Next to objections, closing is one of the most talked-about sales training topics among sales people and sales managers, but Top 5% sales professionals have no difficulties in either area – but not everyone can be a Top 5% player: So for the other 95%, here are some tips.
Everyone wants to know how to close and how to speed up the buying process. Closing is easy when you have thoroughly appreciated each customer’s specific requirements and aligned the presentation of your solution accordingly. Closing is the process of helping customers to make a decision that will benefit them.
Successful ‘closers’ know that there is no need to use magic phrases or techniques because if they’ve effectively followed the sales process, closing the sale is the next step in a logical sequence. The expression “closing the deal” means getting the business. The phrase “the close” refers to the point in the sales process at which the sales person asks for the business.
There is a closing technique that can be used through your interactions with prospects and customers. Trial closing allows you to check the pulse or attitude of your customer towards your proposition. Trial closing ensures that both you and your prospect are on the same wavelength which adds to a feeling of deeper rapport and general agreement. There are 4 important times during the sales process when trial closing can be hugely beneficial:
- After making a strong selling point
- At the end of your presentation
- Before handling an objection
- Immediately prior to closing
Trial closing gives you valuable insights into the customer’s perspective concerning what you have just said, and enables you to ‘layer in’ another agreement that helps move the customer to an ultimate close.
Here are some different examples of trial closes that can be very effective when used at the appropriate moment:
- “How does that sound to you?”
- “What do you think?”
- “Is this what you are looking for?”
- “If I can satisfy your concerns regarding this point, are you happy to proceed?”
- “It appears that you have a preference for this option. Am I right?”
- “Are we on track with this proposal?”
- “On a scale of 1-10, how well does this meet your requirements?”
Once you use a trial close, actively listen to what the customer says and observe their body language to assess their reaction. It’s important to bear in mind that trial closing doesn’t directly ask the customer to buy, it asks only for an opinion.
Above all else, you just need to be clear that your proposal is right for the customer and you have created a win-win relationship. Timing is everything when it comes to closing and there are a number of indicators that signpost when a close should be attempted. Only close if the customer is ready! That’s why an ability to read their buying signals correctly helps to determine this. With the trial closing technique, this becomes even easier. The best part of closing, besides winning the business, is that each time you close you get the chance to broaden and deepen the relationship and move it towards a partnership.
Here is a simple process to follow that will make closing a natural next step:
- Ask pre-closing questions regarding time-frames, decision-making process, payment procedures and ongoing servicing requirements
- Use trial closing throughout the sales cycle and during each call
- Ensure that each customer call has ended with an actionable next step that moves discussions forward
- Before asking for the business, investigate whether the customer has any remaining questions or concerns
- Ask for the business in a confident way, maintain eye contact and then remain silent. (Silence is a very powerful influencer because most people aren’t totally comfortable with long pauses and instinctively feel a need to fill them)
Examples of good closing questions:
- “Well, (name) when would you like to do this?”
- “When shall we begin?”
- “Are you ready to go ahead?”
- “Which option do you want?”
When closing, think success! Visualise the customer saying “yes” and looking extremely satisfied. Visualisation will build your confidence because your unconscious mind feels like it’s already happened. If a customer rejects your close, make a second effort after you have found out why the customer is saying no. Address their reasons, check they are satisfied with what you have said and as appropriate, close again. Regardless of the outcome always leave the door open and end the call with an agreed next step.