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When to begin closing the sale

When should a salesman begin to close his sale? - by Yankee Peddler
From the beginning of the selling process. - by Skip Anderson
Great question!! A sales consultant should start closing the sale somewhere between the time he wakes up, and the time he jumps in shower to get ready to go to work.

Sales is all MENTAL. You have to prepare yourself mentally for the sale. And trust me, you don't want to do that when you have Joe Customer standing right in front of you. By the time you get to work you should be ready to close any deal. - by jrboyd
Closing is a constant and continuous process. Even if the sales cycle is a long one (as is the case with our negotiation training and coaching business), every move should be calculated to bring you closer to your goal.

I often think about "mini-closes" - smaller goals of mine to bring the client closer to the "final close." These mini-closes help you stay focused, positive and aware that you're successful. If you're only focused on the final close, everything else seems like a failure...

Stephen - by sfrenkel
A great salesperson never has to close a sale.... the buyer does it for them. That is, the great salesman facilitates the prospects buying process with questions. The buyer then closes themselves on the deal.

Read Sharon Drew Morgen's stuff to learn more. - by jdedwa11
For me the posted question means "when do you ask the question that confirms you have the sale".

Yes, selling is a process, we get that, this is a rudimentary or basic concept. So, if we may put aside the psychology gentleman, when do you confirm that you have it? In other words; please, answer the question.

I read all of your posts and enjoyed them, as I usually do when I read what you guys post, but there is no one really answering this question. So ... in the spirit of moving CLOSING forward as a discussion - here is an answer taking the question perhaps a tad more literally;

"Too soon and too often!"

The biggest mistake sales people make is thinking that asking the all important confirming question before the buyer is "ready" is bad (and it can be). However, if done right, when we get an answer that is not affirmative, it leaves us with the fabulous option of asking "Why not?"

Or; "Oh, why not?"

Yes, I know, we have trial closes and little benchmarks, like action plans (the go forward plan), that are "calculated to bring you closer to your goal". And, yes, yes, yes, we have to be mentally and physically prepared ... start your day with your game face on and all that ... but when do we ask?

There is no way to advise anyone trying to understand the art of closing as to timing. It is part gut & part instinct ... expereince and training are critical but when all else fails - ASK!

And, yes, Rackham is at least partially right ... sometimes it is a non event (just not always, which is why closing is a great topic). This, however, is not a valid statement; "a great salesperson never has to close a sale." It is the word NEVER that needs to be modified.

Rackham and Morgan promote this "closing is a non event" concept, though it is invalid. Having said that; they do move the profession forward by sharing an understanding that sales is a process of helping the buyer (remember, much of what we call training is done for affect).

If you are advanced in training and expereince, you know there are times when the close is critical indeed. Would you like examples (I have lost sales because I did not ask and I have been trained since 17 in the art of asking questions)? - by Gold Calling
Hmmm...I thought I did answer the question: When do you BEGIN to close the sale? My answer: always and at the beginning of the selling process.

Thinking you're waiting for some tide to turn is a problem for sales people and results in them not knowing when to ask. The question wasn't "when do I ask for the business," which is a different question indeed.

Sorry - I try not to read into questions too much, but answer what is asked. For me, the question itself resonated because many of my participants don't feel they're negotiating until they sit down with a contract in front of them. The process is always happening and evolving and needs to be recognized as such.

In response to jdedwa11, I also agree that, in facilitative selling, a hard ask may not be necessary. However, operating under the assumption that you don't need the skills to ask or might never need to ask for the business is going to lose you sales in my mind. - by sfrenkel
Thinking you're waiting for some tide to turn is a problem for sales people and results in them not knowing when to ask.
Good argument for "too soon & too often".

And, forgive me, I was just trying to stimulate the thread - with this suggestion that no one answered the question. And only because everyone answered it as it was asked without addressing "knowing when to ask".

The question wasn't "when do I ask for the business," which is a different question indeed.
Maybe it should have been.

...the question itself resonated because many of my participants don't feel they're negotiating until they sit down with a contract in front of them. The process is always happening and evolving and needs to be recognized as such.
IN REGARDS TO "the process is always happening and evolving" - clearly, this is bang on mate.

IN REGARDS TO THE NEGOTIATION PHASE - this to me is price and details of the order/service (etc.) - over and above a quote, it usually comes very near the end. However, and perhaps in support of your position; you can set the stage for a negotiation - hinting there is "room" for instance - as the sale evolves and well before the negotiation actually happens.

.. to jdedwa11, I also agree that, in facilitative selling, a hard ask may not be necessary. However, operating under the assumption that you don't need the skills to ask or might never need to ask for the business is going to lose you sales ...
Yes, the issue is, this thing can be done well and done badly, as in what's suggested by a HARD ASK.

Closing is rarely a pressure tactic, in any type of selling, or rarely needs to be - that might be better put.

However, regardless of your skill at steering the sales call, using well chosen probes (questions) and considering what we do as facilitative or consultative in approach and ideology (neither word to express this concept is even close to being new in sales) ... a percentage of the time, if you do not ask, you will leave without the order when you could have got it. - by Gold Calling
WHAT happened to the Peddler?

25 Postes and seemingly histoire.... :cu - by rattus58
Closing is a constant and continuous process. Even if the sales cycle is a long one (as is the case with our negotiation training and coaching business), every move should be calculated to bring you closer to your goal.

I often think about "mini-closes" - smaller goals of mine to bring the client closer to the "final close." These mini-closes help you stay focused, positive and aware that you're successful. If you're only focused on the final close, everything else seems like a failure...

Stephen
Strong advice and consistent with strategic thinking. - by Ace Coldiron
When should a salesman begin to close his sale?
I'll go with; "The expert salesman knows that he is attempting to close the sale from the moment he starts his presentation. He keeps alert for those signs from the buyer that the sale can be successfully brought to a close." - by Johnny Fairplay
I'll go with that too... but when should a novice start?

Aloha.. :cool: :cu - by rattus58
The sales technician starts closing as soon as there is contact. We are trying to close the relationship building, the hellos to the client, gathering information about and from the client, gathering how important and finite the solution is to the client.

Often times the sales person assumes closing is a hard sell approach hammering the client into submission. They are small steps building to that large step of ownership. - by rich34232
A great salesperson never has to close a sale.... the buyer does it for them. That is, the great salesman facilitates the prospects buying process with questions. The buyer then closes themselves on the deal.

Read Sharon Drew Morgen's stuff to learn more.
jd

I haven't read Sharon Drew Morgan's stuff but I learned over the years this technique worked best for me and my personality. I learned that if I ask enough questions and listened the prospect more often than not closed himself. I have seen it happen over and over. It is amazing to watch. - by MPrince
I agree with both Mary/Martha sn; and JD on this. Questioning is the best way to completing the sale. Even those new to sales should endeavor to learn everything you can about the client, his business, and how he is getting along without your product or service or even how he is getting along with your product or service to make sure they are using it properly or fully.

Aloha... Tom shds; ;bg - by rattus58
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