This is the action item that gets many novice salespeople nervous. It's stepping up, feeling confident in your offer, and knowing when it's time to ask for the business and start to close the sale. There are a variety of ways of doing it and it's based on your style, not some sure proof technique.
- You've done your research, extensive planning, and required well thought out preparation. You feel really good after making one of your best presentations to a customer that has been on your target list for a while. The objection they raised and questions asked were answered honestly and thoroughly. Now the buyer appears to be showing positive signals. You've reached the stage when it's time to ask for the business. The months, weeks, and long hours of work now comes down to the closing phase of the sales process.
The close is when you're putting your buyer in a position to make some type of commitment to you and your offering. It will take less than a minute, but it is what people fear most about a career in sales. We have all felt that nervousness and reluctance to take this important step of asking for the business. Why is it such a stressful moment? Are you different than other salespeople? Believe me you're not and here's why. First, it can be an uncomfortable feeling to ask someone to make a commitment.
Secondly, we all have a fear of rejection. All of that work and then not to get a positive response, no one wants to hear the word no. Thirdly, it's that pressure or the fear of failure since we know that we need to close sales to make a living. If that buyer doesn't say yes, will our jobs be at risk? So how can you be prepared for the close and ask for the business? I'll start by saying that there are no magic formulas, no shortcuts to take or exact words to say.
One type of closing style doesn't work for everyone. You need to develop ones that work for you and constantly refine them. Next you'll hear about dozens of different closing strategies with names like Ultimatum, Assumptive, and even one called Puppy Dog. Don't try to learn them all. Come up with three or maybe four approaches that make you feel comfortable and they will work for you. Take a deep breath and remember how you got here. You've worked really hard to get to this point.
You need to not only believe in the product or service you're selling, but now is the time you have to believe in yourself. When the time is right, the worst thing you can do is hesitant or tell the buyer that you can give them more time to make a decision. When you spot the signals, go with your close and then stop talking. Silence is the best way to let a buyer say yes. Finally, look at your business card. Somewhere on it it says sales.
Our job as sales professionals is to diligently follow all of the steps of the sales process, but that path does eventually lead to the close. Just do it. Ask for the business and close the sale.