Confirming Before Closing” Is Good Sales Advice

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I read many articles on best sales practices. Therefore, I’m exposed to many opinions on how best to gather leads, build relationships or close a sale. Conflicts abound; that is, many professional sellers and consultants offer opposing views on how to accomplish the same goal. Similarly, closing techniques range from the outdated “always be closing” to the more genteel “suggestion close.” Interestingly, I’ve discovered a technique that appears more natural and conversational: the “confirming before closing” practice. 

I don’t like to give advice. I like to give people information because everyone’s life is different, and everyone’s journey is different.” – Dolly Parton

Confirming before closing can be highly adaptable

Business development expert Adam Weiss contributed a sales strategy article to Madison Miles Media. The context focused on the benefits of this type of trial close. The beauty of this technique is that it feels more natural and informal when applied to the overall sales conversation. For instance, from prospecting to post-​sale follow-​up, this method of statement-​response-​confirmation can uncover obstacles and reveal opportunities. Used consistently, “confirming before closing” will pave the way toward closure with informative stops along the way.

Verifying specifics and reaching agreement moves the deal forward

A trial close involves asking questions to assure everyone is on the same page. Just by asking simple basics, such as identifying decision-​makers and influencers in your prospect's organization, can get you started on the right path. Patient, methodical “confirming before closing” steps assure each phase of the sales process is locked down before proceeding. When this technique becomes a habit and you systematically check off each layer, there’s no reason to get a negative response at closing.

Every deal has unique obstacles

Obviously, finding barriers early in the game gives you an advantage. Asking for clarity on the client’s internal procedures is enlightening. For example, with new business prospects, you may bump up against legal requirements or encounter an obstinate office manager who will impede your progress. Fortunately, “confirming before closing” identifies these hurdles, keeps the conversation flowing and allows you to get in front of the problem.

Transform obstacles into opportunities

Getting to the bottom of primary concerns allows you to consider solutions and options that can benefit both you and the client. Creative and imaginative salespeople are at their best when faced with a challenge. “Confirming before closing” techniques expose real or imagined fears on the part of the buyer. Contract terms, warranty promises, competitive bids, and reluctant influencers can all be addressed once revealed using a trial close.

Statement-​response-​confirmation shows mutual respect

Asking questions to gain insight, seeking to understand the nuances of a client’s business and a genuine appreciation for their needs is a pathway to trust and a long-​term relationship. Deploying the “confirming before closing” method makes your client feel listened to and understood. Remarkably, this closing technique does not feel forced or contrived. A trial close brings you closer, not only to a deal, but to a deeper understanding of your client and their needs.

Getting to “Yes”

Weiss likens this trial close technique to a map. Each stop is an integral part of the sales process. Unfortunately, there is not an express lane, nor should there be if this is intended to be a mutual partnership. Salespeople who rush the close or aggressively cut corners will find that their closing ratios suffer. Now, undoubtedly, the destination is a completed contract. However, “confirming before closing” requires the patience to plot each move and carefully survey the surroundings before moving on. Before sliding the contract across the table, Weiss recommends seeking out any potential objection by taking the opportunity to emphasize points of agreement during the review.

Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash

Tim Londergan

Tim Londergan

Tim is a research contributor at SalesFuel and he writes for SalesFuel Today. Previously, he worked as a Sales Development Manager, representing products such as AdMall and AudienceSCAN. Tim holds a B.S. from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.