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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 12, 2018 • Issue 18:03:01

Inspiration

Always love closing

Are you meeting your sales goals? If not, disappointing results might include lack of effort, disorganization, insufficient training and support, poor listening skills, inadequate industry and product knowledge, self-doubt and more. However, some merchant level salespeople (MLSs) appear to have the all requisite personal qualities, knowledge and support but still find success eluding them. In many cases the culprit is trouble with closing.

"Closing is the natural conclusion of a well-handled sale, yet it is often seen as an anxiety-laden moment of truth," Paul H. Green wrote in Good Selling!SM: The Basics. One critical factor affecting sales performance is attitude. "Your emotional state will show during a presentation," Green wrote. "If you are nervous or face the close with dread, your emotions can jeopardize your sales. Your prospect will perceive your emotions as a lack of confidence or honesty."

Attitude adjustment

While there is no "magic pill" that will change a negative to a positive attitude, here are tips that can help you become adept at closing:

  • Don't take rejection personally. Rejection of your offerings is rarely a rejection of you, individually. Rejection is an integral part of sales. Some trainers encourage agents to embrace it. "Go for no," they advise, realizing each prospect that hands you a no answer, brings you closer to those who will answer yes.
  • Plan ahead. To avoid asking for a prospect's business too early or too late, build a close into your sales presentation before the meeting. Pick the point that seems most appropriate, such as after you have effectively identified a potential problem, presented your solution in terms that make sense to your prospect and addressed any questions and concerns.
  • Be yourself. Adapt sales materials and aids to your personality and your prospect's situation. Don't force yourself to use someone else's language. Prepare a variety of closing questions you would be comfortable asking before you meet so the transition to the close will be as seamless as possible.
  • Forge ahead. If you've listened well, identified a merchant's pain points and effectively conveyed how you can help, you have earned the right to ask for your prospect's business. If you've been respectful, it is unlikely the merchant will be offended by your efforts to close even if your product or service turns out to not be a good fit.

Green emphasized that closing ability separates the successful from the unsuccessful and noted that an effective sales process contains many preliminary closes. "Salespeople must close prospects to set appointments, agree on the prospect's needs and decide which program best meets those needs," he wrote. "Keep a clear memory of your successful preliminary closes to help boost your confidence when it's time to ask for the order."

Green also stated that each point of agreement between you and the buyer takes you closer to a successful buying decision. "Remember that each point of agreement simplifies the prospect's final decision to buy. Review each point of agreement as you wrap up your presentation."

Keep these things in mind, and you may soon find you always love closing. end of article

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