A Game Plan for Closing the Deal
by Joe CurcilloMr. Cursillo, The Mindshark, is a speaker, entertainer, lawyer and communications expert. As an Adjunct Professor at Widener University School of Law, Mr. Curcillo developed a hands-on course, based on the use of storytelling as a persuasive weapon. He has been a professional entertainer helping corporations and associations improve their communication techniques since 1979. For more information on bringing Joe Curcillo in for your next event, please visit www.TheMindShark.com.
September 19, 2016 — You walk out the door thanking the potential client for their time, and tell them that you will stop back in later in the year to review their needs. You leave upbeat and happy, but you did not get the deal. You poured your heart and soul into the close, but you were rejected. Well, you know you weren’t actually rejected, so you remind yourself: tomorrow is another day.
The biggest fear that people experience is the fear of rejection. Many times, that is what stands in the way of your ability to ask for the sale or close the deal. Unfortunately, the sales pitch is the combined fear of losing a deal and a fear of public speaking wrapped into one intimidating experience.
In order to overcome the fear, there are three things you must remember.
- Be mentally prepared for the closing.
- Remain adaptable during the close.
- Be sure the timing is under your control.
Mental preparation begins when you realize that you cannot close every deal. It is a numbers game. The old adage, “you win some you lose some” is very true in the sales arena. As you go forth and try to acquire new clients, you are going to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince or princess. The only option you have is to prepare for these momentary defeats as you progress.
If you start with a firm foundation, it will build your confidence and it will lead to a higher closing rate. Your foundation is all of the information that you acquire and organize as you begin the entire sales pitch. Closing the deal is not something you can do unless all of your ducks are in a row.
You have to know your product or service inside out, and you have to know all of the weaknesses that need to be addressed during the entire sales pitch. Not everyone is going to be as excited about doing business with you as you are with them. Knowing that, it is important that you understand the necessity of creating the excitement as you go through your presentation.
Have you given them enough evidence to support a conclusion that they cannot live without your service or product?
Have you addressed all the potential challenges so that your widget stands alone as a necessary component in the client’s arsenal?
Have you completed all of the prior necessary steps in your selling process?
Ultimately, when you stand up to close the deal, you must know that you have given them sufficient information that they can reach a conclusion in your favor before you ask them to do so. Therefore, your closing pitch or argument must be outlined to encompass all of the highlights of your presentation.
The highlights are the reminders and triggers that will allow them to make a conclusion on their own. No one wants to be forced into a decision, nor does anyone want to feel that a decision was made for them. It should be your goal to feed your prospect enough information through the presentation itself so that when you highlight the information in the closing, the path is clear.
When you’re making your final pitch—and you watch heads shake in acquiescence—it’s comforting to know that you’ve done your job. As a result, ever so often they will say yes even before you ask; and that is when you know you have done well. Just do not expect it every time or you will be disappointed.
Be adaptable in your presentation. Adaptability is your ability to relate to the prospect or prospects. Being able to communicate and be understood while keeping both your integrity and objectives intact. The last thing you want to do is sound like a con man. A con man is always ready for what’s in it for them. They will talk circles and bring it back to their own needs and wants. A good closer knows how to keep the focus on the prospect and answer their wants and needs. You have to be able to identify with the prospect, and they must be able to identify with you.
- Maintain consistency in your actions and speech so that the true you will shine through.
- Address all of the highlights of your product or service to remind them of your effort to answer their questions.
- Anticipate their challenges and address them truthfully and honestly with the agility of a prizefighter in the boxing ring.
Timing is Everything
Make sure your prospect is ready to close before you ask. It is essential that you paid attention to the reaction of those in the room throughout your presentation. Whether it is one person or several, you must be sure that they’re comfortable with what you are selling. You must make sure they’re comfortable with you. Your ability to anticipate and address their questions will give you a feel for their comfort level and their readiness to give you a yes.
Sometimes, a trial close is the best option. For instance, you may turn the question or question or mission on them to see if they understand the importance of your product. Or, you may ask them if they see how their business will be advanced with the use of your service. Whether they hesitate or acquiesce will let you know whether you’re ready to move forward with an ask, or if it is necessary for you to provide more information before doing so.
Consider whether you have addressed all of the areas of objection in your closing:
- Have you established trust?
- Have you financially qualified your prospect to be sure they can afford your service?
- Have you provided them all of the positive information they need?
- Have you provided them a comfort level so that they’re ready to make a positive change to their business?
Get the YES!
In the end, you can only win if they win. You want to create a win-win situation. Most prospects don’t truly care whether or not you win.
As long as they trust you and believe in your product or service, they will be in a better position to determine whether or not their business can be enhanced by your request for the sale. Have you convinced them that you have their best interest at heart, that your interest is sincere,, and that you understand enough about their business that when you tell them they need you, they can’t help but say “yes”?
Lastly, are you as confident in hearing “yes” as you are in hearing a “no?” If you’re ready to walk out the door happy with either answer, you have the confidence to make the sale. Likewise, that confidence will shine through and go a long way to getting you the “yes” that you desire.