The Art of Closing
Selling begins with the end in mind. Indeed, the journey should also be an enjoyable one, but one look at the tired door-to-door salesman of old will show that such is not necessarily the case. In this article, I will show you how you can become more powerful at closing; and how it can hopefully become an enjoyable experience.
Let’s face it, though: some clients come straight out of Hades and can make the process cumbersome. We’re not dealing with them today; we will be dealing with the reasonable, average client when it comes to the sales approach. These steps are the ones I use when working towards closing the sale:
- The Introduction. Whether you’ve done a cold call or an elevator pitch, the warmth in your tone must come out. Let your personality shine, as you know that you only have one chance at a first impression. Engage this potential customer. Share your details. Listen to what they say about whatever they say! (I say this because on my first meeting with one of my bigger clients, she talked a lot about her son. On my second meeting, I asked for him by name; and she was very impressed). Ask if you can call back or pay a visit.
- The Return. This may either be by call or visit. Ensure that you are prepared. Whether you take notes with your phone or the traditional pen and paper, you must have these tools with you. If taking notes on your phone, please inform the client, as some may think you’re texting someone else! The Return is where you get to glean from the client everything that is important to him or her. Ask questions, too, for this is your opportunity to learn the most. One question that you must ask is about the client’s vision for their business over the next year or so.
- The Brief. After the meeting, you are now fully equipped to actively sell to the client. Ensure that your offering is what the client really needs. For example, if the client has a budget of $1,000 do not offer him or her a product for $5,000! Your brief should be simple, as some clients may be turned off by anything more than one page. Brevity is brilliance. Once you send the brief to the client, accompany it with the promise to follow up within a few days’ time.
- The Follow-Up. You may do this electronically, via phone call or in person. One of my strategies is to send an email, asking the client if he or she had a chance to consider the offer; and if he’d like to go for coffee or lunch to discuss, or if it is preferable that I come back to his office. When this is done, you get to hear the client’s concerns or if he or she accepts. Walk with your contract so that no time is wasted once he accepts.
If you follow the process, chances are sales success will be yours in the majority of cases…so, go forth and close!