The Question of Closing


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There is a point in every sales deal when the salesperson comes to a crossroads with their prospect. You know what I mean…are they ready to buy what we have worked so hard to sell them? It’s the moment of truth. But does the close just happen? The answer is NO. In order to get there, you must be willing to ask a direct question that will force a “yes” or “no” from your prospect /client.

Most salespeople are hesitant to ask their customer that question so directly. We all fear getting a “no” and the closed question is in stark contrast to the more gentle, open-ended questions used during the qualification and rapport-building stages like:

  • “Who’s the best person to speak to?”
  • “What is the best way to schedule a meeting?”
  • “What’s the best way of getting the stakeholders together?”

However, in order to move a deal to the end of the pipeline, questions starting with, “Can you,” “Will you,” and “Do you” become paramount.

If you’re unsure that you’re talking to the person with the power to close the deal, ask a soft closing question such as: “When would you like to begin implementation on this?” If you know that you’re talking to the person that has the ability to sign off you can go for a harder close such as: “Will you send me the order today?”

Great closers are willing to put themselves and their customers in a mild yet temporary state of discomfort in order to get to a “yes” or a “no” quickly. Getting a “no,” despite it being second best, is still an answer you can use to move forward. But always keep in mind that the close does not just happen; you need to make it happen.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Haller
Tim Haller has over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He has delivered training and consulting to Fortune 100 clients across a variety of industries, including technology, business services, travel/leisure and biotechnology. Tim has trained hundreds of sales professionals to close business through the use of effective sales prospecting, negotiation, and closing techniques.


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