Monday, April 11, 2011

Closing Clearly

When it comes time to close your sale, you have many different options that will make the close a positive experience for both you and your prospects. It just so happens that the closing technique I prefer is also the simplest. It’s the direct question. It’s my favorite because it is clear and direct, and that is always my goal when making a presentation. Most prospects appreciate this type of close because it’s the most honest. The direct question doesn’t try to confuse them and gives them credit for being informed, capable business people who can reach a quick, firm decision. Due to the simplicity of the direct question close, I don’t find myself worrying about my next line while presenting and I can truly concentrate on what the prospect is saying.

My favorite direct question is, “Would you like to make this investment today?” Since I’m usually selling a fairly expensive consulting service proposal that will pay off in the long run for my clients, the term “investment” suits the offering very well.

I also use the imperative “today” because I’m trying to get a commitment from the prospect now—not later. That word serves as a signal to them that it’s “yes or no” time. If you want to use the direct question method, find words of your own that fit your product or service line.
Some other direct questions you might try are
-Would you like to do business today?
-Can I order this for you now?
-Do you want this plan?
-Are we in agreement on the deal?

The direct question needs to be short, sweet, and to the point. It should not have any “wiggle room” in it for the prospect to use to back out of the commitment. It should be strictly a “yes or no” proposition. If the prospect wants to say “maybe” to a “yes or no” question, they have to work at it.

It’s important that the words you choose for the direct question close be your words. They have to seem natural to you when you say them and natural to the prospect when they’re coming out of your mouth. If you seldom use twenty-dollar words in normal conversation, don’t stick any into your closing question. If you’re a distinguished-looking professional man or woman, stay away from an MTV vocabulary.

You should write down your closing question (and a few variations) and read them out loud to see how they sound. You’ll probably be able to tell pretty quickly if those words belong in your mouth.

Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

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