4. Closing and follow up
In the final part of this series I will explore the subject of closing. Closing is simply when you close the transaction and provide a prospect with a product or service that they desire. At this stage the prospect becomes a customer.
The act of closing is a part of the selling process that is often feared by many entrepreneurs, and it uncovers two of the most prominent fears that plague the mind and quicken the heart rate.
The fears are the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. These two subjects would need to be explored at another time in greater detail. For now it is enough to say that the fear of failure occurs when an individual believes that they will not be able to achieve a desired objective. The fear of rejection occurs when an individual puts an undue amount of important on the thoughts of another person or group and typically imagines some type of negative feedback.
The only real way to overcome fear is to as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.’ However the death of fear does not necessarily equate to success, and fear can never be banished for eternity because as long as a person moves outside of their comfort zone they will enter areas of uncertainty that may engender fear.
There is no singular method of closing that will be the same for all entrepreneurs. Some aim to get their prospects to say no a number of times. By using this method they would want to get the prospect to provide a key objection and they believe that if there is not an objection stated then it would not be possible to close a deal.
Other entrepreneurs would never want their prospect to say no. Instead they would intend to lead their prospect in a Socratic ladder of influence that lures the prospect into a congenial state of mind that will buy without being asked.
The right approach has to depend on what you are selling and the type of prospect that you are dealing with. At this stage, understanding the values of your prospect should have completed most of the work to know which approach will work successfully.
A conversational type of person will require more care and attention than an abrupt or direct person. An analytical person will require more technical information and statistics than an amiable person who would require a stronger sense of an emotional connection.
In terms of rejection this can inhibit an entrepreneur from even asking about closing. In William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure he interpolates words into the mouth of Lucio as he advises Isabella.
Lucio: ‘Our doubts are traitors And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt.’
The truth is that if you do not ask a prospect to buy when the time is right then they probably will not buy. It is a rare occurrence for people to literally throw money at you to purchase your products. You must judge when the time is right, and if you are in rapport or in tune with your prospect then you can sense their demeanor and what are known as buying signals. There are no buying signals per se, but instead changes in mood, behavior, questions and a desire to picture the product in their possession.
Usually this change in behaviour can be a signal to close. To use an example lets say that you are selling a series of bags. If you ask the prospect whether they would like the bag in the blue colour or the orange colour, then any answer that reveals a colour reveals their intention to buy. That is called an alternative close because any answer is a yes, even though you did not directly ask them if they wanted to buy.
It is important to understand you do need rapport to do this. To just cold call and ask someone to buy something without any type of relationship building is a sign of an amateur.
For more information on closing methods then visit here – www.anisometric-inc.com/consultancy
There are also some prospects that will never buy no matter how many times you meet with them. Sometimes these prospects are known as suspects or tyre-kickers. They have no intention of buying anything, and some of them simply like to speak and receive attention. Others are there to gather information and understand the process that you would go through in order to sell your products and services.
Having said that, I think that it is a good idea to buy products and services from your competition, because how can you know how to improve on their service if you do not know what standard you are competing against?
There are ways to cut down on timewasters and you must be professional. Some entrepreneurs enjoy speaking to prospects and when combined with their fear of loss they spend far too much time in socializing without closing.
A serious point to remember is that you should believe in your products and services. You should also believe that what you are offering your prospects is going to serve them in a positive way, if your propositions are understood in this way then you will do your best to help your prospects to receive your products.
The next stage after this is a part that is often neglected by entrepreneurs. This part is the follow-up. Often when a person makes a sale they think that their job is finished, when in fact their job is job is still in the early stages. This is the part where you must check and see that your products are performing as they should, and render your services with distinction. The ultimate goal should be to build long and fruitful relationships, because the real value will come from referral-generated business that comes from your reputation of providing consistently high quality products and services.
These 4 parts provide a brief overview of the reasons that prospects will not feel comfortable working with you. To discuss anything that you have read you can get in contact here www.anisometric-inc.com/consultancy or leave a comment below.