In sales, we love hearing about the daredevil stories of people making a bold move to close the deal. In fact, stories about how people make "the ask" are among the most popular among salespeople.
While going in for the close is one of the most nervous and exciting parts of the sale, there are many different opinions on when to close. For some, putting pressure on the client is not their style. Instead, they'll gently guide the client along and only after many conversations do they hint at the close. For others, they look to close right from the start. Because of so many different strategies, it can be tough to know when is the right time to transition to closing. Here are a few tips that will help you move to a close without rushing the sale or waiting too long. Use these tips to time your transition just right.
1. Don't close before you investigate
When I first started selling schools on Alumnify, I would get super excited in my first meetings. Without even realizing it, I would rush into my pitch before letting the customer tell me what problems they were having. I then proceeded to ask for their business, only to find out I was pitching the wrong solution to them. This is a common mistake people make when they first start selling their product. They're so excited about the solution and getting to the close that they totally skip the investigation stage.
One great way to prevent this is to concentrate every meeting on asking questions before you pitch. This will help tailor your presentation and close based on the client's needs. In sales, there are a million things you can focus or try to improve on. One of the easiest ways to install proper investigation is to be a stickler about it when you start every meeting. Sometimes, you'll have clients ask you to begin pitching before asking them questions. If this happens, try to weave your pitch to get back to a point where you can begin asking them the questions you need. Overtime, you'll learn to investigate before switching to close mode, and your close rate will increase a lot.
2. Don't circle back to handling objections
One of the worst mistakes I see with people who don't want to be "pushy" is that they circle back through objections. They do everything right from the beginning. The customer has answered the questions, the pitch is done, and they've handled the objections. Now, when it's time to make the close, they tense up. They know they should make the ask, the prospect is ready to buy, but still the seller hesitates. To buy more time, the salesperson starts going back to the objection phase.
When you're talking to a client, and you start repeating yourself, it means you're delaying a close. If I've already discussed a feature of my product, and then to buy more time I start talking about it again, what does that do for me? The answer is nothing, and in some cases it moves the sale backward. This is not only done with objections but also the investigation stage as well. Don't repeat questions you've already asked before. You have a cycle you're moving the buyer through, and when you start moving backwards it should be a red flag that you've missed a close.
3. Most sales take many closes
In general, it takes several attempts to close a sale before you land the client. Whenever I have a customer who says no to me, I try to keep this rule in mind. The key is being able to find out why that client has turned you down. Once you find the objection, you can handle it effectively and reengage with another close. For help on this, check out Grant Cardone's book The Closer's Survival Guide. It will help you identify the most typical objections, and then teach you lines you can memorize to go into another close.
The main point to remember is that ending the sale the way you want requires perseverance. Just because you get turned down once, doesn't mean the sale is over. Remembering this will take a lot of pressure off of you when you go in for the close.