Whether it’s a one-call close (very rare), a two-call close (less rare), or a ten-call close (let’s hope not!) you need to seal the deal and line up the next one. Closing is not an easy thing to do (especially over the phone)—not in business, sports, or love—but it can definitely be learned and if practiced enough, mastered. But you have to put yourself in the position to do it. Make the process of closing essential to your workday—all day, every day.
Get into a good frame of mind before you place that call to Bill. Being thinking:
- Give an excellent follow-up pitch.
- Listen to his concerns, objections.
- Listen some more. Don’t rush to interrupt him.
- Collect your thoughts, pause before speaking. Does Bill continue? Yes. Good.
- After he speaks emphasize with him; try to bond.
- Offer solutions to his problems (i.e. money, commitment, payment, etc.)
- Let him speak. Listen. Are these real objections?
- Answer precisely and clearly his concerns and how you can accommodate his needs.
- Let him speak. Listen. Listen to Bill talk himself into the deal.
It doesn’t always go this way, true, but as you probably already know listening is the key for striking the deal. It’s far more important than talking. The great actors, interviewers, and deal makers are the ones who listen attentively, and grab hold of the golden nugget that presents itself—be it a new element in the film’s dialogue/story, something provocative the interviewee reveals, or a buying sign (“I can’t pay for another two months”) the prospect drops into the conversation.
Use the 75/25 ratio when speaking with the prospect. Bill should be speaking 75% of the time. More importantly, you should be listening 75% of the time. The 25% on your end you be dedicated to answering his questions thoroughly but swiftly and moving the deal to the contract stage.
“Bill, we can definitely accommodate your needs. Would you like to move forward? I can send you the contract now.” That’s a Conditional Close (you can meet his needs) and an Assumptive Close (you’re assuming he’s going to buy).
Some of you might think that the above could also fall under what is known as the Hard Close. Fair enough, but if you’ve spelled everything out for the prospect and he knows exactly what he’s getting (ultimately a ROI) then what you’re doing—hard close or not—is nothing more than being direct and businesslike. There’s no need at this point in the negotiations to keep trading verbal volleys. Be direct and ask for the sale.
Listening and asking for the sale are essential but there’s another element that’s equally as important: trust. If Bill doesn’t trust you because you’re not confident or because he doesn’t think you everything there is to know about the product he’s buying and you’re hiding something then of course he’s not going to buy—and may never buy from you. Be honest in discussing what you know and what you don’t know