CLOSING THE SALE
Closing a sale is a term which refers to the process of making a sale. Closing is the final step of a transaction. In sales, it is used more generally to mean achievement of the desired outcome, which may be an exchange of money or acquiring an approval or a signature. In Sales you often need to think of the prospect not as a stranger, but rather as a prospective customer who already wants or needs your offering. Such prospects need only be “closed”.
Putting your efforts in doing the ground work, identifying, analysing prospects, building rapport and understanding a prospect’s unique needs and wants all leads to one thing – “Closing the Sale”. Closing a sale is the goal, and if you are good at it, you will be very successful. After spending years in the sales profession, I understand that “the close” is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the sales process. Getting people to commit/ buy/ sign up is a challenge, even if it’s to a minimal order. Closing requires putting in the work. You have to prepare for the many possible situations that lay ahead, including hesitation, rejection and objections.
The major aspect here is Research (Identification & Analysis). Sales professionals need to learn about and study every possible detail about the client, their business, needs, issues, interests, and current solutions that may influence their decision making process. Doing your homework will help you find great solutions and analyze factors that may potentially prevent or delay closing.
Successful sales professionals understand that closing a sale is a process, and it involves getting a series of commitments (or smaller closes) as you work your way through the sales process. Step by step you move the prospect through the sales funnel. And, then you get to the final close, where you complete you sale.
Remember, commitment is not the final close, getting the order/ actual purchase/ sign up/ payment received is the final close.10 Super Successful Closing Techniques by The Sixth Element
Before we move on to the Closing Techniques we need to understand the Types of Buyers.
Types of Buyers
Spendthrifts are a group of customers, those who spend without hesitation. The spendthrifts feel little or no pain in making a purchase.
They love purchasing what catches their eye immediately. Spendthrifts are more likely to resort to impulsive buying. They need minimum convincing to make a purchase. They form the smallest percentage of the overall population. Commonly called- “Ready Buyers”.
2. Average Spenders:
Average spenders spend on what they believe is appropriate. They weigh their options and decide on what they think is a good investment. They work on a budget, and thus they act accordingly. Look at their options and think about a decision for a while.
They consider their decision criteria, make comparisons, search for cheaper options and then make a decision. Average Spenders spend on what they believe is appropriate. They are hesitant and spend on what they think could be a good investment. They form the largest percentage of the overall population.
3. Tightwads or Frugalists:
Here the term is used for buyers who are more economical people hold to their money as long as they can before a spending necessity arises.
They love to keep their money safe in a savings account rather than spend it. Frugalists respond less favorably to marketing advertisements and they feel the products should cost lower and not what is being advertised. They demonstrate a low attitude towards spending and believe the amount they spend should be consistent with their budgets.
Understanding: There are 3 Types of buyers and their buying behaviors and criteria are significantly different, this requires sales professionals to be aware of their needs/wants/dreams/problems in order to appeal to each type. Understanding what technique appeals to each buyer type can be very helpful when closing the sale.
10 SUPER SUCCESSFUL CLOSING TECHNIQUES
1. The Conventional Close:
Also known popularly as the “Summary Close”. Sales person uses this closing technique goes through the USP’s of the product and connects it with the
needs/wants of the prospect by stressing on the value and benefits in an effort to get the prospect to buy or sign up.
By summarizing upon the key points and benefits points into one impressive package, you’re helping prospects visualize what they’re truly getting out of your offering.
2. the OUT Of Stock Close: Here, post your presentation when the prospect raises an objection and you create more value of a single product within your range of products which you have actually pitched for, by creating a scarcity of that product.
Most often scarcity of a product increases the demand for it. Often a customer is not even aware that he wants that product until he finds out that he may not be able to get it.
Ex. Out Of Stock Close
Prospect: I don’t think i need this product as of now.
You: Oh, which one are you talking about? That’s a very popular one, let me ask my senior over the phone if that is even available.
Suddenly, there is a scarcity created which increase the demand of that product with the customer. You get back saying, “You are lucky we just have a couple of them left, and I have asked my senior to keep it aside for you.” Usually, people don’t act for a specific reason, they act ‘cos they are uncertain of their decision. The chances of the prospect being converted due to this close is higher.
3. THE Bear Trap Close: Usually used when the prospect brings up all sorts of objections. They are just excuses for not going ahead with the sale.
For example, they say, “Well, I think it’s not affordable for me as of now.” Here, you turn the objection around and use it as a reason for buying. You say, “If we could offer you some more add on’s now, would you take it?” You use the objection as a way of closing by offering a more valuable solution. Now you have entered his space and you close on the objection.
If the prospect says, “I don’t think your product matches my expectations.” You go one step further to say, “If I demonstrate that it will match your expectations, would you take it?” This makes your prospect to either, “Yes” or he may tell you the real reason.
In both cases it’s a win for you. You either get the sale or you get to know the real objection which you need to close.
4. THE question Close:
Basically a very interactive close where the presentation is based more on questions with respect to likes & dislike, needs & wants, problems & solutions, dreams & wishes of the prospect.
Questioning leads to recollecting the product presentation or demonstration.
It’s vital to ask close ended questions that lead to favorable answers for you. “Closed Ended” questions end with choices where as “Open Ended” questions end with options.
Ex. Open Ended Question:
You: “Did you like the our Product Demonstration?”
Prospect: “No” or “Yes” (you gave him an option to say No)
Ex. Closed Ended Question:
You: “What exactly attracted you the most in the Product Demonstration?”
Prospect: I liked the new feature of the touch screen that you have included, I have never seen that before (you hinted him to think about your product and its unique feature)
5. THE Immediate Close:
Immediate close is like a “no option close”. Where you make a strong presentation and make an offer with it Make them an offer, but make it short-term to the point so that the prospect must choose to buy now.
And there is no chance for him to avail this product at this price, since the price will be higher after this.
With this close you show him/her, how this is the last day of your offer at this price and you are making this offer to meet your numbers. Create an emergency for the prospect to react immediately.
6. THE Testimony Close:
Often called the “Third Party Experience” close. The prospect is basically meant to feel that he is not alone. Average spenders or hesitant buyers usually question their own self multiple times since they lack the confidence to make a decision unless pushed towards making one.
You got to give them the confidence to make a decision. This can be done by using testimonials or references of satisfied customers. Third party stories work wonders as the customer believes, “if it worked for him, it could work for me”. Show audio visuals, write ups, emails or for that matter even text messages would help convey the message.
7. THE Sense of Urgency Close: Creating a sense of urgency places pressure on the prospect to make a decision, especially if you have identified that the client needs to make a decision quickly and is working on a short timeline.
This closing technique can be used for limited period offers. However, unlike other closing techniques, this should only be used on occasions where the sales professional can deliver the offers that are system driven and with prior approval of the sales head. Avoid making any unrealistic promises or commitments in the flow by being over enthusiastic.
8. THE schemes and Offers Close:
Organizations tend to capitalize on the spending habits of customers by reserving a part of his out of pocket spend. As a sales professional, one needs to look at this opportunity to sell more by capitalizing on offers and schemes that are floated by the organization on periodic occasions.
Here you use a combination of closes– The Immediate Close, Urgency Close & Bear Trap Close. It’s a limited period offer on board and you need to create urgency, price hype as well as add more value to your product. This helps you not only to encash the sale but also to sell more to the prospect. Your presentation & closing should speak of multiples in line with the organization’s offering. It’s a special occasion, and as a sales person even you deserve more.
9. The 3 F Close– FEEL, FELT & FOUND. This technique works wonders when used correctly for Tightwads/Flugalists as well as Average Spenders. You need to observe, pick up and translate the hints of hesitation or reasons for objections they drop during the presentation and closing.
Here, you relate their buying behavior about how this prospect FEELS with other customers (people whom they can identify with) who FELT the same way before making a buying decision, but the those customers FOUND that it’s a great offer that you made and hence they invested in your product and so it is safe for him also to do the same.
Ex. 3 F Close:
“I understand how you FEEL Mr. Kumar, in fact Mr. Bachchan, who lives in the same neighborhood ( or same profession or similar age or similar job or similar situation etc.) FELT the same way, but when he observed that the technology used in this product is state of the art, he FOUND that it is worth every penny of his investment.“
10. THE Something for Nothing CLOSE: As seen in the Effective Presentation post (if not seen refer to it by scrolling down to RECENT POSTS ) Price= Need + Value.
A sale professional needs to close on the same lines where you add more value to the product either by emphasizing on the unique features or by value adds that are available but you have kept them undisclosed.
The smarter way is to not show all your cards at once. A slow timely sequential unveiling of your value add services helps you to close the sale. Eventually the buyer feels that he is getting more products or services for the price of one. Automatically, the value of your product goes up with respect to the price you have offered.
Most successful salespeople will say that closing the sale is actually fairly easy if the salesperson has worked hard in developing a relationship with the customer.
Unfortunately some buyers, no matter how satisfied they are with the seller and the seller’s product, may be insecure or lack confidence in making buying decisions. For these buyers, salespeople must rely on these closing techniques that help assist and even persuade a buyer to place an order.
Coming up Tips & Techniques of Objection Handling and “SUM-UP Technique” for Handling Objections during Closing the Sale. Stay Tuned.
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