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Closing The Sale

entrepreneur daily

By Danielle Kennedy

When I entered the selling profession 25 years ago, I had noidea how to close a sale. Now, after years in the sales trenches,I've learned to follow my instincts, use common sense, andsimply ask the prospect to tell me the truth. Here are my 10 bestways to close a sale:

1. Prepare well in advance, and you'll closeeffortlessly. Create a pre-close questionnaire, including asmany questions as you can think of that the prospect may ask. Forexample: Is your product as good a value as the competition's?Be sure you can back up your reply in a way that doesn't knockthe competition but exhibits impressive knowledge of both thecompetitor's product and your own.

2. Assume closing the sale is good for both you and thecustomer. As the closing process unfolds, a feeling shouldmaterialize of "There is no turning back. I have created somuch desire in the customer, it would be cruel to stopnow."

3. Create opportunities for prospects to discloseobjections. Say: "Is this price out of the ballpark?"The more prospects trust you, the more likely they are to confesstheir true objections. Until they confess, you cannot close thesale.

4. Team close. Your past satisfied customers are morethan happy to help you clinch the sale. Tell the prospect:"Don't just take my word for it. You deserve to hear itstraight from the source--a current customer. Give them a call thismorning."

5. Create urgency. Caution: Don't play games. Whenyou tell a prospect you have people waiting in the wings to buy,you'd better be telling the truth.

6. Cut to the chase. Ask direct questions: "Are yougetting the right answers from me to help you come to someconclusions?" "What kind of budget are we workingwith?"

7. Listen for the close. Sometimes it happens in silence.All the questions have been answered. Don't break the spellwith meaningless conversation. Say, "This is exciting."Then begin to write the order.

8. When you can't close, ask for a confession. Whenout of the blue a prospect becomes resistant to buy, the hard sellis not the answer. Take all the pressure off and say, "Basedon our discussions, I assumed you were ready to make a decision. Ifthat's not the case, it won't be the end of the world foreither of us. Feel free to tell me your thoughts. What direction doyou want to go in?" (Say nothing until the prospectresponds.)

9. Close on the relationship, not the product. Here'smy favorite closing script: "Certainly it would make no sensefor me to recommend you purchase something you will someday regret.It would damage our relationship and my credibility--two thingsthat mean more to me in the long run than this sale. I am so surethat someday you will thank me that I can only recommend we moveforward on this. Shall we proceed with the paperwork?"

10. Communicate a passionate belief in your product orservice. If there is no gap between your inner belief and theouter language you use to close, that alignment produces a naturalconfidence and a strong presence that inspires the customer tobuy.

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