Making the Sale: Do Closing Techniques Really Work?

Ah, the close. That part of the sales speele that determines whether your salesperson gets paid or not. No wonder they are always on the lookout for new closing techniques that promise big commission checks.

Don’t you wish there could be some magic sentence that can put the customer into a purchasing trance?

Unfortunately, consumers are more sophisticated than ever. They’ve already been exposed to practically every closing strategy under the sun. There is no single line you can drop that will shut down their mental processes and zombify them into purchasing. And this goes for B2B as well as B2C.

Just think: consumers are so wary, they actually turn to complete strangers on social media to help them make buying decisions. Why else would advertisers be so willing to pay social media influencers big bucks to promote their products? In fact, according to one study by the Halverson group, advertisers pay an average of $344 per tweet alone. The number goes up toward $1000 for certain younger demographics.

So where does that leave your salespeople? More importantly, how do you train your sales staff to be effective in the face of such a cynical ‘been-there-done-that’ consumer base?

By changing their perception of what it means to make a sale. Instead of closing a sale, help them to focus on opening one.

The modern consumer has been exposed to nearly 5,000 advertising messages every day of their lives. That mean there are at least hundreds of other entities competing for your potential buyer’s attention, daily.

By just opening a sale, your salesperson has already made huge progress. He or she managed to get the buyer to create space in their mind to think about their product, which is the first step to building trust.

Gone are the days where a salesperson can knock on a door, list some benefits and expect to make a sale. In the 21st century, buyers need to know who they are buying from and what it is they are buying. Whether it’s cookies, vacuum cleaners or software, the highest selling products in the world are the ones that have already developed a “brand relationship” with their demographic.

And Brand Relationship = Trust

Brand relationships are the stock and trade of sales... and they are built on trust. But how do you build trust to begin with, if you don’t already have relationship?

  1. By providing value. You give free information, free time, free anything away that will add value to your consumer. Sounds backward? It is. The sales funnel has reversed. Instead of giving free stuff to buyers, you give free stuff to non-buyers. By doing this, you are establishing that precious commodity called trust and marking your territory in that person’s mind.
  2. By caring more about the sale open than the close. By focusing on opening the sale, you are essentially telling your customer that you value their attention, because you value them... which is in and of itself providing value to them. You can only provide value to what you already value.

While this approach may take longer, the results will be of much higher quality. By training your staff to think of the opening as a sale, you will be helping them frame their process in a way that will be more effective with the modern consumer.

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