Close the Door on the Close
One of the reasons salespeople get a bad rap is because most people associate sales with a hard close. No one wants to be manipulated or pressured into making a decision that they may come to regret.
Buyers don’t like a hard close, and the truth is salespeople don’t either. I’ve heard countless people say that they aren’t cut out to be in sales because they don’t feel comfortable making a close.
The Close is Not Part of Consultative Selling
I’ve talked before about the evolution of selling systems, and how a close has no part in consultative selling, so it’s astounding that there continues to be such an emphasis on making a strong close.
As salespeople, we need to step away from our idea of what a close should be, and think about the process in more practical terms.
During one of my recent Software Sales Bootcamps, one of my students made the following comment:
“In the government world, there is never going to be a time when I walk into an office and leave with a sale.”
Whether working with government or enterprise clients, most salespeople can easily accept that a sales cycle could take six months to a year. It’s a process that will require many discussions to reach a conclusion and pressuring a buyer rarely brings anything positive.
Reframe the Close
Perhaps the reason the close continues to live on is that presentations should prompt action.
You do need a way to move the discussion forward and help the buyer make a decision, but that does not mean pressure, that means a Mutual Action Plan.