Grant Cardone is one of the great salespeople out there, he has got a lot of content about how to sell more effectively.
Cardone says that “closing is for sitting.”
You should be sitting down when closing because the negotiations are over. If your customers ever stand up during the closing phase you should stay seated all the time. To stand during this phase is to signify that something has changed, and you don’t want to go backwards at this point. You’re so close to the bottom of the funnel and converting them into a sale so it’s time to sit down and close the deal.
Preparing to close
In the past we have talked about how to create inbound leads vs outbound leads. We’ve talked about why you need to create a sales process for your leads and have laid out the ways to plan for the future. By this time you’ve got consistent leads pouring into your funnel and you’re working on sales qualified leads as they move down toward the bottom and become a sale. So now we have to close that customer.
This is the fun part of the job where all of the work pays off.
At the bottom of the funnel, we have been staying in constant contact with our customers, possibly close to a daily basis, getting everything exactly as they want it for their first quote. A line that I use all the time to help close is “give me a chance on one, and I’ll earn the rest.” It’s such a great line because it takes the seriousness out of the situation. The customer can justify it to themselves by saying “okay, we’ll just try this guy on one job and we limit the problems that could occur.”
This gives the customer a way out and gives you a way in without them feeling like they’re betting their whole business on your services.
At this point in the funnel we need to stop selling so much, and sit down to login a customer. We are now transitioning from a focus on the things that we can offer, to focusing on negotiating the close of this deal. This means getting the terms of business down on paper so we can progress on starting the project.
Another great thing to ask when you know you’re at the closing phase is “do you have everything that you need to make a decision?”
This is a way of drawing a line in the sand which signifies that you’re done selling and you’re going to be moving into the closing phase. It puts the onus on the business owner by asking if they’ve heard everything that they need to make a decision or do they need to stay in the funnel for a little while longer so that you can learn more about each other.
Generally the answer to that question is “yes, I believe that I’ve heard everything I need to make a decision.”
This means we’re in closing time.
Closing the Deal
When you’re in closing time you need to have all your docks, all your contracts, your quotes, drawings, and anything else which needs to be approved, finished and in the order that they will go in. These things should be stapled, in a binder, and done so that when you’re sitting at the table, the only thing that happens is you hand them the documents to be signed. Put some effort into having all your ducks in a row before you sit down at the closing table.
Don’t delay. Don’t let a customer delay you as you’re moving into the closing stage. It doesn’t matter if they’re busy today or can’t make it to the office tomorrow. You should go to them and do whatever it takes to get your documents in front of them to close because this is a vital point in the process where you have got to convert them into a customer. At this point, you have spent too much time and too much effort to lose this customer because of something trivial like a scheduling conflict.
If a customer starts to delay after they’ve moved into the closing phase and they start to backtrack, take just a couple short seconds and have a few points in your pocket ready to remind them why they got to the closing phase and want to business with you in the first place. In other words, there were some key points about what you do as a business which locked the customer in and made them want to do business with you.
Going into your closing meeting, you have to know what those two points are so that you can rehash those and get them back into the closing mindset. One key thing to mention is that you can’t rely on yourself to remember these points in the heat of closing while you’re at the table because you may get thrown off guard by them trying to back out. So before you go, have them written out or memorized, and bring those two specific points to the table which make them really want to commit to business with you.
After you reel the customer back in, continue right into the closing phase and finish the deal. Once you’re closed, you’re done selling. They are now your partner and you move into the ‘doing’ phase of the sales process which is delivering on everything that you promised and going above and beyond to make that customer yours for life and not just one job.
Feel free to leave a comment about your sales process! I’d love to hear how you do it or how we have helped you streamline your process!