By Sam Kapur, Co-Founder of Guyding Principals.
The biggest thing that separates salespeople from order takers is their ability to close. What exactly is closing? Simply put it’s asking for the sale, that’s it. Often I’ve heard individuals who are in a sales profession say that they are really good at the entire sales process but don’t know how to close. To quote the “Yoda” of sales (yes, I threw in a Star Wars reference), Zig Ziglar, “If you ain’t closing, you ain’t selling.”
This final step is what separates professional salespeople from transactional salespeople (ie: the 7/11 cashier). There is no need to fear the close, if you’ve done your job right and the client see’s the benefit in your product then they are waiting for you to ask them for the sale.
Let’s talk about what needs to happen before the close, skipping this step is usually why salespeople fear the close itself. First of all, the close should be done when you already know that the outcome is going to be in your favor, it should not be done to draw out and overcome objections. How is this possible you ask, it’s simple, before you close you should always Trial Close. This is where you draw out any lingering objections and then handle them. Once you handle the objection you Trial Close again. Keep doing this until you are certain all objections have been handled.
The main reason we trial close before we close is because during the trial close you are asking the prospective client to commit before you do. My go to trial close is “If I could… would you…” Take for example the following scenarios.
Prospect: “Do you have the product in orange”
Salesperson: “Yes, let me show it to you.” “Should we go ahead and get the paperwork ready?”
Prospect: “Thanks let me think about it and I’ll let you know.”
Has something similar every happened to you?
Now let’s try putting in the trial close.
Prospect: “Do you have the product in orange.”
Salesperson: “I’m not sure; orange is a very popular color and typically sells out quickly. If we did have one left in orange, not saying that we currently do, but if we did, would you want to go ahead and take it today?”
Prospect: “If you did have it in orange then I would seriously consider taking the product today.”
Salesperson: “Ok, let me check on that for you.” “We’re in luck, there is still one available in orange. Let’s go ahead and get the paperwork ready to make sure we don’t lose out on this.”
See how the second example gets more commitment than the first? Although this is a very simplified scenario I think you get the point.
Every professional salesperson should have at least 5 to 10 go to trail closes in their arsenal. This way you can overcome at least 5 objections before having to go in for the close.
For me this is the fun part of the sale because you can get very creative with your trial closes.
What are some of the most creative trial closes you’ve used in the past or can think of using in your next sale?