Have You Perfected Your “If” Close?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Everything has been going so well. You’ve led the prospect through the sales funnel. You finally ask, despite heart palpitations and hand sweat, for their business. And the answer is…no? What?

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out more often than you think. Don’t allow your heart palpitations to run out of control. Now’s the time to think strategy. No doesn’t mean your prospect has given their final answer on this subject. They’re testing you.

Your next step is to find out what they want. Tom Ferry, on his Inman​.com post, gives you a couple of expert suggestions for closing the deal. Your strategy will come down to your expert use of one two-​letter word: if.

How to Use the "If" Close

To perfect your “if” closing, think about your prospect and what you’ve heard. As you’ve led them through the sales funnel, have they expressed concern about moving their legacy software system into the new system you’re selling? Use that information in an “if” close. Say something like, “If I can offer you a discounted conversion service to get you up and running on our software, would you be willing to sign a contract?”

If they're still hesitating, take this line of thinking a step further. The prospect may have mentioned that they believe your system will be difficult for their employees to learn. Acknowledge their concern. Then ask, “If we offer intensive free training and support for six months after conversion, would you be open to signing a contract?”

Maybe your prospect mentioned that the initial cost of your system is too high. That concern is an invitation for you to offer a better deal. “If I can guarantee you a 10% rate of return on this investment, would you sign a contract for a smaller portion of work?” Presuming you can deliver what you promised, your prospect may be willing to continue doing business with you and sign a larger contract in the future.

The “if” closing strategy is all about your acknowledgement that you’re listening and understand the prospect’s concerns. "If" closings give you a chance to continue the conversation. When you offer prospects a deal that speaks to alleviating the concerns they’ve mentioned, you’re one step closer to a signed contract.