When I started out in sales and marketing, it was all about closing the sale.
In fact, good salespeople were often referred to as good closers.
Decades later, I still see sales recruiters asking for candidates who have a proven record of closing.
Here’s why you need to be extremely careful, before using any of the countless closing techniques and tricks.
Closing for business?
The challenge with the closing mindset, is that it positions the prospective customer as little more than an obstacle. A barrier between you and the sale. An hurdle to be overcome. It’s little wonder so many closing techniques are based on aggressive, psychological tactics.
Here are a couple of the worst, widely used examples today.
- The silence close. This is where a series of long, uncomfortable silences are used at key points in the sales process. The person selling uses this discomfort to exert the maximum mental pressure on the prospective client. It’s borrowed from interrogation techniques!
- Assuming the sale. This is where the person selling literally ignores the prospect’s total lack of interest and acts as if the prospect has agreed to make the purchase. They just start asking for the delivery address and a suitable date. When/if the prospect objects, the salesperson responds with a series of why? questions, further pressuring the prospect.
In a nutshell, the focus is on outmanoeuvring your opponent. It’s them against you. A confrontation.
Here’s a very different approach, along with why I strongly recommend you use it.
I built my reputation in sales by adopting the total opposite approach. Instead of focusing on closing, I focused on opening. And I made a fortune.
Yes. Opening relationships and opening opportunities. I found the idea of closing to be self-defeating. I discovered that you can achieve a great deal more, by opening relationships with people. This means taking time to listen to them. And then learning about their challenges and what they want or need. If our marketing is targeted correctly, we’re automatically only speaking with people who are our ideal profile of client.
When handled correctly, and preceded with effective marketing, this means there’s no need to close anything or close on anyone.
The whole process becomes a natural, flowing conversation, where we seek to help people overcome a challenge, with the products or services we provide.
It’s an effective, rewarding and professional way to achieve amazing sales results, and build masses of high-value relationships that last.
No way! This approach may sound passive, but consider the people YOU like. The people you trust. The vendors you’re already purchasing from. Are they pushy? Are they confrontational? No! That’s because we avoid people like that. Conversely, we’re attracted to those who respect us and are open and honest with us.
We trust people who are open and honest.
We buy from people who are open and honest.
We value people who are open and honest.
We recommend people who are open and honest.
In short, the more open we are, the more opportunities we’re open to, the more sales we make and then, the more referrals we receive.
Closing for business? Let’s look at closing the sale was written by Jim Connolly and originally published on Jim’s Marketing Blog