Monday, January 12, 2009

Closing the sale

One of the most critical aspects of selling is closing the sale. Closing the sale has two distinct components. First is the science of the close itself. This is the technique or systematic process of the close. The second is the art of the close. The art of closing is a bit less tangible and can be thought of as the dance between the customer and the agent or the feeling of when to close. Though both of these can be elusive, the science and the art of closing both can be mastered with practice and experience.
Starts at the beginning
Closing actually begins at the very first encounter with a customer. Building rapport allows the salesperson to continue and deepen the relationship. In its early stages, closing is preparing the customer for the future and describing the steps or road that will be followed to get the customer to not only put pen to paper but also give the mental affirmative to continue to a successful conclusion.
Trial closes
Along the presentation process for whatever product or service the customer will ultimately agree to purchase, the salesperson should regularly monitor the pace of the customer to assure the customer is still moving forward at the same rate as the salesperson. This may be accomplished with trial or minor closes. Just getting a customer to answer in the affirmative during the presentation is one way of priming the agreement pump. Another very common trial close is getting permission to continue the process such by initially writing a purchase agreement. It is as simple as asking for the date or for the correct spelling of the customer’s name before putting pen to paper.
These simple processes sound easy enough, but the question as to when to begin these closes keeps popping up. Explanation of the process happens throughout the initial presentation. This goes almost without saying. The putting pen to paper may be risky however if done out of turn. When making the bold decision to move forward we have to ask ourselves simply, is the buyer ready to buy? The buyer may have explicitly stated a specific date and that day may be near or even at hand. But, are there signs that reveal the buyer’s readiness to move forward?
Yes, is the short answer to this important question. We now move into the art of the close and away from the technique or the science of the close. Recognizing a buyer’s readiness to buy or buying signs takes time to foster. There are many lists of buying signs including mentally moving furniture, asking detailed questions, becoming thoughtful or reflective. A definition of a buying sign may be the demonstration of a behavior that is uncharacteristic for this particular person. A true buying sign from a very quiet non-flamboyant person, for example, may be getting into an empty jetted bathtub pretending to relax in the soothing water. This may not, however, be a buying sign if this particular person did this in every home. This is definitely a ‘get the feeling?’ kind of action.


  1. Thanks for the information. I found this interesting.

  2. Would Monday or Tuesday be a better time for me to comment?
    Would the monring or afternoon?

    I do forget to ask....

    Thanks for the reminder