79. When is the best time to close?

Successful closing rests on the solid foundation of planned selling.

Closing the sale should be the easiest step in the sales process when your selling up to this point has been adequate. It is like running the last ten yards for a touchdown after breaking clear of the field. But if by the time you reach the goal line, you have not taken out your interference, it's tough.

It takes confidence and courage to ask for the order and close.

The compelling attitude of unshakable CONFIDENCE on your part when closing is the result of a feeling in your heart that what you have will benefit the customer. As your conscience guides you in conduct, so does this CONFIDENCE intuitively steer your course at the close, directly to the order. If from the time you made your original approach you were careful at each step to ask the buyer questions which indicated your progress, questions which built up favorable admissions, which committed the buyer to positive stands for your proposition, it is then harder for that buyer to begin backing up when you start closing than it is for him to go forward - and easier for you to keep him moving than for him to start back. Again you have the advantage.

The next time you have an opportunity to watch a new sales representative under fire, observe that his or her inexperience is most evident in detecting the right time to start closing.

The time to close can be anytime during the sales call. There is no best time to close. To discover it is to take the sale at the tide and ride in easily. Many times it appears more than once. Sometimes it comes at the outset. The buyer is in the market, knows your line, is ready to buy at once. To go through a complete presentation in this case bores him, and you may talk yourself out of a quick order. In most cases the right time to close appears immediately after you have finished your demonstration and have satisfactorily answered all objections, but you better be sure. Use a trial close at this point to confirm your suspicion that he is ready.

Closing the sales is not as difficult as it is made out to be. If you have done your job of thoroughly explaining your proposition and have clearly created the picture of the prospect using your product or service to enhance their future, the close is simply completing the details.

Planned selling is simply knowing how to lead the prospect, step by step, from getting their attention, creating interest by asking questions and giving testimonials, building desire in their mind by giving a good presentation of what you are selling, and finally moving them toward action by getting them to agree and sign the order or simply say "go ahead and send it to me."

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