Barriers to Closing

What are you really doing when you close a sale? There are four issues you are addressing, and, perhaps overcoming.

The first issue is that the client really does want to make the decision to go ahead and they need your help rationalizing it. That puts you in the position of the “rationaliz-er”–the one who validates their emotional decision or backs it up with facts and other evidence that they’re making a wise decision to go ahead.

The second issue is that you’re helping your potential clients head off procrastination. Even when procrastinating turns out to be a good thing, the time between the decision to procrastinate and the final decision is an uncomfortable one for most people. So, rather than allow them to feel the discomfort, you help your potential clients make the decision once and for all. Hopefully, for the decision. This will take the weight of decision-making off their shoulders.

Third, you are helping your clients overcome their fears. There are any number of fears that could arise when someone is faced with making a decision. The bigger the amount of money involved, the greater the fears. Clients will always fear making bad decisions, losing face and/or losing money.

Fourth, you help your clients overcome indecision. This is different from procrastination. With procrastination, they just put off making a decision. Indecision is when a client feels torn about the decision–unable to decide which way to go.

Most clients get hung up on just one of these four areas. Your job is to learn to recognize which it is because each of the four areas requires a slightly different approach to closing.

A benefit summary works well to help clients rationalize their decision. The good old Ben Franklin close or the Fact-Weighing Scale Approach work well here, too. In a sale to a business, the Competitive Edge or Increased Productivity closes help them see the value of going ahead.

Closes that overcome fear are those that help your clients focus on the benefits of what they gain by saying yes. A benefit summary may work here but even better are the Big Bargain close and the Economic Truth close.

For procrastinators, you will find the Similar Situation close helpful. Let them see that they’re just like other people and that hesitating when it comes to decision-time is normal. Then, let them envision how they’ll win by going ahead–just like so many of your other clients have. The Time Trap close is another good one where you help people recognize how quickly time passes, creating a sense of urgency to make the decision now.

Indecision is often overcome with the Colin Powell close where we quote a recognized authority on the negative effects of indecision. The Higher Authority close is also helpful here. Let your other clients brag about you and your product to new potential clients.

If you struggle with closing, start thinking about situations where you didn’t win the sale. What might have been the real challenge faced by those folks? Was it fear, procrastination, indecision or a need to rationalize? Start training yourself to recognize which of those aspects is happening in each future sale and you’ll soon find yourself applying the best, most appropriate close to each situation.

Master the proven-effective closes mentioned here by reading,

Sales Closing for Dummies.

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