The overall topic this month for our blogs and newsletter is closing, the 7th of the SELLability 8 Cs of selling. It’s the last step of the sales process, where money changes hands, where the prospect becomes a customer, and the new customer becomes the proud owner of a new product or service.
Jumping the Gun
We all know the ability to close a deal is crucial to achieving your sales goals. But how many salespeople really know that the close is not a magic formula, or a technique designed to beat a prospect into submission, or to twist an unwilling arm? Unfortunately, not too many.
Just like there are salespeople who try and leap to the close before the prospect is ready, sales training has, pretty much since its inception, over-focused on closing. All the vital steps that lead to closing have been skimped or even sometimes ignored. In sales or, in fact in any endeavor, trying to skip vital steps to accomplishment will never result in that accomplishment.
The Vital Element
The definition of closing is very simple: it is the culmination of all successful actions taken prior to this final step. Those actions can be summated in the steps of the sales process. The sales process steps, which can be modified or tailored for any company, are:
Contact and Interview
(Sign up at SELLability.com to learn these steps in detail, and how they relate to one another.)
The Closed Door
At the end of the sale, you’re trying to close a door, as we referred to in the title of this article. You’re closing the door on the prospect backing out of the sale. You’re closing the door on the possibility that the prospect will not gain the benefit of the product or service you’re selling them.
But you cannot close a door that was never opened. So how do you get that door open?
The first step of the sales process in which you actually interact with the prospect is the Contact and Interview step. And right in that step, the most important thing you will do is establish trust with the prospect. That trust must be maintained throughout the rest of the sales process steps. The door is opened when trust is established.
As long as you follow each and every step of the sales process, and take care to maintain trust the whole way, that door will remain open…all the way up to the point where you deliberately close it, in complete cooperation with the prospect. That will, of course, be closing the sale!
But if that door remains closed as you try and progress with the deal, it’s because the prospect wants it closed. And if the prospect wants it closed, it’s because they don’t trust you enough to open it.
The answer: establish trust, and don’t skimp or ignore any of the steps of the sales process—and close that door with a sale accomplished.
Learn more by signing up at SELLability.com.