One issue with discussing ‘closing’ in the abstract is that there’s no general form of words guaranteed to be valid in any particular situation: it’s what’s congruent ‘in the moment’.The basic principle remains that a question about price can be a pivotal moment in the sales process.A price question after we’ve demonstrated value, i.e. the client has been talking about his business requirements and we’ve established some common ground between his needs and our value proposition, *logically* implies the possibility of a buying decision.
Otherwise it makes no sense to ask about price, and of course it doesn’t have to be price, the same principle applies to any question that implies a sale or buying decision, price is just a common denominator.
In some situations price isn’t an issue at all: in a job interview, for example, there’s no price but you still have to close for the job in the final stages of the interview – at least if you want to sell yourself and increase your chances of getting the job.
People will often ask about price without having made any kind of buying decision or commitment, which is precisely why it can be fatal to simply respond with a price.
Because their attention may well then fix on price *at the expense of value*.
Either way, it’s an ideal time to raise any other matters that might influence the sales process: if a prospect asks about price, that’s a buying signal and you’re not a salesperson if you don’t interpret it as such. One possible response is to use the price question to bring to light, i.e. to ‘close’, on any other factors apart from price which could impact on the buying decision.
You could simply ask: ‘Is there anything else apart from price you’re unclear about?’ He’s asked about price so you’re entitled to assume he’s interested in buying. Otherwise a price question makes no sense.
And once he’s asked the question, he can’t then deny his buying interest. It’s your duty as a salesperson to call him on his intent in the moment.
Sales people are often reluctant to raise possible objections themselves. But if there are genuine reasons not to do business it can enhance the salesperson’s status if he takes the lead in raising them, and impel the client to make a decision, or at least give some commitment in the moment – and this *is* all about timing.
If there are genuine reasons why the deal can’t happen, you need to know them sooner rather than later, and you can’t rely on the client to volunteer them: being sold to can be flattering for some people independently of any business need.
You can’t advance the sales process unless you’re willing to ask questions that invite the possibility of arresting or even terminating it.
If there are valid reasons for the sale not to go ahead, it’s better to discover them sooner rather than later, and on your terms rather than theirs.
You’ll also feel better about yourself knowing you’ve assumed control of the situation. As opposed to kicking yourself when you lose a sale and realise you should have raised the issue previously yourself but didn’t for fear of losing it!
The other possibility is that you win it.