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Wrap It Up The end of the deal is near. Get ready to close--or to ditch it altogether.

By Barry Farber

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How much confidence do you have when it comes to closing the sale? The most important factor that contributes to your success at closing (or knowing when to move on) is the leverage you have going in and the confidence you have to back it up. The following tips will help you build that leverage:

Don't let emotional attachments cloud your vision. Whether it's the money, your ego or the time you've invested in the sales process, an emotional attachment signals desperation. Most prospects can see right through your hunger for the sale and sense when your pitch has become more about you getting the deal than about the value you bring to the table and the solution you have to offer. The best deals come when you don't need them, and the worst ones come when you do. The goal is to eliminate the bad deals and close with greater confidence.

Manage the pipeline. Manage your accounts throughout the sales process by using the management account profile--a simple corkboard on which you post information about your prospects in different stages of the sales cycle. It's a visual tool that helps you map your activity in motion. Sure, you can buy software to replicate this, but nothing is more powerful than seeing the writing on the wall--no more out of site, out of mind. So when I engage in activity to move myself through the sales cycle, it gives me the power to close with confidence or walk away. How is your pipeline of activity?

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