Closing is a sales term which refers to the process of making a sale. The sales sense springs from real estate, where closing is the final step of a transaction. In sales, it is used more generally to mean achievement of the desired outcome, which may be an exchange of money or acquiring a signature. Salespeople are often taught to think of targets not as strangers, but rather as prospective customers who already want or need what is being sold. Such prospects need only be "closed."
"Closing" is distinguished from ordinary practices such as explaining a product's benefits or justifying an expense. It is reserved for more artful means of persuasion, which some compare with confidence tricks. For example, a salesman might mention that his product is popular with a person's neighbours, knowing that people tend to follow perceived trends. This is known as the Jones Theory.
In automobile dealerships, a "closer" is often a senior salesman experienced in closing difficult deals.
Most common techniques
This is most commonly used in cold calling after impulsing a customer
Making the assumption the customer has made the decision to buy. The sales person will tell them what they are going to do to complete the sale. "Just pass me your credit card and I'll start the paper work for you, thanks"
Direct Close: Simply ask for the order
"Do I have your authority to proceed with this order?" / "When would you like delivery?" / "Would you sign this order form please?" / "May I confirm your delivery and invoice addresses are correct for this order?"
The Either/Or Choice Close: "Would you like red or green?" / "Would you like the standard or enhanced package?"
The Half Nelson hold Close: Used to 'strong arm' a prospect after s/he requests something. "Will you go ahead if we can provide that?"
Duke Of Wellington Close: In the Duke Of Wellington close you make a list or table of positive and negative points, then take each negative in turn and convert it:
"Yes, it does look expensive, I agree, but if you take into account the durability/reliability/performance, then over time this is actually a much cheaper option than taking the cheap and cheerful rubbish, that only......"
Ben Franklin Close: Similar to the Duke Of Wellington close, but the prospect lists feelings vs. thoughts: In one column they write what they feel the benefits would be of owning the product. In the other column they write what they think could be a reason not to own the product. Very often the list of benefits is somewhat longer than the list of cautions. The combination of personally writing the list, and the psychological element of comparing feelings vs. thoughts will often help the prospect see the true value in owning the product.
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