4. The first person who speaks loses
Once you have asked a closing question, keep quiet. This is human nature and will be a signal to your customer that it is now time to make a decision. We have observed scenarios where the customer did not speak for 10 seconds and then agreed to move forward on the printing project.
Closing questions such as, “When do you want delivery of the order?” or “Can you arrange for me to meet with your financial controller to review the order?” must be followed by silence.The customer is now forced to respond to your question or give you a reason not to move forward.
1. Be ready for objections
One of the best reasons for closing throughout the sales process is that the salesperson can flush out customer objections, concerns, and questions.
For instance, the salesperson could ask a closing question in a large account, “Now that we have reviewed our capabilities, can I contact the director of marketing to understand their product launch schedule and production requirements?” The customer responds by questioning the cost of the job. If the salesperson had not closed, they potentially would not receive an important objection and, consequently, the order would be stalled.
2. Trial closes let you know how you are doing
Experienced salespeople will use a series of “trial closes” to determine their customer’s general interest and to get a thermometer reading on how the salesperson is doing. “Would using a heavier substrate on this marketing piece add more credibility to the message?” is an example of a relatively minor question to gain an understanding of how the sales process is proceeding.
3. Avoid “let me give you a quote” close
A common close for printing salespeople—and one of the least effective ones—is “let me give you a quote.” Print buyers have been conditioned by printers to use this as a way of not making a decision and stalling a sale.
Unless the salesperson has achieved all the steps of the sales process and has a firm commitment from the customer, they should avoid this as a closing technique.
Getting more deals can simply come down to knowing how and when to close. The best way is to simply practice and ask closing questions on each and every call. Salespeople often ask, “When is the right moment to close for the order?” Great salespeople close from the first customer contact to the end of the sales cycle.
Every sales contact, meeting, email, and phone call requires a closing question that will move the customer closer to the ultimate goal: an order. PN