While at a networking event, the discussion led to the question of ‘the close’. I listened intently to the different ideas presented by everyone I thought to myself that I was somehow transported back in time to 15 or 20 years ago. Some of the suggestions were outdated, in that they all focused on the salesperson’s needs and wishes and really had nothing to do with the client. When it was my turn to share, I could not hold back and I asked if they had actually heard themselves?
‘Since when in today’s day and age, did it become about us and not them?’
This does not mean that there is no way to get to the ‘close’ faster, but it must come from the customer. It is our job, as well as our responsibility, to steer them in that direction. By steering, I do not mean manipulating, tricking or pressuring but allowing the client to come to their own conclusion when presented with alternatives, solutions or ideas. Most importantly, it comes from the use of effective, clear and strategic questioning skills. More on those in subsequent blogs.
Would your life not be a lot easier, if you found a way to have your prospect buy and for you not to have to sell them? The new 2015 sales professional; yes, there is a big difference between a sales professional and a salesperson, is that the professional relies on the customer to buy and on them being a non-salesperson. One step to get to that new higher level is to eliminate those outdated closing techniques which include some of the following;
· The Impending Doom close: ‘Once this offer expires at midnight tonight it will never be offered again. You better make up your mind today.’
· The Limited Quantity close: ‘We only have three of these left and I have five customers coming back to put a deposit on them. If you want one, now is the time to buy before they come back.’
· The Assumptive Close: ‘Would you want the X or the XT model?’ Once the customer states a preference, they bring out the paperwork for them to sign even though they have not made the decision.
I’m convinced we have all experienced one form or another of one of the above, if not all. Someone tried the limited quantity one on me this weekend. When I asked the salesperson if the product was from 1975, he stated: ‘Of course not.’ ‘Great!’ I replied: ‘Then why are you using a 1975 close on me?’ If he would have taken the time to find my needs, wishes, and desires for the purchase, then he would have built some rapport and by finding a way to satisfy those needs, wishes and desires, I would have been able to buy and he would not need to sell me anything. The end result was no sale. Sadder, I will be needing this product soon, but the likelihood of him selling it to me is very minimal.
Therefore, don’t rush the cycle. Let your prospect dictate the speed that they feel best suits them. Let them be comfortable in the process. Guide them, don’t push them and pull them through to a decision that suits them best, but don’t manipulate them. Most importantly, don’t sell them anything, let them buy. In other words: Let them do the close.
As for the unfortunate salesperson, I did mention to him that I will be holding a workshop on September 19th in Maple Ridge, BC entitled: ‘5 Selling Styles for $’ and he may want to take it in. We normally practice three of the five, but it is those that do all five, that take their ‘title’ from salesperson to sales professional and as a consequence, grow their income from cents to dollars. Come out to find how.
Joe da Silva is a Business Consultant/Trainer/Coach/Adviser to multi-million dollar companies in Canada as well as internationally. He has uncovered the many secrets to Sales and Business Success over his 40 years in the field. He shares his experience and knowledge with fellow professionals to significantly increase their proficiency, productivity, and profitability through group and individual training, seminars and ongoing sessions such as The Action Suite. Joe’s passion and goals are to mentor individuals with their professional challenges by shortening the learning curve and showing them how to grow into their own success.