Before the Close

handshakeClosing has received a lot of bad press over the years. Many view closing as adversarial, thinking that if the closer ‘wins’, by default they have defeated the person they closed.

But closing is not like a Wild West gunfight, with six shooters at ten paces and only one walking away. There is nothing adversarial about closing, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Closing is the simple act of helping somebody make a decision. Closing is a process that ties down agreement so that neither party has to go back over old ground, re-discussing issues that were previously agreed upon.

Because somebody agrees with you, it does not mean they have lost. They are actually closer to making a decision, which has to be a good thing for all parties.

Closing is not just that one final close that happens at the end, when you place the pen into the hand of your prospect.Before the final close, there is much to do if you are going to get an agreement and have a happy client as a bonus.

With closing comes responsibility. As professional salespeople, we must ensure that whenever we close somebody, whatever it is we are closing on MUST BE RIGHT FOR THE CLIENT. To close somebody on something that is not in their best interests is incompetent, irresponsible, and unprofessional.

This means that we have a responsibility to uncover client need. This must always come before the close.

What is it they need? What is the right decision for them to make? Lead the client to the understanding that they have a problem that needs to be solved. Get them to AGREE that this is indeed a problem. Many salespeople skip this, never knowing why they lost the sale.

Once we have identified a problem to be solved, and have the client agree that this is a problem to be solved, we then present our SOLUTION.

Next, we ask the client if this solution will indeed solve their problem.

THEN WE CLOSE.

They haven’t lost and you haven’t won. You both have won: the client has agreed to the solution that is right for them and you have made a sale.

Close correctly, and on the right things, and everybody wins.

The Closer’s Formula is:

  • Uncover client needs.
  • Get the client to AGREE that this is a problem for them, one to which they would like a solution. You get nowhere if you try to present solutions to something clients don’t believe is a problem in the first place.
  • Show your solutions to the problem.
  • Close.

Get the order right, take time and show care, and it is difficult for the prospect to say no.

Care about the client and only close on things to which they should agree, and they will never feel as though they were pushed into anything.

As you can see, there is a lot to do before you close, but put the client first and they will trust you; close responsibility and you do them a great service. Look after them and they will refer you to their friends and family.

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