Always Be Closing

In reality there is no necessary relation between the value of a product or service and the direction of a buying decision. ‘Closers’ intuitively understand this.


Equally, many otherwise capable and intelligent sales people tend to overlook it and can’t comprehend how they could lose a deal when they’ve shown cast-iron proof of superior value.

The strongest close is where the logic of the customer’s own thought process is turned back on him, impelling a decision. And because it’s the customer’s own logic, he doesn’t feel he’s being sold to.


People naturally want to push back when pressured but there’s nothing to push back against if the ‘pressure’ to make a decision is based on what has come out of one’s own mouth.


It’s also then difficult for him to change his mind since nobody wants to appear inconsistent or to go back on their word. People will tend rather to justify their decision to themselves, which is why they often buy inferior products and spend more than they need to.


For no better reason than not wanting to appear foolish, they will rationalise the value to themselves. It happens all the time on the High Street, in the boardroom, at home: wherever we can’t afford to lose face which is practically everywhere.


The key for the ‘closer’ is to anticipate these pivotal moments in the sales process and be equipped in terms of ‘technique’ to take advantage, i.e. to win commitment or ‘close’ in the moment. ‘Technique’ here only means knowing how to structure questions and to time one’s interventions to best effect. If that doesn’t come naturally then it’s a ‘technique’ in that it has to be learned.


Good sales people are always closing: they realise that if they’re not asking questions that could terminate the sales process, then they can’t be advancing it either. Counter-intuitively, answering questions and providing helpful information can appear needy, diminishing one’s status and by extension value proposition.


Which isn’t to say one shouldn’t be ‘helpful’ only that it can create its own pitfalls. As salespeople we’re already keen to win the deal: our eagerness to please actually stems from our own self-interest and not necessarily concern for the client.


Obviously it’s a delicate balance.  But people pick-up on it if you’re too ‘nice’, a bit like a woman where a man tries too hard to please which she finds ‘creepy’ because he’s disguising his true intent.


The sales professional meets the prospect on equal terms. Our prospect is out to get the best value for his business, as we are for ours. We don’t need to be shy about it like the ‘creep’.


Our motives and rules of engagement should be as transparent to him as his are to us. Reciprocity is the golden rule in all healthy relationships. And nowhere more than in business where money and reputation or ego are always in play.

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