Did you know that the very best sales professionals are often challenged by the “close”?
There’s a reason for that. In the early stages of the sales process, the skills salespeople use are comfortable ones — they’re about relating and listening and sharing information and answering questions. That part is easy.
But then the conversation can get sticky, because many prospects are reluctant to make the final decision.
The truth is they’re often feeling fear — and so is the sales professional.
In addition, the skills required for the close are a good bit different than those used in the earlier stages.
Sales professionals often feel forced to step out of their comfort zone to persuade prospects to come to a decision, and the skills required are a lot tougher to master. But they can be learned.
Follow these four steps to close sales kindly and efficiently:
- Be sure that your sales process is created with the close in mind. In other words, the close should be a natural next step in the sales process and one the prospect is expecting and prepared for.
- Stay close by your prospect’s side. If there’s ever a time to keep in constant touch, it’s during the close. Don’t let your prospect’s silence intimidate you. Meet it head on.
- Be sure to create closing questions and closing phrases that are comfortable for you and that come out of your mouth easily. For best results, try these phrases out in advance of the close to see how your prospect reacts to them.
- Acknowledge the fear that your prospect is sure to be feeling. Give their particular fear a name. Work together on surmounting it.
Flo Schell, EdM, is former vice president of Franchise Development for Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. and founder of Franchise Coaching Systems. She has also written a book, Stop Selling: Start Clicking, that explains her successful sales process. To learn more about the services offered by Franchise Coaching Systems, visit FloSchell.com.