Always be Closing

In the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, “closing” was widely considered a technique. A sales move. And the various closes had names:

  • The Assumptive Close
  • The Alternative Event Close
  • The Ben Franklin Close
  • The Puppy Dog Close

Sales experts at that time taught phrases and gimmicks designed to get prospects to say yes.

The problem, of course, is that in complex sales these closing methods often backfired because buyers felt manipulated and pressured.

Because most people avoid conflict, buyers under pressure may agree to a purchase in a retail (B-C) scenario. The origin of closing is living room sales of insurance, vacuum cleaners, encyclopedia’s and water coolers.

In enterprise selling environments, a buyer may allow themselves to be shoe-horned into agreeing to something. But they won’t be happy about it. And that does not make for a good, long-term relationship. In fact, it undermines any future sales with that buyer.

What’s more, today’s buyer won’t put up with that sort of bullying behavior. If you try these tactics today you may leave thinking you did a good job, but they won’t let you back in the door. In an extended sales cycle, pressure tactics will ensure only that you’ll never get back in for a second call.

A “close” is something you do TO the buyer.

Instead, co-build a Mutual Action Plan WITH the buying team.