Closing the Sale Doesn’t Have to Create Conflict by Weldon Long

Zig Ziglar once wrote that if you can’t close, you are just a brilliant conversationalist. I would add to that if you can’t close, you are just an unpaid consultant.

Closing does not have to include conflict, stress or beating your prospect into submission. If you have extended yourself emotionally and professionally to your prospect and laid all the appropriate groundwork in the early stages of the sales process, closing will be a natural part of the conversation.

It’s just like the dynamic of a man and a woman dating, which we discussed in a previous chapter. If you rush things at the beginning you’ll scare off your date. But if you take your time, show genuine interest and focus on building the relationship there will come a time when there is an expectation of a commitment.

If you have made the investment to serve your prospect, there will come a time when there is an expectation that you will ask for a commitment – you will close the deal. That does not mean the answer will always be yes, it just means there will come a point when it seems natural to bring the conversation to a conclusion – one way or the other. And remember, yes is best but no is a perfectly acceptable answer.

In the old days of selling, it was about the “ABC’s” – Always Be Closing (Think Glengarry Glen Ross. How can we forget “coffee is for…CLOSERS!”). The basic strategy was to spend 10% of your time acting like you were interested in your prospect, and then 90% of your time closing, closing, closing.

I prefer to do just the opposite. I recommend investing 90% of your time and energy into serving and you’ll find yourself spending only 10% of your time and energy closing.

This does not mean you can ask for the order one time and give up.

Remember human nature dictates that when given the choice of spending money today or spending it next Tuesday, we will choose next Tuesday. It is critical to know that even if your prospect likes you; even if your prospect loves your company; even if your prospect wants and needs your product and service; even if your prospect thinks the price is fair and that your offer has tremendous value, he would still prefer to postpone spending his money. It’s in our DNA.

So even though closing is less conflicted if you have done your job up front, you will still need to ask for the order several times.

Listen, most of us have learned everything we need to know about closing from our children. When children want something from you it is, indeed, a lesson in persistence and closing to behold. It’s a thing of beauty when you can step back and analyze it without wanting to strangle your child. They are relentless. They are focused. And they are often successful.

It’s not that you don’t want your child to have Lucky Charms. It’s not that you don’t love your children. And it’s not that you can’t afford Lucky Charms. It is simply a matter of not wanting someone else telling you how and when to spend your money.

So it goes with your prospect. They can love you and your company, want and need your product and service, have the money to afford it and believe it’s a great value, yet they will have a tendency to say “no” just because it’s there money and they will spend it how and when they darn well please.

So, you may have to ask a few times before your prospect says “yes”. If you ask several times and they say “no”, that’s okay too. The only answer that will destroy your income and sales career is “I don’t know. Call me on Tuesday.” No is a perfectly acceptable answer. Tuesday never comes.

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