What is Closure in Sales?
“The close” in the sales process is the stage where the conversation moves to a sale (or the desired outcome). It may be called the “close,” which means the end, but, closing the sale actually begins with the first step in the selling process — qualifying. Closing is, in fact, an ongoing series of events that occur throughout the selling process.
Closing Sales – Key Techniques
The Columbo Close
Inspired by the TV character Columbo (a police detective). After the suspects assumed Columbo was done speaking to them as he started walking away,
Columbo would turn and say, “Just one more thing.” After you wrap up your sales pitch and you know the customer is about to walk away, use the Columbo line to restate the most enticing part of your pitch.
Just like you need to be careful when stroking a porcupine, you must also be careful answering customer questions.
If a prospect asks a question such as “Do you guys serve the Middle East market?”, respond by throwing back the question: “Would you like us to serve your customers in the Middle East?”
Try to gauge the depth of the prospect’s interest based on her response and adjust your response and presentation accordingly.
For times when you need the customer to make a quick decision due to upcoming deadlines or other reasons, the impending event closing is likely to work. However, ensure that the deadline is not just in your interest, but also the customer’s, else it will be seen as self-serving and won’t work.
E.g. “I have an installation and demonstration team in town next week. Can we schedule a day with you?”
The Puppy Dog Close
This technique is something like offering to let a dog lover take a puppy home to “try it out”, and, nine out of ten times the customer will buy the puppy. For sales professionals who have the option of allowing their prospects to “test” or “try” their product or service, the puppy dog close has a very high closure rate.
This technique is a low-pressure and highly effective method to get a customer to sign on the bottom line.
The Assumptive Close
When using this technique, the BD/Sales professional assumes that the customers going to make a purchase. This assumption helps put them in a better state of mind. This technique involves using a phrase or language that assumes the close is a done deal.
Being extremely confident is the key to this technique. If you cover each step of the sales process and offer enough value to the customer, assuming a sale will close is a powerful and highly effective closing technique.
Make sure you take repeated “temperature checks” of the prospect to measure that he is following along with your assumption-of-sale. Have confidence in your product and yourself.