ABC – Always Be Closing
“First prize is a brand-new Cadillac Eldorado, second prize is a set of steak knives and third prize is, you’re fired. Do you want to work here? Close. You don’t like it? Leave.”
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
In the 1982 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin gives his now-famous “Coffee is for Closers” speech. Despite its foul language and abusive tone, you have to chuckle at the scene. Sadly, we laugh because to some it feels real.
Closing is a critical component of the sales process. “Get them to sign on the line, which is dotted,” exclaims Baldwin. I don’t like the term “close” because it suggests an ending, when in reality, it’s just the beginning. Closing is not an event, it’s a process… a series of events that culminate in the acquisition of a new client.
First, you must get onto a buyer’s radar by seeding, cold calling, getting a referral or creating some other means of making a connection with a prospect. You “close” by getting the initial meeting. You open the conversation about problems and needs. You “close” by getting a second appointment to demonstrate your company is capable of solving their problem or improving their business. You present the plan and the pricing and acquire an order. Sounds simple, right?
That’s not where it ends. You now have an opportunity to go to work for the customer you put so much effort into selling. The real success is when you get a second or third order from the same customer and obtain referrals to other people in their network.
What you believe about selling and closing will drive your behavior. If you believe closing is something you do to the buyer, you will act differently than if you believe closing is something the buyer wants as much as you do. In Robert Bly’s Book: Zero Pressure Selling, he offers seven keys to closing the sale, or new ways to think about closing:
1. Overcome objections
2. Offer reasons to buy now
3. Help the person solve problems
4. Narrow the choices
5. Help the person reach a decision
6. Ask for the sale
7. Take “no” for an answer
As a professional – a highly trained salesperson, it is your job to reduce the tension, reduce the fear of manipulation and reduce the anxiety on the part of your prospect. You do this through the use of ZERO-pressure closing.
If you believe you’re working for the client and truly helping them, then closing is the natural progression to the work you’ve done. In addition to beliefs, your attitude can dramatically affect the outcome. There are three “vibes” you must give off for your prospects to feel at ease:
Believe you’re serving the client and exude passion and a positive attitude. You won’t have to worry about “closing techniques.”
Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com or follow him on social media: Twitter and LinkedIn.