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Philosophies

Always be Closing – Don’t Leave it to the Postman

This Always Be Closing article is designed to help you on one of the most challenging areas of the sales process – getting customers to say “yes”.  This is all about getting more business, and closing is essential in order to win more business. I want to share one skill with you today–a mindset and a process on closing. Do you send quotes or proposals to your existing customers and if so, how? By post? By email? Do you read every email that you get or open every piece of post that you get? If you do and it’s a quote or proposal, what’s the first piece of information that you look for? If somebody presents me with a quotation or a proposal, the first piece of information I tend to look at is the price. If you’re sending quotes or proposals through the post or by email, you may well find that the next conversations you have happen to be about the price.

The key lessons of having the closing and having the sales process in its entirety is that success in sales is all about control. The minute you click send or you put your quote or proposal in the post, you’re handing control to the other person. That puts you in a situation where you could come across as pushy, chasing and trying to get back control of that situation. Pushy is one thing that you never wanted to be as a salesperson. Therefore, opportunity gets wasted or burns.

Our job is to bring people to decision quickly and efficiently to help them make their minds up. The minute we click send, we’re asking them to make their minds up by themselves. We’re losing control and we’ve stopped holding their hands. What we’ve got to do is help them make a decision that’s the right one for them and perhaps the right one for us, too. We’ll do that by closing face to face where possible. You will have their sole undivided attention that can lead you through to a decision.

If you get face-to-face, check it’s worth it first. Please don’t think about value, commission or profit in the first transaction.

Think about the value of them as a customer in their lifetime. Then, if you have a two stage sales process where it results in you needing a second appointment, close your first appointment by winning the second appointment. It might be words quite simply saying, “It’s going to take me a couple of days to put my recommendations together for you. I’ll get something down on paper and I can be back to run through it with you next week. I can see you Wednesday, Thursday, or when it suits you best.” Now, if you can get your conversation to the point where you give somebody a choice of two dates, they will either pick one or suggest an alternative.

Being face-to-face, you can lead them through your presentation in real time. What you’ll be doing is leading them towards the price at the right time, and in turn, be there to take a decision and to answer any questions that arise.

The lesson here is control. In the rare scenarios that you can’t get face-to-face because of distance, country or any form of time barriers, you can still have meetings and discussions with people over the telephone using modern technology. However, you must agree to that telephone conversation so the phone call doesn’t start with the words “Is now a good time to talk?” because let’s be fair, it’s never a good time to talk for a phone call that arrives unannounced. Please stay in control, please be face-to-face and be there to lead your customers through the buying process. I promise you, your conversion rates will be dramatically increased.