If you remember from last week, what I finally decided I needed was a single, all-purpose close, granddaddy of all closes, a close I could use at any time with any buyer. So I sat down and I pondered, then I wrote and pondered some more. Id role-play, write, rewrite, ponder and role-play again. Finally, after trial and error, minor success and major failure, I struck the mother lode, the “use whenever with whomever” close. Here it is:
“Have I proven to you that we have what you want to buy?” Thats it! Believe it or not it really is that simple. If the answer is yes, you proceed to an agreement. If the answer is a no or a maybe, you’ve opened the door to a discussion of what the buyer needs to see to be certain you have what they want to buy.
It turns out we don’t need a book to learn how to close.
It is as easy as posing that one, simple question. It is the logical conclusion to both the process of selling and the process of buying.
Don’t get me wrong. I do get why people have written entire books on how to close. It is absolutely true that closing can be very uncomfortable for both buyer and seller. Unfortunately, the solution in the past has been the use of techniques that deal with the symptoms instead of the real problems. Rather than addressing the cause of the discomfort associated with closing, we’ve been taught to try to disguise our closing questions. We have been taught to hide them or sneak them in, or we have been taught to ask questions for which the answer is virtually meaningless. Questions like ‘Do you think we have met your application?’ and “Do you think our company is capable of providing the level of service you require?” tell us little or nothing about what our prospects will ultimately buy. Worse yet, In some cases, the discomfort for the sales person is SO great, they actually fail to ask final closing questions at all.
Not asking a final closing question is totally unacceptable.
How are we to know whether or not our prospects are taking ownership of our position if we don’t ask? In order for a sales professional to do their job they have to know where they stand relative to their and their prospects objectives. Secondly, by trying to hide or disguise closing questions we run the risk of not getting accurate or valid responses, or the effort to mask is so transparent, we ultimately harm our credibility.
So you can thank me later.
“Have I proven to you that we have what you want to buy?”
I just saved you a lengthy ordeal with an 800-number call center, an endless series of “upsell” attempts and the wait for your book to arrive.
You now have everything you need to ‘close’.