A good salesperson needs to know when it’s time to close the deal and how to go about doing it.
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Misidentifying the moment to close can carry numerous problems with it, not least the fact that a customer with extra thinking time can very easily suddenly decide that they are not so interested after all, and a customer who is pressed to complete the deal too early can be left with a negative impression of the salesperson – one which may be impossible to conquer.
The point at which it is advisable to close on a deal will be fairly obvious to any experienced salesperson. The moment will become apparent, usually after you have gone through a typical sales pitch, responded to the potential customer’s objections and talked them around, and they have begun to give a positive impression with regards to buying – whether they do this verbally or through their body language and non-verbal comportment.
At this point, you should begin to speak as though they are going to buy, while not talking as though they have already bought the product or service.
Understanding When It’s Time to Close
Once you start picking up signals that it may be time to close, you can ask a “confirmation question” such as “How soon do you need this?” If the customer gives you a date, you can proceed with the closing. If the customer still has objections or questions, you will have to handle those first.
This process of asking a confirmation question is sometimes called a “trial close.”
The benefit of a confirmation question is that it is something of a “closed question”. That is to say that it does not allow for the possibility that someone will come back and say “actually, I don’t think I want it”. If the customer is minded to buy the product, then they will already have been eased along the path to purchasing it by a simple question.
Rather than asking “So, would you like me to package this up for you?” the confirmation question allows you to garner that information without having to put the customer in a position where they answer a “Yes/No” question.
At this point, it is more than likely that the customer’s verbal and non-verbal signals will already have given a big lead as to their intentions. If they are making statements which pertain to where in their house the product would fit, or how they would use the service, then they are clearly already picturing themselves with the item, and they are as likely as they ever will be to be receptive to an attempt at closing.
The nature of your closing technique is important here, but the main thing to remember is that as long as you are respectful to any concerns they may have, you are all but guaranteed the sale.
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