Closing? Busting ‘closing the sale’ myths

A. B. C. Always Be Closing. Whilst it’s true, this article will look at BUSTING the myths surrounding CLOSING THE SALE

Always Be Closing. For those sales aficionados out there who know the great sales film Glengarry Glen Ross, you’ll recognise the Alec Baldwin dominated scene from the film of the David Mamet play. (Actually, the Alec Baldwin scene is NOT in the play and was added for the film).

In this scene, Alec Baldwin’s character espouses the requirement for the harried and struggling salespeople to always be closing. He goes on to abuse them but doesn’t actually say what they should be doing differently to get the deal done.

So let’s do a better job that Alec Baldwin, let’s look at closing

One of the things I love about what we do at Cellular Attitude is the fact that we help salespeople have better lives. By better lives, I don’t just mean more money or more commission. That’s something that happens of course, however, our training also helps salespeople get more confident in what they are doing which in turn leads to less stress. Less stress leads to more happiness, and a happier salesperson sells more than an unhappy salesperson.

Closing is the key element in the salesperson’s tool kit that every salesperson should be using every day. However, many salespeople are completely flummoxed by closing, are scared of it or simply don’t understand how simple and easy closing it.

Before we explain just how ridiculously easy closing can be, let’s look at how some very highly paid sales trainers and business consultants make closing MORE complicated and HARDER to use effectively.

Here’s a list of ‘CLOSING TYPES’ that salespeople are expected to learn. I promise you, I am not making this up!

The Direct Close
The Minor Decision Close
The Alternative Choice Close. Also known as The Either/ Or Close
The Secondary Question Close
The Step By Step Close
The Question Back Close
The Half Nelson Close. Also known as The Rebound Close
The Final Objection Close
The Verbal Summary Close
The Assumptive Close. Also known as The Take It For Granted Close
The Process Of Elimination Close
The Think It Over Close
The Call Back Close
The Fear Close (ooooh!)
The Incentive Close
The Concessionary Close
The Third Part Reference Close
The Cautionary Tale Close
The For And Against Close
The Positive – Negative Close
The No Obligation Close
The Overnight Close
The Lost Sale Close
The Please, Please, Please, Please NO MORE CLOSES close

OK, so the last one in that list I made up. As you can see that’s a lot of closes to remember and frankly, in my humble opinion, it makes the job of selling and closing effectively much more confusing.

Not only that, but a lot of these ‘closes’ make me feel physically sick. Good effective, honest and ethical selling is NOT about manipulation or ‘conning’ customers.

Take ‘The Fear Close’. Here’s an example one particular training programme suggests: ‘Of course, your production losses will continue until we install it…’ First this is a terrible close and secondly, as I will explain in a moment, IT IS NOT EVEN A CLOSE!!!!! Grrrr.

Several of the others do the same thing. It’s just wrong.

Closing in sales terms is very simple.

Let’s look at some sample ‘closes’. See if you can work out what is exactly the same with every example I am showing you:

Would you like order now?
When would you like to order?
When do you want this delivered by?
How many do you want?
Do you want any particular colours?
Would you prefer red or blue?
If I can do this for you, when would you place the order?
How does that sound?
Is there anything else we add to the order?
What are you looking to do today?
Would that be OK?

Can you tell me what each close does?

OK, for those of you just skimming ahead, reading rather than stopping for a moment to think I can tell you that they are all questions.

You see, the true secret of SELLING is CLOSING and the true secret of CLOSING is asking the RIGHT QUESTIONS

That is all there is to it. No long list of different closes to learn, no need to pretend you are doing anything that is not true or hiding anything from customers.

A CLOSE is a question.
It can be an exploratory question that opens the customer up by finding everything out about them.
It can be an investigating question that ascertains what the customer is looking to achieve or prevent from happening.
It can be a confirmatory or acknowledging question to check your understanding of the client’s requirements
It can be a call to action question, the final stages of the sale, the question to check if the customer’s happy with everything.

It can be whatever is required to help the customer make the right buying decision for themselves.

From ‘Hello, do you know who deals with…’ to ”Would you mind if I asked you some questions so that I can understand your business?’ to ‘OK, so, if we can help you deal with that problem, would you be interested in a further discussion?’ to ‘All right, it looks like we have something that can help you, can I go through it with you?’ to ‘OK, how does that sound?’ to ‘Are you happy for me to place the order?’ THEY ARE ALL CLOSES and they are ALL QUESTIONS

You see, closing is simply asking the right questions at the right time.

Furthermore, if selling is closing and closing is asking the right questions, selling is simply asking the right questions.

Does that make sense?

Of course, the really big question is….

WHAT ARE THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?

For that and other great selling techniques and training tips, keep reading this weekly blog or get in touch to find out how we can help your business increase sales and improve the buying experience for your customers.

See you next week, where Bianca is writing her first blog for the website!

Keep on asking! Adam

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