Way too many salespeople spend too long selling and too little time closing. These two things—selling and closing—are completely different arts and you need to master both for success. Selling requires you to sell features, options and get emotional involvement while the close requires persistence and logic to make sense of getting your customer to make a decision. This country is filled with salespeople who never commit to the art of closing.
As harsh as it may seem the close is what separates those who have from those who do not.
Closing directs people to take action and make an exchange of money for your product or service. Closing is really the final step in the pursuit of your goal. And this thing called closing isn’t just something that salespeople do, but something that applies to every person. Nothing truly happens until you are able to get the support, energy and resources of others, right?
Here are 5 reasons you may not be closing:
1. You Always Stand: Negotiating and closing are best done while seated. This is a policy that is frequently violated and missed, even by seasoned sales professionals. You will rarely close someone if you’re standing up. The saying goes, ‘Present the product, service or idea on your feet, but always negotiate the terms from your seat.’ Even if your prospect stands up, remain seated suggesting that you are not done, you are not reacting and that you are confident of the agreement. Going from a seating position to standing up suggests that something has changed and allows your prospect to exit and end the negotiations.
2. You Never Present Proposal in Writing: People do not believe what they hear, they believe what they see. What is written is more credible and more valued than that which is simply spoken. The old saying, “talk is cheap” rings true here. Always have a contract available and a writing pad on which to make your points. Anything offered or points of value that are included or expected should be written down for all to see. Anything of value should be written down and should be used to build your case of logic as to the many reasons someone would do business with you and close with you.
3. You Don’t Communicate Well: It’s important that you rehearse and clearly communicate what your offer is. Don’t mumble. Speak clearly and confidently so that your offer is communicated in a manner that suggests optimism, pride and credibility. People don’t trust a person who cannot communicate clearly and confidently. Practice your delivery and do not just assume you are coming over clearly. I practiced using recorders and video for years and then played them back to ensure my communication was coming across the way I intended.
4. You Fail to Make Enough Eye Contact. It’s vital that you learn to maintain eye contact with your prospect, so avoid wandering eyes and looking around them or over their shoulders—look directly into their eyes. This is a discipline instilled only through practice, and you can perfect it by recording yourself. Most of the people on this planet do not make eye contact. All you have to do to prove it is walk into a coffee shop and say hi. Walk down the street and ask someone a question, and watch him look away. If you want to be believed, it is vital that you make eye contact with your prospect.
5. You Don’t Have a Pen On You. I remember once I was closing a deal on which my prospect had just agreed, and I reached for my pen in my jacket but it was gone. The prospect took this as sign that he shouldn’t sign and close—and didn’t! I was devastated, and now I refuse to go anywhere without my sword in hand. All agreements require signatures and that requires ink. Keep a pen available on you at all times. In fact, you should always have a backup pen. Also, consider keeping a nice pen that portrays you as a professional. Invest in nice things and you will have nice things!
There are more reasons you may not be closing, but these are 5 that are easy to fix right away. Make sure you start with these and then get my complete Closer’s Survival Guide for many more tips on how to get your closing rates up.