Knowing When to Close the Sale

The actual closing of the sale is by far the most important step in the selling process. I teach lots of techniques for prospecting, meeting people, qualifying, presenting, demonstrating, and overcoming objections, and they’re all important. But, unless you can close, you’re like a football team that can’t sustain a drive long enough to score.

So, welcome to the delightful world of closing. If you don’t love it now, learn to love it, because that’s where the money is. The biggest complaint I hear from most salespeople is that they don’t know when to start closing. Those people just don’t understand the simple fact that a true Champion salesperson is closing all the time. He or she is constantly trying test closes and will go into the final closing sequence anytime they sniff the sweet smell of success.

The problem with too many salespeople is they get so wrapped up in their selling sequence that if the prospect wants it before they’re through, they won’t let them have it. Believe it or not, there are prospects out there that will get sold fast. If you keep talking instead of closing, you’ll run the risk of unselling them just as fast.

To become a top professional in selling, you must always have your closing materials with you. You must be ready to close anywhere and at any time. I’m sure you’ve heard of sales being closed at lunch, on the golf course, or at the health club. The salespeople who closed those sales and kept them were ready when the client was. The salesperson who soon after lost those sales didn’t have their closing materials and the client cooled off by the time they were ready to take the order.

Why make things so hard on yourself? A supply of closing materials should take up permanent residence in your briefcase, club locker, car trunk, and office desk. Keep these forms handy anywhere you go.

Careful thought must be given to the how and when you’ll produce these closing materials. Many prospects will tighten up and try to change gears of they see you pulling out forms. Don’t risk upsetting the emotional balance that’s tipped in your favor. Keep a clean, crisp form under just a few pages of your presentation binder, notebook or time planner at all times. It will be easily accessible and not require a lot of motion on your part to get it out. Nothing should distract your attention from the client’s every word or movement when you can see that they’re ready to close. If at all possible, get into the habit of writing brief notes during every presentation; then, your prospect will get used to seeing you writing and not be put off when you begin writing on the actual agreement.

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This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

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