Closing is the toughest part of the entire sale. Because before it hits the dotted line, everything is up in the air as to whether the deal actually happened. If at the last moment, the seller can’t close, there’s been nothing but wheel-spinning taking place.
Always Be Closing
I’ve taught thousands of sellers how to close harder, faster and for more money. So, after 30 years and thousands of sales calls, I’ve seen a lot of great and not so great tactics performed by sellers engaging in the ageless dysfunctional dance between the pitch and the close. Alec Baldwin’s speech in Glengarry, Glen Ross isn’t far off the mark.
There are five initial problems that are universal to sellers when closing a deal. While other issues are out there, and this is by no means an absolute, these problems characterize many of the hurdles that sales people have to overcome when sealing the deal with a client.
Selling Products/Services Instead Of Results/Outcomes
This is usually the highest flaw in every sales pitch. No one enters a bar requesting a complicated drink. A spirit that has been distilled through a mesh basket containing almond, lemon peel, licorice, juniper berries, orris root, angelica, coriander, cassia, cubeb, and grains of paradise.
What we really want to buy is the pleasant buzz that comes from that Bombay Sapphire martini.
If a bartender even offered up a drink’s ingredients unsolicited to the customer, they wouldn’t get very far. No one really cares about the stuff, they care about what the stuff can do for them if they buy it.
Sellers Who Wouldn’t Buy Their Own Product
This tells the customer that the seller doesn’t actually believe in the product that they are selling. They don’t think it can do much for the client. And in actuality, they would never buy the product or service that they are pitching.
There is a stark difference between selling someone on going to your personal favorite bar or restaurant versus just telling them about a random joint that you heard about. It is a complete night and day experience. Consider the words that you use, whether they are more exciting, more influential, when describing a place that you love talking about. There is a 180 degree difference in your voice’s conviction, as well as your overall demeanor. When it is a place that you love, you steamroll objections, you close through enthusiasm and passion.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of sellers out haven’t really convinced themselves of the outcome of the products or services that they are trying to sell their clients on. They just have stuff to sell, units to move.
If you really did believe in what you were selling, wouldn’t you do just about anything in order to close the deal? Of course, you would. You’d want those you were selling to feel what you felt, when you experienced or used the product. And it shows in how you sell, what you sell, and what you do when selling the product.
Being Clueless That Buyers Are Liars
Sellers hurt themselves during the process by being out to lunch about the psychological game that is being played by the client. Buyers are liars. It may sound harsh, but it is true. Buyers are indeed liars. This is a wake-up call to all of the sales people reading this, who need to realize that every time that they are on the phone with a buyer, it is happening to them. Buyers are liars. They are engaged in a closing process, not only as liars, but as gifted, black-belt, ninja liars.
Time to wake up. When the sales clock rings, the psychological game of sales begins, and it is game on. The sales person is put in the ring with an adversary who is playing the role of client. It is a career-killing beast to any sales person, where the client has been honed by thousands of years of evolutions, giving the client a DNA ability to be dishonest, deceptive in order to escape the pressure of a sales call.
Sellers can’t close when they cannot believe what they are hearing, and end up making up all sorts of wrong assumptions. This is when the sales person hears one thing, but cannot decipher that they are being pushed aside. Examples are when the client says “call me back next week” or “let me think about it” or “let me check with my partner” or “we may end up doing something, with someone, at some point in time.”
Focusing On A Big Thing, Not Several Small Ones
Most clients are terrified to buy from most sellers. Even though clients are gifted in the form of lying, they don’t trust anything that a seller says. And clients are constantly worried about being sold. They also don’t trust their own judgments in making buying decisions. They don’t know which questions to ask first, nor how to evaluate their own needs, what true value is, or how to achieve the most logical process for buying. They don’t because they aren’t sure, and they are waiting for someone to guide them.
Around 99 percent of the sellers out there are average. Because the seller instills a common-practice pitch, where they ask the buyer to come buy their product by saying yes and signing on the dotted line. The seller has one, massive, frightening step for the terrified, confused client to take. And it is the worst one of them all. Trust me and everything will be okay.
Focusing Too Much On The Call, Not On The Service
Killer closing happens after the closing meeting has taken place, in the follow-up to that meeting.
The vast majority of sellers, close to 98 percent, focus on being good in the closing call. They miss the point that if they want to be great, they need to really shine in the post-call follow-up to that meeting.
Clients are looking for partner-sellers, not vendor-sellers. Someone who will partner with them to maximize their investment. When you follow-up in a professional, unique and/or fun fashion, you’re sending a huge signal to the client that you’re all about partnering with them, not just after your own gain.
Sweet, huge promises aren’t what a client needs. They require a long-term relationship. It means being genuine long after the first meeting.
Most sellers suck at closing their deals. And its really not their fault. Few people are every taught more than few clever closing lines before they are turned loose on their prospective clients.