Gaining a Commitment from Your Customers

This following summary discusses the action of closing a sales call – the all-important step of asking the customer to support, accept and/or purchase your product or service. It reviews the importance of making a strong closing statement, as well as the potential barriers that can impede sales people from closing their sales calls in an effective and successful manner.

It also offers some critical mindsets that sales people can adopt to help in overcoming those barriers. Sales managers may also find value in this summary from the standpoint of coaching their team members to be effective closers in their calls.

What is the importance of making a strong closing statement?

  • To solidify all the strong selling effectiveness applied throughout the sales call
  • To formulate an action plan requiring the customer’s commitment

What are the key components of a closing statement

  • A review of the opening statement and a summary of the benefits accepted
  • Some “show and tell” (samples, a visual aid, a testimonial, etc.)
  • A request for action on the part of the customer

What are some of the major barriers to an effective close?

  • Asking for the business can create a high level of anxiety for many sales people
  • There is a fear of rejection – once asked, the customer can always say “no”
  • Sales people may not be confident that they have “earned the right” to ask

How can sales people overcoming these barriers?

  • Closing is a natural part of any sales interaction – the customer expects you to ask for his/her business, therefore, why not simply “meet that expectation?”
  • In this mindset, you can feel confident that you are doing what the customer wants, rather than feeling uneasy that you are imposing or making them feel uncomfortable
  • If they say “no” then you certainly know where they stand on your product or service
  • Try not to take it personally – see it as either the product or the situation, but not you
  • Continue asking questions to uncover the reason(s) “why not?”

When closing, are you making an inference or requesting a specific action step?

  • What behaviour(s) do you want the customer to exhibit after the call?
  • Is it an inference (something implied?) or an action (something that will be done?)
  • Be specific: discuss amounts/quantity, over what timeframe, what they get in return
  • Give details on how the customer or end users should use/apply the service/product
  • Ensure that end users do not reject the product – ask customers to sell the value of the product/service to the end users to ensure that the latter group accepts it

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