“Closing is like a game within a game; pretty much like putting, where it is a game within the game of golf.” This is how Steve Herzberg, Managing director of NRG Solutions, describes ‘closing’ in an interview.
Steve, through NRG Solutions, has helped different multination companies like Toyota, Microsoft, and ANZ Bank, to name a few, maximize their sales teams. He also participates in public programs wherein he shares his expertise with small to medium businesses and their owners.
Listen for Buying Signals
When it comes to the topic of closing the sale, Steve strongly recommends that we be observant in identifying buying signals. He advised that we should always be on a look-out for signs that indicate that the time is already ripe to close the sale. Questions like “How much does it cost?” or “When can we get started?” from the customers are great examples of buying signals.
Moreover, Steve also shared that when the customers start asking questions, they’re certainly putting some consideration into buying.
As a sales person, what you want to avoid is closing the sale too early. Trying to close the sale when the time is not right normally gets you more objections. Furthermore, prematurely closing the sale can get you a lower volume, or smaller sale. Closing too soon can also get people to miss out on what could potentially be a much larger sale.
In the interview, Steve likens closing the sale to dating. He uses the analogy that closing too soon is like going up to a girl you just met at a bar and asking her to marry you. In this scenario, it is almost always expected that you would most probably get a ‘No’ and the girl will tell you that it’s too early.
Taking it Step by Step
Another important piece of advice that Steve shared is to take the selling process at a stride; take it one step at a time. The first step can be a call to set-up a face to face appointment. The next step can be to organize another meeting or set-up a trial run.
What’s important is to be patient. Taking the sales process step by step can be the start of something bigger. We always just need to remember that we close each step along the way; and instead of just a small piece of the pie, doing things one step at a time can get you get a bigger piece of business.
Offer Alternatives or be Assumptive
Steve also shares that closing works best when you are assumptive and also always ready to offer alternatives.
He shares his experience with hairdressers. Hair dressers, right after they cut your hair, they immediately set you up for your next appointment; or gives you a choice of the date and time. What’s more is that he also has the same experience with doctors, dentists, and chiropractors who often use the phrase, “I’ll see you on (insert day) here.” Not only do they ensure that you will be a repeat customer, but they’ve also gotten your commitment.