressure. Pressure is felt when a prospect says “no” and then the salesperson attempts to close again without giving the prospect “another reason to buy.” When the prospect says “no” he is really saying, “Based on the information you have presented thus far, I am not interested. BUT, if you can show me a significant benefit that I may have overlooked, I would gladly change my mind.” You must give him one more reason to buy before closing again.
- Reading another positive product review.
- Telling how other dealers have helped their customers with the product.
- Demonstrating additional features of the product, “Oh, I forgot to show you…,” etc.
Once you have shown your dealer additional reasons why the product will help him then, and only then, do you close again.
Closing Techniques – Tips To Remember
- Close with a strong positive mental attitude. Assume your customer is going to buy and never doubt his intentions to do so.
- By the same token, you want to relax your customer by letting him feel it doesn’t matter to you whether he buys or not. “Everyone likes to buy… nobody likes to be sold.” Create a “buying atmosphere.”
- Never pressure your customer with direct questions like, “Do you want it?”
- To be successful in closing, you must have the will to win. Selling is a win-win situation or a lose-lose situation.
- Always remember, “One more reason to buy.”
- Continually reassure your customer that he is making the right decision by purchasing.
- In every presentation, always ask for the sale by asking the close question.
- After giving each “one more reason to buy,” always ask for the sale by asking the close question again.
- It is important that there not be a distinction between the demonstration and the close. They should flow smoothly from one to the other.
- RELAX–At this point in your demonstration, you can make your customer uptight or relax him, depending on what your attitude and feelings are. If you relax, he will relax. This helps establish trust and confidence.
- Be sure to use third person testimonials.
- Don’t make your offer too wordy and confusing–remember, “a confused prospect never buys.” Make the close as simple as possible. Go low and slow.
- Define “closing the sale?”
- ABC stands for _________ ____ _____________.
- What is “the” greatest close?
- Give an example of a trial close:
- Explain “red light,” “green light,” closing:
- What is “roller coaster” closing?
- Why should you always give “one more reason to buy” before asking the close question again.
- The first person to talk ________ ______ ____________. Explain:
Closing Techniques Books
- Secrets To Closing The Sale – Zig Ziglar. Another “hard” sales skills. Zig is the perfect trainer (I have read almost every one of his books and wore out his tapes!)