Welcome to a blog on the art and science of closing. As we all know in business, being able to seal the deal is critically important to our self-esteem, reputation and to something called “making money and staying alive.”
You may be familiar with the “ABC’s of business – Always Be Closing.” I investigated a lot of closing techniques on the Internet and here’s a fascinating stat I purloined: (stole): 92% of salespeople report giving up on a prospect after hearing “no” four times. Conversely, 80% of prospects report saying “’no” four times before they say “yes.”1 That’s kind of sad. It unfortunately does not mean a salesperson should put up with 5 “no’s,” but it does give credence to that famous line (written by me), “persistence overcomes resistance.”
Of course, your prospect has to be in the market for what you’re selling. It’s that old joke about trying to sell ice to Eskimos. In my Internet travels, I did come across some good info on closing that I want to share with you, especially about established closing techniques, including:
- The “Today or Never Close”
This is all about presenting a case for urgency like:
- “This price is for today and today only.”
- “We only have a limited number in stock, and they are going fast!”
- “If you sign up right now, you’ll get a 20% discount.”
- The Takeaway Close
If you’ve noted all your services and they don’t seem that keen on some, take those off the table so you can lower the price.
- The “Columbo” Close
Remember the TV show, Columbo? When he was done questioning the suspect, as he was walking out the door, he’d turn and say, “Oh, one more thing. Why did you kill your Mr. Peabody in the library with the knife?” If your prospect has objected to everything under the sun, show them the moon on the way out the door. “Um, the moon up in the sky, that is.” Make them moonstruck with an offer they can’t refuse. As long as there’s some profit, there’s nothing to lose.
- The “Plan A or Plan B?” Close.
If they’re not buying Plan A, strongly consider having a Plan B in your back pocket. Sure, we sold the heck out of Plan A, but we had a couple of backups just in case the client uttered the dreaded words, “what else have you got?’ That happened more than once. Some smart people offer two pricing plans – one plan like a Chicago hot dog with the works and another trimmed down, less expensive option. Who knows, that could be the wiener (oohh).
- Finally, Be Ready to Overcome Objections
Be prepared to respond to the most common objection, which you’ve probably heard: “Are you crazy, that’s way too expensive.” You can counter with:
- “You’re not alone. I had two customers who felt the same way at first, but I was able to remind them of the great value they receive. How about if I provide their contact info? You could ask how pleased they are.”
- “So, I’m wondering how are you coming to the conclusion it’s too expensive? Have you priced it out elsewhere?”
- “Is the price a cash flow issue or a budget issue?” If it’s cash flow, you can counter with extended terms. If it’s a budget issue, perhaps you can provide a discount or offer additional service and value for the money.
- Here’s a positive approach: “Let’s explore some ways we might fit this into your budget.”
Remember the words of Paul Scott Longsford, the British poet lariat who said, “Don’t be a schlemiel, seal the deal!” What is your open to close ratio? Are you struggling to seal the deal? Let The Miner Agency refine your “spiel.” Our team of experts can assist in all aspects open to close.