A lack of closing skills is blamed for everything that keeps salespeople from selling! Managers often request our services to help their teams do a better job of closing. When we ask their sales team, “What is closing?” we usually hear, “Getting a signature on the dotted line.”, “The buyer says yes to your purchase.”, or “Getting the PO number.” Merriam-Webster defines closing as bringing something to an end.
Successful salespeople understand that closing starts at the beginning of the sales process and continues until the purchase is approved. Always be closing? Well, not exactly. Successful salespeople know they should always be closing for something! They earn the right to close and are so good at it that the prospect often asks, when can we start?
How do effective salespeople accomplish this feat?
- Checking throughout the process for buy-in, asking feedback questions like, How does that sound? Will it work? What are your concerns? What are your thoughts at this point?
- Viewing the process from the prospect’s perspective and answering their unspoken question, What’s in it for me?
- Understanding that prospects have FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. They determine and address these fears constantly.
- Keeping the process moving by planning what they want to hear at the end of each conversation with a prospect.
- Securing calendar invites for future conversations and meetings.
- Discovering who else should be involved.
- Listening to understand what the prospect wants.
- Looking for buying signals.
- Being empathetic.
- Instilling confidence by painting word pictures of success.
- Understanding that closing is a process, not an event.
Closing is the disease management wants to be cured, but the symptoms are found throughout the sales process. If salespeople address the symptoms, closing rates will increase. Remember that mistakes made at the beginning of the sales process reveal themselves toward the end.