Sales leaders often express that their sales teams need to close more business. While these leaders may be frustrated with low win rates, this rarely has to do with how their sales people approach “closing,” but more importantly how their sales people approach “selling.” You’ve probably heard the sales cliché “ABCs of Selling: Always Be Closing” (made famous in the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” and, irreverently, on “Saturday Night Live.”) You can imagine the hard-hitting sales rep arriving on the scene with his sales pitch to pound the customer into submission to close the deal (another cliché!). While sales professionals should strive to close business, the problem with this approach is that it is all about the salesperson’s objective and not about the customer’s needs and priorities.
When you’re making a sales presentation, it’s essential that you stay aligned with the buyer. That means asking your buyer to assess how well he or she believes your offering can address their needs, and if they have any concerns about your solution and its implementation.
There is a misconception among some salespeople that with the right closing technique, they’ll get a reluctant buyer to say “yes.” Let’s take for example two sales closing techniques with colorful names, the Ben Franklin and the Something for Nothing close.
On this episode a sales training manager asks: Should a salesperson ever push to close the sale? I know many people say a salesperson should push to close the sale. I'm one of those people who, if you push me, you will almost certainly lose—I may buy eventually, just probably not from you. This is partly one reason why I hated salespeople for so long, even though, in reality, I was one too—I just never saw it that way!
Closing should be the easiest part of selling. It's the natural culmination of a sales conversation. You've helped the buyer identify a problem and then proposed a solution. Nevertheless, I've met many sales professionals who in spite of having excellent selling skills are reluctant to ask for the sale. This reluctance can, of course, impair a sales career and be intensely frustrating to sales managers.