"The Close" is sales jargon for the bit where you ask thecustomer to make a decision or to place an order. However, it doesn't always relate to sales. Many people feeluncomfortable when they ask someone to make a decision.
The reason people find it difficult is that they hate theword "no" or "I don't want to do it" or even - "I'll thinkabout it." We take it as rejection and most humans just haterejection.
I'm reminded of the salesman whose wife asked him how wellhe'd done that particular day. "I got three orders today" hereplied - "Get out, stay out and don't come back."
If you've made a good job finding out the other person'sneeds and presenting how your product or service or ideameets their needs, then closing will be a natural step inyour dialogue. The goal in closing is to reach agreementwith the other person on the appropriate next steps. Itmight be about signing an order, or arranging anothermeeting or a demonstration of your product.
You close when - #1 The customer indicates that they'reready to move ahead either verbally or non-verbally. (Abuying signal) - Or #2 The customer has accepted thebenefits you've described. The customer might say "I likethe sound of that" or "That looks OK to me". They may evenbe smiling, nodding or looking expectantly at you.
The three steps to closing the sale are -
#1 Review the previously accepted benefits. (When youpresented the features and benefits of your product orservice you should have checked for acceptance of thesebenefits.) Now is the time to review these benefits. Youmight say: "As we've discussed" or "Let's go over what we'veagreed so far".
#2 Propose the next steps. This is where you ask forwhatever was the objective of your call and is also relevantto your customer's needs. You're asking the customer to makea commitment. However you're also making a commitment tosatisfy the customers' needs. You might say - "If youproduce a purchase order I can put it through today" or "I'dlike to arrange for our engineers to familiarise your peoplewith how this machine will cut your costs".
#3 Check for acceptance. This may sound fairly logicalhowever it's the final part of the closing process and manypeople avoid it like the plague; primarily because they hateto hear "NO."
You're either going to get a "yes," a "no" or a "maybe" whenyou ask your closing question. If you get a "no" or a"maybe" then you need to deal with their resistance - andthat's another story!
Discover how you can generate more business without havingto cold call!
Alan Fairweather is the author of "How to get More Saleswithout Selling" This book is packed with practical thingsthat you can do to - get customers to come to you.