48. How many closing strategies do you need?

Some sales people believe that selling will become a dying trade with all the technology available today. However, just the opposite is true. With more and more products coming on the market every day there are an equal amount of choices to be made by the buyers. Without good sales people the customers will be lost when trying to make decisions without the help of an "assistant buyer". Marketing will never replace a sales person either. Marketing is merely finding a prospect with a need or desire for the product or service, selling is making the presentation and getting the order. Following are a couple of different ways to ask:

The direct close is one of the best ways to close because you get it over with up front and there is no doubt about what you are there for. We literally start the presentation with the close. Simply ask for what you want as you start your presentation and build your presentation on the anticipated objections. One thing that is extremely important in using this tactic is you have to know exactly what you want before making the call. An example: "I have done everything you required to earn your business, is there anything else standing in the way of us moving forward?".

The choice close is the most common close, however, it is often incorrectly used. If you wait until the end of the presentation and then try and squeeze the customer into a corner they will resent it. The correct way to use this tactic is to build it into your presentation by offering two or three different choices, explaining all the differences as well as the features and benefits of each product, and let them choose the one that best fits their needs. The theory behind this close is that you give them a choice between something you want and something else you want and let them make the choice. You never want to give them a choice between something and nothing.

This close is especially good for the "price buyer". You can show the low quality product, the middle quality product and the high quality product, pointing out that the higher price is really going to cost less in the long run.

The time advantage close creates a sense of urgency during the presentation. "While supply lasts" implies that there are several other sales people selling the same program and if you don't put your order in right now you might miss out. "Limited time only" implies that the price will soon go back to the book price. "Sale ends Friday" also creates the feeling of missing out on an opportunity. "One time offer" is designed to put pressure on to take advantage of the promotion now or miss out all together. "Longer shelf life" is also a way of taking advantage of time if the shorter shelf life of a competitor is causing a loss due to waste. "New inventory is higher" implies that the market has gone up and you are holding your price down until you sell out of our current stock.

The ask again close must be used carefully otherwise it will be mistaken as high pressure. Wait a short period of time then ask again as if you were asking for the first time. The theory behind this close is the time it takes for a new idea or concept to take hold. It takes time for the mind to work and when you ask the first time there is a natural defense mechanism at work. However, after just a few minutes the buyers mind will start making mental associations and will have more information available to make the decision. It's similar to a computer making a "search".

It also takes courage to ask a second or third time. This extra effort is what makes a closer. Anybody can ask once and accept a negative response. A famous football coach was asked once how he was able to pick such good players for his team. His response was that he looks for players who make the "Extra effort". Everybody can play well or they wouldn't even be in the consideration stage, however, it's those special few who stretch a little further.

Three out of four sales people do not ask the prospect to buy after the sales presentation. The bottom line of being a good closer is to always know what you want before making the call, and then do what only one in four sales people do; never be shy about asking for it.

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