Closing is a critical step in the sales process, and having a technique that works almost every time can make things much easier on the floor. On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Sean Gardner, instructor and sales trainer at the Joe Verde Group, to discuss the best methods for winning over hesitant customers.
To understand how to close, sales employees must first understand what closing means in terms of the sales process. “You and I, we grew up in the car business,” explains Gardner, ” and we always thought closing was: you get to step A in the selling process, you hold your breath, you blurt out a closing question.” The issue with this tactic is that the majority of the factors influencing a customer’s decision do not appear during the conversation but rather before. First impressions are made in the first seven seconds of engagement, Gardner notes. This means that from the moment a client lays eyes on a salesperson, their mind is already drawing conclusions. This means that in order to successfully close, sales representatives must win the customer over as soon as possible.
Another important aspect to understand about the sales process is that a close can be successful even if a client does not immediately decide to purchase the vehicle. This is because closes also serve a secondary purpose: to flush out objections. In other words, salespeople can use closing statements to identify problems impacting the consumer, allowing them to move the conversation forward by recommending solutions. Objections, as Gardner notes, are not roadblocks but rather stepping stones on the path to successfully closing a sale.
One of the worst things a sales representative can do is to assume the conversation is over simply because they encounter one obstacle. The vast majority of sales are closed after the fifth attempt, explains Gardner, but 75% of salespeople only ask for the sale one time, and many never even ask. This is why it is important to approach the sales process with confidence and the understanding that a successful close is not the finale but the main course.