People are insecure. (Except for anyone reading this blog!)
Particularly Americans. We’re too set up. When we’re growing up, mommy and daddy take care of all our decisions. When we’re adults, the internet takes over. We want something, we spend about five minutes googling it, then we click over and buy. We don’t have a lot of practice making real decisions for ourselves, and when we have to, the insecurity comes streaming out. Ever see a group of people trying to choose a restaurant for dinner?
“How about Indian?”
“Or if you don’t like Indian, how about Italian?”
“Or we could go to the Indian-Italian fusion place.”
“Unless you don’t like fusion. We could do Chinese.”
“Fred can’t have Chinese with his ulcer. Is there a Chinese-French place?”
“Yes, but they don’t serve unsweetened ice tea.”
“Fred needs unsweetened ice tea.”
“How about Mexican?”
What does this have to do with closing techniques? EVERYTHING.
As in the example above, most people have a hard time closing for themselves. So a good closer helps them do that.
Many people think closing a deal, or a sale, is about having all the answers. But it’s really about having all the questions. Specifically, it’s about having all the right questions.
The best closing techniques all boil down to making the world of choices smaller for people, using your product knowledge and their needs. It’s all about whittling the world of choices down to a manageable size, so they can feel secure in finally pulling the trigger on an actual decision.
Closing is not about pushing. It’s about steering.
Alec Baldwin is right; the only way to really close is to ABC: Always Be Closing. Closing starts at the beginning.
Let’s say I work in a clothing store and a man comes in and wants to buy a shirt.
I don’t ask him: “What kind of shirt do you want to buy?” That leads straight to the restaurant example. The guy will feel overwhelmed and he won’t feel secure making a decision on any shirt.
So what I really should start with is: “What kind of shirt are you looking for – dressy or casual?”
I should make it manageable for him.
Once I have that answer, I can whittle a little more.
“Do you like blue or white?”
“Flashy or conservative?”
"What is your ideal price range?'"
If I know the right questions, I can whittle an entire store down to a handful of shirts. And instead of feeling overwhelmed, the man will feel secure in choosing a shirt or two.
What’s even better is that while I’ve totally steered the process, since I’ve let the customer decide on all the answers, I’ve made him feel like he was in control - and that I simply helped him go where he already wanted to go.
I’ll admit this isn’t for everyone. It takes a bit of confidence to be good at selling and closing. You have to be the type of person who wants the football in the last two minutes, down 6 points. Who wants the ball hit to them in the bottom of the ninth, guarding a one run lead.
But beyond that, the best closing techniques all amount to transferring your own confidence and security to the person you’re trying to sell - by making the world of choices smaller - so they can feel confident in their decision to buy.
That, my friends, is how to close.