Closing tends to be the most stressful action in the sales process for so many people – salespeople and prospects.
Your responsibility as a sales professional is to work the earlier stages of the sales cycle so that closing becomes a natural conclusion if both parties benefit – this includes, closing continually throughout the process. Keep in mind, closing is really the beginning of your business relationship – both parties should be excited about working together.
The closing tool is designed to give you and your team a quick and comprehensive checklist of your “need to know” points before attempting a standard close (trial closes don’t require the knowledge of all “need to know” points – trial closes serve as more of a qualifying function and help the process move to the standard close). While it may be valuable to have a basic understanding of the “traditional” closes articulated in many older sales manuals (e.g., the assumptive, the puppy dog, the physical action, the choice, the last chance, etc.), it’s these “need to know” points that create the opportunity for any effective close – these are non-manipulative and universal.
The correct answers to these questions assist in developing the close into the natural conclusion we all seek in the process. Work through them for each prospect in your pipeline right now and be sure you’re on the right track to closure.
Additionally, we’ve included some sample closing statements. These are simple statements and questions that help everyone involved in the sales process move smoothly to closure. Use what you like, toss what you don’t and build on those appropriate for your sales world. No silver bullets. No slick lines.
Closing comfort comes from basic preparation … done well.
Here is our “Closing Checklist” or “Must Knows” before closing the deal:
• Is there value in my product or service for my prospect?
• What is the hard dollar value? (return on investment, money savings, etc.)
• What other value is there? (prestige, safety, non-monetary improvements, etc.)
• Does the prospect understand and value the benefits of my product or service?
• Is a decision to buy my offering better than a decision to create my offering in-house (on their own)?
• What risk to the prospect do I need to minimize or alleviate in regard to this buying decision? (financial, time of implementation, opportunity cost, prestige, what their boss/peers might think, etc.)
• What urgency have I created to encourage the prospect to move forward now? (time to market, discounts, delivery incentives, guarantees, etc.)
• Why is buying my product or service a better decision than moving forward with my competitor (or taking no action at all)?
Here are our favorite sample closing statements:
(Closing statement should be delivered or asked with confidence and an expectant attitude.)
• Would you like to move forward?
• Are you ready to get started?
• Can we go ahead?
• We can start the process today with a credit card if you’d like.
• We can deliver it to you by the close of business tomorrow if you’d like.
• We can have it delivered by the end of the month if we can get a signed contract into the implementation department by Thursday.
• Should I forward a contract so you can get started?
• Would you like to try it for a quarter?
• It’ll take a few weeks to process and ship the order so if you’re interested in moving forward, we should start the paperwork now.
• Let’s get this off your plate and start the paperwork. What do you think?
• Let’s start the process so you can get onto your other priorities. Sound good?
Now get out there and create revenue!
About Our Show Advisor: Bertrand McHenry spent 22 years developing his skills in outside sales. Starting out in the cell phone business, then to Pitney Bowes, Dictaphone Division, and finally in Medical Diagnostic Equipment Sales. His expertise became finding, training, and developing dynamic and record setting sales teams. A number of years ago he was introduced to the concept of “Referral Marketing” as a strategy for growing his business. It worked and he was hooked! At a conference Bertrand was presented with the Referral Institute opportunity and “I was intrigued so I began researching the company and its curriculum. It is actually the only company teaching Referral Marketing as a strategy to business owners and entrepreneurs around the world…so it didn’t take me long.” These days Bertrand is doing what he loves and what he does best…teach and train! “There is a lot of misunderstanding around the words “networking” and “referral marketing”. People make a lot of assumptions about those two words, and most of those assumptions are wrong! I can tell you without a doubt that Referral Marketing is the most powerful form of marketing there is. If we structure a referral marketing strategy and follow through week after week and just use the V.C.P relationship model…we can actually predict our income 6, 9, even 12 months out!” Most recently he has been quoted on yahoofinance.com, maimiherald.com, morningstar.com and USA Today featured him in an article on today’s economy calling him a “Trendsetter in the New Economy!” He is also a contributing author on Brian Tracy’s newest book titled “The Only Business Book You’ll Ever Need to Buy” due out in February 2012 Bertrand also hosted a radio show “Business Builders Radio” on CBS radio, Talk 650 AM. The radio show was dedicated to teaching the concepts of referral marketing and helping as many business owners as possible. Bertrand is fond of saying: “I love to teach business owners to Work Less, Play More, Make More Money, and Create Referrals for Life!”