I just finished a “Closing” Training session last week with a Sales Team for one of our largest national builders. I constantly get Closing as a request from most Managers and Presidents. They think if we pound “closes” into the Sales Agent’s head, their sales ratio will increase. Some Managers even ask me to push the “A – B – C. Always Be Closing.” technique to get things started. Uhhh! I will get to this later.
Closing training sessions are only good for one thing. What is that, you say? Closing training sessions are only good for teaching what comes before closing. Because it isn’t closing we should be worried about. What we should be worried about is everything that comes before closing. That’s right, you heard me clearly. We need to worry about everything before closing because when we do that…closing is easy and sometimes not even needed. If steps are done right, closing is a natural next step.
Here is a list of more important elements of a sale:
- Building Rapport
- Building Trust
- Building Value
- Asking questions to discover needs
- Listening for needs
- Selling those needs
Once I can get Sales People to focus on these six elements and do it very well…closing is easy. Why? Because once you build rapport, build true relationships with prospects, build value and discover needs, you can ask a prospect for anything. Closing is a very natural thing to ask once these other elements have been achieved. In fact closing only becomes a “hard sell” or uncomfortable when these six items have not been achieved.
Here is a list of questions to ask yourself about your prospect encounter?
- Did I do my best to maximize my time with that prospect?
- Did I do my best to get to know that prospect and build rapport?
- Did I discover their reasons for buying?
- Did I create value?
- Did I discover exactly the home they were looking for and why?
- Did I ask if what I showed the prospect fit their needs?
- Did I learn enough personal things about this prospect to have a comfortable, engaging follow up call?
- Did I develop enough rapport so that prospect would take my call?
- Did I discover enough needs so that I can follow up with the prospect… Not once but four or five times?
If you are able to answer these questions with a positive “Yes”, then you did a great job and closing should be easy and just a natural, normal last step of the sale.
As far as “ABC-Always Be Closing”, well here is my spin on this. Yes, indeed you should always be gearing your sales presentation towards a close. But if “Always be closing” means badgering your prospect with bad closings you learned from a book, then I will tell you that you will be making a huge mistake.
Closing the sale is not an action, it’s a process of many steps that come before it. And when that process is followed, that’s when you’ll see the results. Getting to that close is something you earn as a sales person.
Never forget, the final close, when all is said and done, should be you getting a check or a 2nd appointment.