Effective closing: How you can improve your chances of making a sale

May 21, 2013

By Brian Barfield

13781495-mainToday, I want to share some fresh insight into the art of closing a sale. For starters, I have one very important question to ask. Have you ever really thought deeply about the concept of closing a sale? I am not talking about the usual tactics you hear about year in and year out. Instead, I am asking if you have ever taken the time to really explore the art of closing.

I often find people are willing to simply accept a method or style of closing without giving it any thought. However, I challenge you today to open your mind and explore your own reality of closing a sale. In doing so, you may find many new ideas and concepts that can revolutionize your sales career. To many sales associates, closing can be very complex. That’s because we as an industry have made it that way. What if I told you closing could be the easiest part of your sales presentation? Would you be willing to listen and implement new insight?  

For years, we have been taught to start closing the sale from the moment we begin our interaction with the client, and to carry it through to thanking them for their business. We’ve been shown many crafty techniques and styles of closing that can sometimes work. Now I want to share an approach you may find more effective.

It all starts with an understanding there is a time and place for everything in your sales presentation. If I were to ask you to watch the ending of a movie you really wanted to see before seeing the rest of it, would you do it? No! It wouldn’t make much sense and would ruin the whole movie. Many of the concepts on closing we hear about today do just that. I call it ‘selling out of order,’ and it can give you and your customer a very unrewarding experience. Make sure you clearly understand that closing a sale takes place at the end of a sale.

The next important concept in effective closing is to understand you must earn the right to close a sale. You do this by building trust throughout the selling process and giving your customer the confidence they need to jump into the close with you. I often compare this to the thrill of skydiving. Stop and think of the courage it must take to step out of an airplane. Your customer often feels very much the same way when they enter your store for the very first time. They are seeking a confident instructor who they know is looking out for their best interest. A great instructor gives them the courage and confidence needed to jump into the close. In order to find this courage, it is important they have a knowledgeable instructor to safely see them through the sale. Once you have gained their trust, they will jump with you time and time again.

Now take a minute and imagine what would happen if you had a lousy instructor on your first skydiving experience? What if he or she did not appear confident? How would you feel if you were uncertain as to their ability to pack your parachute properly and they seemed just as nervous as you were as the plane took off? Would you feel confident enough to jump with this instructor? I think not. Confidence is the most important skill you can possess in closing. Your customer is looking to you as their instructor to give them the confidence they need to buy. Any sign of weakness can leave them second guessing themselves as you are closing. This is the downfall of many sales associates when it comes to this critical stage.

The final important concept in closing is to understand that your customer may present you with reassurance objections as you are going through the closing process. By reassurance objections, I mean they may ask questions like, “Is this the best price you can do?” It is important to understand these types of objections are very different from others. Reassurance objections let you know you are doing your job well. What the customer is telling you is they have found the item they would like to buy, but they need reassurance they are not overpaying. Many sales associates see reassurance objections as a negative and begin to panic. The truth is the customer senses this panic and starts to doubt the purchase or the associate or both. Now the close has just become much tougher than it needed to be. The good news is it does not have to be this way. Simply reassure the customer by reminding them they led you to the item. Then remind them you will be there to take care of any future jewellery needs.

I hope this has given you a fresh look into the world of closing a sale. Today is a defining moment in your sales career that can have lasting results.

This article is based on the book, “Modern Day Selling: Unlocking your Hidden Potential,” by Brian Barfield. For more information, visit his website at www.moderndayselling.com[1] or e-mail him at brian@moderndayselling.com.[2]

Endnotes:
  1. www.moderndayselling.com: http://www.moderndayselling.com
  2. brian@moderndayselling.com.: mailto:brian@moderndayselling.com.

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