I’m writing about T.H.E. master sales closing technique because I receive many inquires for article contributions about sales. And they almost all ask for the same thing. Closing sales – closing lines – closing techniques.
Nine out of ten requests I receive are for, “What’s your best closing line or technique?”, usually in 150 words or less.
As if the secret of closing deals, that signature of sales success, that skill that transforms a newbie sales rep into a veteran professional closer is – a line.
OK, how about, “Hello, Sailor. Come here often?” I’m pretty sure that gets a prospect’s rapt attention. Then again, the Sham-Wow guy closed with, “Hey, it’s made in Germany. Germans make good stuff.” How about that one?
Not where T.H.E. master closing technique is:
“The Seven Cutesy Closes”
One of my first sales trainers called these, “The Seven Cutesy Closes”: “The alternative choice close”, “The Ben Franklin close”, and my favorite, “The rolling pencil close”. It gets worse …
It’s this overemphasis on a “just sign here” modus operandi that causes the general public to visualize salespeople poorly. It’s one reason salespeople are seen as sneaky, flim flam artists, scam artists, tin men, shysters, liars and cheats.
It’s that kind of bum’s rush attitude that makes life difficult for true sales professionals who are conscientious about their business and their clients.
There’s a huge difference between that and respecting and talking to your prospect as a human being with a need. Much better instead to earn their trust as a professional – from your very first words. Initiate a genuine conversation that doesn’t begin with, “How’re you doing?”
Demonstrate integrity with your very first words.
I learned this method of closing from one of the master sales trainers, Joseph J. Charbonneau. It significantly helped me earn a lucrative living through many years of successful selling. Because it’s real. It’s genuine. And it works.
Interestingly enough, I’ve never run across it anywhere else.
Of course, there are excellent programs available that improve a sales rep’s presentations of value propositions, negotiating skills or ability to build rapport.
But all those opportunities only occur after the salesperson first wins the prospect’s trust with integrity.
Charles H. Green of Trusted Advisor Associates posted an excellent article on the Trusted Matters blog site titled, Give Prospects the Confidence to Hire You. In it he states:
The truth is this: people vastly prefer to buy what they need from people they feel good about. People they trust. People who they believe have their clients’ interests at heart, not just their own; people who make an effort to honestly listen to their clients; people who actually seem to care.
So how do you do it? How do you instantly communicate to your prospect that you’re there to provide a solution to some pain point they have and that you’re a person they can trust and believe? How does this lead to closing a deal?
T.H.E. Master Sales Closing Technique
The Front-End Contract
Your first job is to reassure your prospect. Second is to eliminate all tension, fear and uncertainty as soon as possible. Third is to earn their trust as a professional. You accomplish all three immediately with front end contracting.
Front-End Contracting takes out of play seven anxieties a prospect has going into your initial presentation:
1) What is going to happen in the meeting?
2) What is expected of the client?
3) Can the prospect trust you, the sales rep?
4) How much is it going to cost?
5) Will it satisfy their needs?
6) When are you going to “close”?
7) Will they feel forced into buying it, anyway?
So – what are the Magic Words?
The first step in closing is your opening. You close from the very beginning of your very first meeting. You reassure your prospect, eliminate tension and uncertainty up front with something like this:
Thank you for scheduling our meeting. I appreciate your time and I’ll make sure we make the most of it. I hope you’ll be open and receptive to what I have to say, that you’ll hear me out and put what I have to say into perspective for yourself and your company. I’ll also ask you to share some of your needs and objectives so we can determine if our product/service will be of value to you. If it appears to both of us that what my company has to offer is of value to you, I’ll ask you to become my client. If not, I’ll say so myself. That’s fair, isn’t it?
By the way, if at some point during my presentation you feel you’ve seen and heard enough to make your decision, please tell me. That way I won’t take up time with superfluous information.”
Rewrite, edit, practice, edit, rewrite …
Of course, you need to completely personalize this language so it fits you, your style and your business. Because you’ve opened this way, your prospect knows you are:
- a serious professional
- in earnest
- someone with integrity – (now you have to prove it with your behavior)
- making good use of their time
- closing as a natural part of your presentation
They expect the close to come, so they don’t fear “getting closed”. They know they’re getting closed by a professional salesperson who has the confidence to tell them so right up front.
This takes product knowledge, experience and confidence.
- Product knowledge – company information, training, colleagues’ input.
- Experience – getting out there, making calls, getting your nose bloodied.
- Confidence – overcoming fears of rejection, failure or the unknown.
It all adds up to closing. From the very beginning.
When you master T.H.E. Master Sales Closing Technique you will become a master yourself.
“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.”
W. Clement Stone
Please SHARE with your colleagues and friends
NEXT WEEK’s Gonzo Selling!
Increase Sales With the Incredible Power of COOKIES Part I
Coming Soon: HIRED GUN III
Robert Danger Workman writes from his consistent track record of top-tier success in both outside and inside sales at different companies, in different industries, as a sales rep, sales manager, EVP, entrepreneur and owner of several companies. Four decades of in-the-field, face-to-face selling and leading winning sales organizations provides the background and experience prevalent in his HIRED GUN brand such as the best-selling and award winning book, HIRED GUN – You’re #1 and Somebody Hates it, and the new, HIRED GUN II – The Essential Guide for Top Salespeople.