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The 6 Steps to Successful Selling -- Step 6, The Closing!

by Robert Garment, Executive Editor | April 10, 2006
This 6-part series is about to end, and I hope it has helped you train new hires.

You can see the earlier articles by scrolling down to the bottom of the News and clicking on the last few issues in the News Archive.

This week get to what it's all about: the "Pot 'O Gold" at the end of the rainbow...The Closing!

The 6 Steps of The Sale
1. Planning and Preparation
2. The Introduction or Opening
3. Questioning and Probing
4. The Presentation
5. Overcoming Objections and Negotiating
6. The Closing

Step #6 - The Closing

You eye should be on the closing every time you start a sale, so always keep this in mind:

- There are three types of customers:
1.) Those who are definite buyers. They may have contacted you, they're very receptive to what you say, and eager to do the deal and move one. They might drive a hard bargain, try and get the best terms or other "extras," but want what you are selling. Closing these customers is sweet and easy.

2.) Those who might be buyers. These are the majority of buyers, and can often require a lot of hard work, they're hesitant, they'll put you off, but can be closed.

3.) Those who not buyers. These can often sound like Type 2's above, but are a waste of time. They may seem to be giving you a lot of time, but they are just pumping you for information, and you have to smell them out.

- The trial close
So it's obvious that the strategy and the art of "The Close" is focused on Type 2 buyers. And actually closing them often requires trying "trail closers." These are probing question that will tell you how near you are to making the sale, and what you need to do move the prospect closer to being a customer. If you've made your presentation and they are still hesitant, try something like this: "Is there anything I've presented you don't understand?" "Is there anything I've left out?" "You seem to be a little hesitant, can you tell me why?" You phrase it your way, but that's the concept.

- The strategy behind the trial close
What you are doing here is simple: you are asking the prospect, no matter how you put it, "What's holding the deal up?" They have to give you an answer, and if you can provide the solution to their objection - in other words, you have given them everything they want - they have to buy from you.

- The Close
The best close these days is something like "Are you happy that we've covered everything and would you like to go ahead?", or simply "Would you like to go ahead?" In many cases, if you have conducted the sale properly, the prospect will close the deal himself and say something like, "OK, this sounds good and this is what I'd like to do, I'll go with the (product or service details)..."

- After the Close, close your mouth