Closing from a Distance

In the past, most companies divided territories by geographical area. Today, many salespeople specialize in particular products or services and concentrate on clients who have needs that match the products no matter where they are on the planet. So, companies are more likely to claim as your territory any client who has a need for your specialty. That means your client base may well be anywhere in the world. If that’s the case with you, you’ll do very little face-to-face selling and a whole lot of remote closing.

What do you do when you’re not able to close face-to-face? Well, when you close from a distance, you call upon your skills as a closer and rely on the wonders of technology like phones, fax machines (yes, some industries still find this a successful way to do business), the Internet, email, and express or overnight delivery services.

Let’s say you’ve presented to International, Inc. in Los Angeles. You’re now back home in Boise, Idaho. Your presentation was precisely detailed. You established great rapport with the three committee members and followed up with thank you notes to each person before you left L.A. They told you they had to make a decision by today (a week later). What are your chances of getting the agreement? Very good if you answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • Did you call either yesterday or the day before to check to see what remaining questions the clients had about the ability of your product to satisfy their needs?
  • Did you arrange a specific time for their call today?
  • Have you reread your entire file on this account so all the details are fresh in your mind?
  • Do you have your brief summary review (your list of everything they agreed they like about your product) filled with emotional involvement phrases that will help them feel what it will be like AFTER they take ownership?
  • Do you have a solid closing question prepared and rehearsed?

Every “yes” you answer here brings you closer to getting the big YES from your clients. Even if the potential clients dismissed you with a “We’ll get back to you” that doesn’t mean you sit and stay like a good puppy until they call you. You’re a professional. You’re proactive.

Calling a day or two before the decision to see if anything new has come up doesn’t make you a pest. Making this call is a courtesy and a way to protect your interest in the client. You can bet the competition is trying to lobby for their product. So, why shouldn’t you?

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

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