If you’re nervous about closing sales because you don’t want to be “pushy” or don’t want to feel like a “closer,” I get it. We work hard to build relationships with our prospects, and we don’t want to turn them off.
Too many salespeople avoid the “close” step of the sales cycle —just because closing makes them feel like… well, a salesperson.
If you’re not asking for the business, you’re doing yourself—and your prospect—a disservice.
The truth is, your close (or lack of one) could be costing you thousands. If you don’t know how to ask prospects for their business, they’ll find a competitor who does!
For salespeople to take back control of their closing process, they need to remember ten simple truths about closing:
- Closing is a process—not an event.
- People love to buy (but hate to feel sold).
- Building trust closes more business.
- Creating a buying atmosphere.
- Communication is key.
- You must ask for the business.
- You can talk yourself out of a sale.
- Your confidence matters.
- When you believe in your products and services, your prospects will too.
- Sales Champions master multiple closing techniques.
If you’re tired of feeling pushy or “salesy” when it’s time to close, read on—and learn how to use these truths to change your approach.
Closing is a process—not an event.
Is there a point in your sales process where you say to yourself, “Here comes the close!” (You might even dread its approach!) If you’re not bringing up the close until the end of your sales routine, you’re thinking about closing as an event. Instead, you should think of closing as a process that runs through your entire cycle.
From the beginning, you should be talking about how the close will work with a prospect. Instead of saying “When we work with our clients, we provide X,” redirect your statement to involve your prospect: “When we work on your project, we’ll provide you with X.”
By describing the closing process from the start, you’ll be showing your sales prospects how you expect the deal to work—taking pressure off you and your client.
People love to buy (but hate to feel sold).
I think we’ve all been here before: You walk into a store with cash in your pocket, excited and ready to buy the product you want—then you end up walking out of the store with nothing. All because you hated the salesperson, who was breathing down your neck!
People walk into a store or talk to a salesperson because they’re ready to buy. If you’re in sales, and you’re talking to someone, guess what? You have an active buyer! There’s no need to push them to buy. Just ask them good questions.
Building trust closes more business.
People like buying from people they know, like, and trust—and people like to buy from people who know, like, and trust them. Trust is a two-way street! Building trust with your prospects will close more business.
Handling your clients’ trust objections is only part of the story. Trust can be built during every stage of the sales cycle. No matter what, do what you say you’ll do.
Be on time for appointments, follow through on promises, and if you say you’ll call… call! By showing prospects they can trust you,
Create a buying atmosphere.
A buying atmosphere gives your prospects permission to say “No”—but it also gives them permission to say “Yes!” By creating a buying atmosphere, you’ll relieve pressure from the situation and help your prospect (and you!) relax.
Communication is key.
When you’re asking your client questions during a needs analysis, ask about their expectations for communication. If they want updates from you on a weekly (or daily) basis, you’ll know how to adjust your communication to meet their expectations.
If you say you’ll send a proposal by Friday, send the proposal Friday—and don’t just email it! Set up a time to walk through it together. Communication is vital to building trust.
You must ask for the business.
It’s great to be polite. But some salespeople don’t realize they’re shooting themselves in the foot with a “polite,” passive close. You must ask for the business.
Instead of saying, “Let me know if this is something you would like,” ask, “Can you see your team using this service? Would you like to move to implementation?” You’re not being impolite—you’re being direct!
Direct questions are the way you and your client move forward. If your closing statement doesn’t end with a question mark, you’re not asking for the business!
You can talk yourself out of a sale.
You probably have a checklist in your head, based on your sales process. You’ll naturally want to check off every box in order until you get to that last “signing paperwork” step. Stop… and listen!
When a client is ready to buy, it’s crucial to stop selling—and start closing! If you keep talking, you can talk yourself out of a sale. Stubbornly going through your checklist of selling points can turn off a client who was ready to skip to the end and sign the paperwork.
If your prospect is ready to buy, you don’t need to keep giving them excuses to change their mind—just close!
Your confidence matters.
Confidence matters—and there is a significant difference between confidence and arrogance. Simply put, people are attracted to confidence. When you improve your confidence, people want to be involved with what you’re doing—and buy what you’re selling!
When you believe in your products and services, your prospects will too.
The confidence you have in your business matters too. If you believe in what you’re selling, people will notice—and want to be a part of it. If you don’t believe in your product, it’s impossible to hide—it even shows up in your body language.
If you want to win clients and love your job, you’ve got to be a company cheerleader. As soon as you don’t believe in your product or service, it’s time to find a new gig.
Sales Champions master multiple closing techniques.
Here’s the final sales truth: There’s no magical closing technique that works every time. You can’t have just one way of asking for the business. Real sales champions have multiple closing techniques at their disposal, and they know how (and when) to use each one.
I’ve already shared a lot of closing techniques here, like the 1-10 close, the Next Steps close, the Take Away close, the Tie Down close… and I’ve taught dozens more to sales teams and my sales coaching clients. There are dozens for a reason! A top producer can’t rely on only one or two ways to close.
Every time you ask your prospect a question, you’re finding another way to move the process forward—and if you’ve mastered multiple closing techniques, you’ll be able to pick the perfect tool to close the deal.
Take these truths to heart!
During my career, I’ve trained and coached thousands of sales professionals, and I’ve seen these truths proven time and again. If you often find yourself reluctant to close, I hope this list helps you get past feeling like a “closer” and comfortable asking clients for their business!
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Until next time—go sell some stuff!