One of the most challenging parts of selling is the close. There are so many tiny mistakes that can lessen your chances of making the sale. Luckily, Jeff Hoffman compiled a list of what he believes to be the most common, and “devastating,” closing mistakes he’s witnessed. So, before you take that next step in the closing process, you may want to consider his suggestions. Below are three from his list:
Using statements instead of questions. At this point in the process, you need to be asking direct questions to get direct answers. Otherwise, this final step could drag on while the prospect drags his or her feet. While this seems like a simple solution, take a moment to think about how much of what you say during a close involves directly asking; the answer may surprise you!
Not creating urgency. Hoffman points out that need and timing drive purchases. “If a need is great but other priorities are more important, your deal will get pushed,” he explains. “If a need is great but the prospect doesn’t understand why they need to address it right now, your deal will also get pushed.” It’s up to you to take control of the situation and light some fire under the prospect. Don’t be afraid of adding a bit of pressure. Only by explaining why he or she needs to act now will the prospect appreciate the true value of what you’re selling (and be ready to buy).
Talking too much. Yes, it’s totally understandable that you want to communicate as much as possible in the final stages. And yes, it’s an exciting, anxious time. But, you must be careful to not talk yourself out of the sale. “No one ever listened their way out of a deal,” Hoffman writes. “Every time you finish introducing a new term, responding to a question, offering a concession, or most importantly, stating your price, you should shut up.” While it may sound harsh, this tactic keeps you from saying something that may put doubt in the prospect’s mind or coming across as desperate or insecure.
Along with these, Hoffman’s other suggestions can steer you away from missteps that can hurt reps during the closing stage. While closing will never be without any difficultly, you can make the path to a sale a bit easier with his guidance.