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Performance and reliability cookies These cookies allow us to monitor OverDrive's performance and reliability. Research and analytics cookies These cookies help us understand user behavior within our services. Winning in selling—delivering value to customers and to your company—requires good solid preparation and hard work. Sure, there are some sales that fall into your lap. Those are the ones that make it feel like selling is easy. In fact, in many industries closing the sale may take weeks, months, or even years. Closing the sale is more than one single event; it is an ongoing series of events that occurs throughout the selling process.
- The Hidden Challenge of Cross-Border Negotiations.
- Negotiate Your Way To Success (Mcgraw Hill Professional Education);
- Negotiate Your Way To Success (Mcgraw Hill Professional Education).
In fact, the selling process is analogous to building a house; if the foundation is poured right, everything else will easily come together. The same is true in selling—prospecting is the foundation of the entire process. Not only does closing start at the first point in the selling process, but it also is far from the end of the selling process.
In fact, closing is a lot like graduation—it is actually the beginning, not the end. Just like graduation is not the end of your education but rather the beginning or commencement of the rest of your life, the closing in sales is the beginning of the relationship with the customer, not the end of the selling process. The close sounds like it might be a definitive part of the selling process. Rather, the close is an ongoing series of events that occurs throughout the selling process, according to Mary Delaney, vice president of sales for CareerBuilder.
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The preapproach, approach, presentation, and overcoming objections all play a role in the closing the sale. According to author Ray Silverstein, the close is made in the first thirty seconds of the sales presentation. Silverstein points to research that was conducted by William Brooks and Thomas Travisano that concludes that people want to buy from people they like and trust. If this sounds familiar, it should be.
The concept of building a relationship based on first impressions was covered in detail in Chapter 3 "The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work". And understanding the difference between needs, which are rational, and wants, which are emotional, makes a difference in how your prospect perceives you and the message you are delivering. The close builds on everything that has already taken place throughout the selling process—rapport, trust, information sharing. The close is not a high-pressure exchange between seller and buyer. The same principles that guide the rest of the selling process also guide the close.
If closing is not a specific event that happens during the selling process, you might be wondering how you effectively get the order. The trial close can take place during any part of the selling process. The trial close gives you the opportunity to get specific feedback from the customer as it relates to her likelihood to make the purchase at any point during the process. While the trial close is most likely to come during the presentation, it could come even earlier in the process depending on the prospect and the product or service being purchased.
The trial close gives you the opportunity to learn what the prospect is thinking and will give you some insight as to when to make the close. The trial close should be done early and often throughout the selling process. This means that a salesperson should never miss the opportunity to close a sale, no matter where it occurs in the selling process. In other words, the best strategy is to always be helping your customer identify and solve his problems, just like you do when you are opening the selling process.
Focus on asking the right questions and learning about how you can suggest solutions in some cases, the solution might not even be your product or service. When you deliver value to your prospect, they will look to you for advice and counsel. But if you close too soon, you might run the risk that the customer thinks that the process is over and mentally moves on to something else. This helps supplement the information you gathered during the preapproach, enabling you to understand what the customer needs and how to meet those needs.
None of these is a hard-sell question. Rather, each question allows you to listen and gather information so that you can identify how you can help the prospect solve his problem. While you always have your eye on the prize of closing a sale, the focus is to extend your relationship with your prospect beyond selling to servicing and being a business partner. When you focus your selling efforts in this way, it makes it easier to sell additional products and services to existing customers because you are constantly learning about ways in which you and your company can add value.
When you focus on delivering value to your prospects and customers, you have earned the right to close or ask for the sale. It might seem obvious, but sometimes salespeople get caught up in the selling process and lose track of the fact that it is a buying process for the prospect. The specific closing questions will most likely differ based on the product or service you are selling.
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Earn the right to ask for the order. Be confident: believe in yourself and your product or service. The trust you establish from the beginning will translate into how you can close the sale. Closing the sale is all about presenting solutions for the biggest problems that your prospect faces. Not every contact results in a sale. Typically, 80 percent of prospects say no to a sales offer, and that percentage may be as high as 90 percent during these challenging economic times. This underscores the fact that it usually takes several closes to actually close the sale.
In some cases, it will take at least three tries. In other cases, it can take as many as five or more attempts.
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Confidence and the right mental attitude can make all the difference in being able to take all the no s on the way to yes es. The best way to know when to close is to listen and watch. There are verbal and nonverbal cues that prospects provide that help you understand when she is ready for you to close. Here are some of the signals that the prospect is ready to buy:. Here are four steps to close with a committee:. There is not a single surefire way to close every sale. You should be prepared with several different types of closes and use them as appropriate for each situation.
Some situations may require a combination of closes. Direct request close Asks the prospect for the order.
Negotiate Your Way to Success (The McGraw-Hill Professional Education Series)
This is the most straightforward approach to a close. The fact is customers expect salespeople to ask for the order. This is a simple but effective way to close the sale. Gerald L. Manning, Barry L.
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The benefit summary close Summarizes the benefits of the product or service as you have discussed them throughout the process. It simply summarizes the benefits of everything you have discussed throughout the process. This is an opportunity to focus on how you can help her solve the largest problem that she faces. Barton A. Weitz, Setphen B. Castleberry, and John F.
Tanner, Jr. New York: McGraw-Hill, , The assumptive close Includes a question that when the prospect replies, he is committing to the sale. In other words, you are assuming that the customer is going to make the purchase. This close can be effective if you have done your job of developing trust and rapport with your prospect. The alternative-choice close Gives the prospect a choice between two options rather than a choice between buying and not buying.
This close is related to the assumptive close but gives your prospect the option of which product or service they will buy.
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Charles M. Hear Lisa Peskin, sales trainer at Business Development University, discuss the assumptive close and the alternative-choice close. The compliment or vanity close Relates the purchase to the person and appeal to his or her sense of identity by paying a compliment. You are making a positive connection between the purchase decision and the judgment of the buyer.
When you use this approach to closing, you are confirming their role as a subject matter expert. You are, in fact, paying them a compliment. Virtually any of the different closes can be used together.