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The Sales Process - Step 5 - Closing

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Step Five: Closing the Sale

Although you should never be shy about "asking for the business," prospects will probably give you some signals when they are ready to become customers! Familiarize yourself with the following readiness signals:

  • Asking about availability such as, "How soon can someone be here?"
  • Asking specific questions about rates, prices or statements about affordability.
  • Asking about features, options, quality, guarantees or warranties.
  • Asking positive questions about your business.
  • Asking for something to be repeated.
  • Making statements about problems with previous vendors; they might be seeking reassurance from you that you won't pose the same problems.
  • Asking about follow-up service or other products you carry.
  • Requesting a sample or asking you to repeat a demonstration for them or for others in their company or family.
  • Asking about other satisfied customers. You should have a list of satisfied customers ready to give to prospects who ask. (Make sure you've already contacted your customers and gained their approval for providing their names!)

You might try these techniques to help prospects make the decision to buy.

  • Quit talking when you ask a closing question. Give prospects the opportunity to say "yes!"
  • Offer an added service, such as delivery.
  • Offer a choice, such as "would you prefer the blue or green one?"
  • Imply that you have the sale with positive statements such as: "I'll have it gift-wrapped and delivered for you."
  • Offer an incentive such as a 10 percent discount for purchases made now.
  • Create an urgency because the item is the last one in stock. (This better be true!)
  • Lead the customer through a series of minor decisions that are easier to make rather than one large decision. For example, a travel agent may get to "yes" through a series of questions such as: "Would June or July be best for travel? Would your prefer a five-day or seven-day cruise?"
  • Don't give up too soon! Learn to understand prospects' buying styles; some people take longer than others to make a decision.
  • And don't forget, you can ask for the order more than once if necessary.



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