When it’s time to close the sale, average salespeople really only know one or two closing techniques. Since you’ll hear four different objections in a typical closing situation, you’ll have to ask for the business five times. So it’s no coincidence that top producers have mastered 5 or more closing techniques. One of my favorites is called the 1-10 closing technique.
I have 20 different closing techniques that I commonly teach my sales coaching clients, but the 1-10 technique is one I cover with every client that’s having trouble closing at the end of a meeting.
The 1-10 Closing Technique:
The 1-10 closing technique is a straightforward process of asking your prospect how you’re doing so far – on a scale from 1 to 10. Next, use that answer as a guide for the rest of the closing process.
Using the technique is straightforward – after you’ve finished your pitch, simply ask the prospect how you did. Like this:
Based on the information we discussed today, on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 meaning you’re not interested at all, and 10 meaning this meets all your needs), how close did I come to meeting your expectations?
Here are three reasons this technique is so powerful:
- You’re asking for the business. After all, if they say “9” or “10”, stop selling and pull out the contract!
- It’s a great way for you to gauge whether or not you’re in the ball park.
- Best of all, you can use their answer to ask more questions and guide the rest of the conversation.
If they answer:
- 1-6 You say: “Wow! It sounds like I was way off base. What were you looking for today that I didn’t bring to the table?” (Start over and listen.)
- 7-8 You say: “It sounds like we were pretty close – why weren’t you a 6?” (Going to a lower number will get them to talk about why they liked you. They could even talk themselves into a higher number.)
- 9-10 You say: “I’m so glad to hear that because I’m really looking forward to working with you.” (Congratulations – start filling out the paperwork!)
Here’s another benefit: most salespeople talk too much. Asking the 1-10 question is an excellent way to force yourself to listen. Your prospect will appreciate your honesty, frankness, and vulnerability. Often, they will give your invaluable information about things you should have done differently in your needs analysis or presentation.
Closing is a series of incremental questions moving you to close the sale. Don’t assume that after a great presentation they’re going to jump across the table to seal the deal. No matter how fantastic the meeting went, you have to ask for the business – sometimes more than five times. Be prepared to answer their questions and then ask for the business again and again.
Until next time – go sell some stuff!