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The Closing Step: Getting the Commitment and Order!

The entire purpose of having a sales professional on a team is to match up prospects/customers/market needs with what an organization can provide – you are the solution maker. In making that match and building that relationship, the transaction generates a revenue stream from which people are compensated, products/services/deliverable are made a reality and growth/stability occurs.

The professional sales person who can conversationally and consultatively flow through the first four steps of the selling process, and yet fails to get the business is more of a professional visitor, not a professional sales person (or recruiter).

In getting the final agreement from the potential buyer and attaining commitment from them to have a healthy transaction with you, that is the purpose of the “Closing” step of the selling process. In arriving at this point in the sales process, you must realize that of the myriad of closing techniques and options, there are really two basic options at this point in the sales process:

A “Trial Close or Alternate of Choice”
is used to solicit feedback from the person whom you have just made your “Presentation” to, in order to seek their opinion on your offer – you are not soliciting a commitment from them at this point.

Realize that this technique is best used when you feel the potential buyer is receptive to your offer, but you are not 100 percent sure to what buying level (low-medium-high) they are. If there is a belief that the prospect/customer may not be ready to finalize the offer and purchase, then a “Trial Close or Alternate of Choice” is great conversation tool.

A “Trial Close” might sound like:
“If you were to move ahead with this offer, would you want to take it with you or have it delivered?”

“If you were to join, is this something that you would want to proceed with the application process now or wait until the end of the month?

A “Trial Close or Alternate of Choice” question seeks to gain an opinion from the prospect/customer in relation to the “Presentation” the sales professional has made and their “Desire” to proceed with the offer. Recognize that if the response appears favorable, move directly to a “Close or Order Question.” If the response is warm or cold, then the sales professional may need to move back to step two in the sales process, “Interest” and ask more consultative conversational questions as to the prospects/customer’s true needs.

With a favorable conversation with a prospect/customer in the Five Steps to Selling, the you may choose to at step five, simply ask for the business – “Close.”

A “Close” or “Order Question” asks for or solicits a commitment from the person that the you have been spending time courting through the “Interest” and the “Presentation/Desire” phases. The down side is that by asking for a commitment and if you have misread the prospect/customer, that commitment solicitation may result in a resounding “no” response. This is very challenging to build back from.

An “Order Question” is a powerful “Close” strategy and is designed to attain an action- oriented commitment from the prospect/customer.

A “Close-Order Question” may sound like:
“How would you like me to process your order?”
Or, “Do you want to take this with you today?”
Or, “How many would you like to have me get for you?”
Or, “Based upon our conversation and your comments, let’s get the application process started right now?”

Each of these examples assumes that the prospect/customer wants to buy and requests from the listener a commitment.

Other ways of closing the selling processes and seeking an order from the prospect/customer is by offering “Alternate of Choice” options as a “Close” strategy. The strategy here is to give the prospect/customer multiple buying options.

An “Alternate Of Choice Close” may sound like:
“Do you want this in red or green?”
Or, “Would you like a single unit or a case?”
Or, “Do want this on a credit card or be billed?”
Or, “As we complete the application process, do you have a friend or colleague we should be talking with as well to join along with you?”

The art of asking for business from a prospect/customer, should be very smooth and conversational. If you believe in your deliverable and understand the other persons immediate, intermediate and long=term needs, and there is a match between what the other person needs and what you have, then it is your responsibility to share that solution opportunity with the other party.

There are three very easy, direct and non-threatening ways to “Close” the sales process with a prospect/customer and get the business.

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