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Modern-day selling: Effective closing

By Brian Barfield

38906287-mainHave you ever really thought deeply about the concept of closing a sale? For many sales associates, this part of the process can be very complicated and complex. In fact, it often is the toughest part of the sales presentation. This is true because of the way we have chosen to sell our customers in the past. What if I told you there was a better way to close? What if I told you closing could be the easiest part of your sales presentation?

We have been taught for years to start closing the sale at the beginning of the sales process. We have been shown many crafty techniques and styles of closing that can actually work”¦ sometimes. Today, I want to share with you a more effective approach that can revolutionize your closing skills. It all starts with an understanding there is a time and place for everything in your sales presentation.

From this day forward, I ask you to put your closing technique back in its proper order of selling, which is at the end of the sales presentation. In order to help you understand the great importance of this statement, I ask you one simple question: would you watch the ending of a movie first? No! It would ruin the movie and give you nothing to look forward to. For years we have been selling our customers out of order, which can give you and them an uncomfortable experience and ruin the sales presentation.

The first important concept in effective closing is to understand you must earn the right to close your customer. You do this by building trust and giving them the confidence they need to jump into the close with you. I encourage you to think of closing like skydiving. Think of the courage it must take to make that first jump into the unknown. Your customer feels the same way when they enter your store for the first time.

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In order to find this courage, it is important to have a knowledgeable instructor to safely see them through the sale. You, as a sales associate, are now your customer’s instructor through the sales process. They must have complete trust in you, while your task is to help them overcome their fear of the unknown. Once you have gained their trust and given them confidence, they will jump into the close 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 your instructor did not appear confident or they didn’t know how to pack your parachute properly? What if they seemed just as nervous as you as the airplane climbs? Would you feel confident enough to jump with this instructor? Not likely.

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 have them begin to second guess themselves as you are closing and they will not jump into the close with you.

Another important concept in closing is to remember your customer may begin to give you some reassurance objections, as you go through the closing process. Reassurance objections are very different from regular objections. Reassurance objections let you know you are doing your job well. They might ask, “Is this the best price you can offer?” What they are telling you is they have found the item they would like to buy. They simply need reassurance they are not overpaying. A confident sales associate can close immediately with reassurance.

Apply this knowledge in your closing technique and see how effective you become as a closer. In closing this series, I hope you have seen your sales process and customers in a whole new light. The days of tough selling filled with mistrust and manipulation no longer need to exist. By turning your focus back to meeting your customers’ needs and impacting their lives in a meaningful way, selling can become easy and almost effortless. Over time you will build a large and loyal customer base that can set you apart from your competition.

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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 or e-mail him at brian@moderndayselling.com.

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