29 May 2024, 16:19
By Brian Barfield Jan 27, 2016

Modern Day Selling #7 – Effective closing techniques

Brian Barfield’s series on Modern Day Selling concludes with a look at closing the sale – which should prove a straightforward process if the customer has come to trust you …

Have you ever really thought deeply about the concept of closing a sale? For many sales associates, closing can be very complicated and complex. It is often the hardest part of the sales presentation.

This has happened because of the way we have chosen to sell to our customers in the past. What if I told you that there was a better way to close? What if I told you that closing could be the easiest part of your sales presentation?

For years we have been taught to start closing the sale at the beginning of the sales process. We have been shown many crafty techniques and styles of closing that can actually work – sometimes. I want to share with you a more effective approach, which starts with an understanding that there is a time and place for everything in your sales presentation.

From this day forward, I ask you to put your closing technique back in its proper order of selling, which is at the end of the sales presentation. Would you watch the ending of a movie first? No! It would ruin the movie and give you nothing to look forward to. For years we have been selling our customers out of order, which can give you and your customer an uncomfortable experience and ruin the sales presentation.

The first important concept in effective closing is to understand that you must earn the right to close your sale. You do this by building trust and giving your customer the confidence that they need to jump into the close with you.

I encourage you to think of closing like skydiving. Think of the courage it must take to make that first jump into the unknown. Your customer can feel the same way when they enter your store for the first time. In order to find this courage it is important to have a knowledgeable instructor to safely see them through the sale. You as a sales associate are now your customer’s instructor through the sales process. They must have complete trust in you and you must overcome their fear of the unknown. Once you have gained their trust and given them confidence, they will jump into the close with you time and time again.

Imagine what would happen if you had a lousy instructor on your first skydiving experience. What if your instructor did not appear confident? If they didn’t know how to pack your parachute properly and seemed just as nervous as you when you head up into the sky – would you feel confident enough to jump with this instructor?

Confidence is the most important skill that you can possess in closing. Your customer is looking to you as their instructor to give them the confidence they need to buy. Any sign of weakness can have your customer begin to second-guess themselves as you are closing, and they will not jump into the close with you.

Another important concept in closing is to remember that your customer may begin to give you some reassurance objections as you go through the closing process.  Reassurance objections are very different from regular objections. Reassurance objections let you know that you are doing your job well.

They might ask: “Is this the best price you can offer?” What they are telling you is that they have found the item that they would like to buy. They need reassurance that they are not overpaying. A confident sales associate will close immediately with reassurance.

“Confidence is the most important skill that you can possess in closing. Your customer is looking to you as their instructor to give them the confidence they need to buy”

Apply this knowledge to your closing technique, and see how effective you become. Further insights can be found in my book, Modern Day Selling.

In closing this series, I hope you have seen your sales process and customer in a new light. The days of tough selling filled with mistrust and manipulation no longer need to exist. By turning your focus back to meeting your customers’ needs and impacting their lives in a meaningful way, selling can become easy and almost effortless.

Over time you will build a large and loyal customer base that will set you apart from your competition. I challenge you to look back over this series, examine each article in depth, and apply your findings to your sales technique today.

Brian Barfield is a two-time published author who specialises in retail sales training. His Modern Day Selling series offers a unique perspective in teaching sales associates how to reconnect with their customers and achieve greater success in their sales career.

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