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Closes are for shysters and charlatans

Here is a quote from a new book I'm reading. What do you think of it?

"Closes are for shysters and charlatans who are out to make a quick buck at their customer's expense. Salespeople who deliver value through honesty and integrity never need to close sales."
- by Thomas
Here is a quote from a new book I'm reading. What do you think of it?

"Closes are for shysters and charlatans who are out to make a quick buck at their customer's expense. Salespeople who deliver value through honesty and integrity never need to close sales."
Great question, Thomas.

Here's my opinion:

The author you quoted apparently thinks that "closing" and "honesty/integrity" are opposites. They are not opposites. Closing is about completing a sale with a prospect. Completing a sale with a prospect is not anti-honest, nor is it anti-integrity. The best sales performers in the sales profession have high integrity and high honesty, and they close (complete) sales transactions - lots of them. "Closing" is about being a leader, not about about being a forcer. Everyone enjoys a good leader.

I think the author is confusing "closing" with "aggressive behavior." - by Skip Anderson
Thomas - here is what I think (for whatever value you may feel my opinion is worth) ... take that book and throw in into the trash can.

There are so many reasons why this author is missing the mark that it is just clearly not an influence you want in your career. In my opinion this author uses a direct marketing technique known as "Sleazy Tabloid Headlines" to get noticed and sell books. This is kind of like those trashy tabloids on the way out of a supermarket that say "Tom Cruise's son is an alien!"

Here are just a few things that are way off base with this comment;

(1) As Skip mentioned, closing is not the same as lack of integrity.

(2) Sales do CLOSE, as in a real estate transaction is CLOSED.

To have a CLOSE take place in the eyes of the law both money must change hands and services or goods must be provided.

However, as a sales practice or technique, "any question you ask, the answer to which confirms the prospect wants your product" is a closing question. Once this professional definition is established, how does the following show lack of integrity? "Would you like us to deliver that Friday or is one day next week more convenient?" Or, is the next example bad for either the prospect or the sales person? "Is there any reason why we can't get the paperwork out of the way?"

Calvin said it perfectly; "As if a buyer, who doesn't want what you have, will change his mind because of a close? Please! What salesperson thinks that?"

(3) Sales people do not convince. This is a very, very poor assumption of those who have not been well trained (or mislead). I can see how this can be misconstrued but, honestly, no one can really convince a buyer to buy. Yes, we have influence over people but we are not in the brain washing business.

If we were brain washers then the statement; "He could sell snowballs to Eskimos" would be true. But we are not. And there is so much business out there that there is no need to even try to sell to a prospect who does not have a real need for our product or service.

Yes, it is true, there are unscrupulous sales people. There are also pushy sales people who don't get it and end up giving us, the real pros in a serious profession, a bad name. But just because there are bad actors (this is an expression, not a put down of the acting profession) does not mean the sales industry is slimy or that sales techniques are less than totally professional.

(4) There are selling situations where there is little difference between you and the competition. In these situations you better ask for the business, if you do not and the other sales person does he/she will be taking their significant other out on the town with the commission check, not you. And, there was no reason why you could not have had the experience of winning that business instead of someone else. Remember; "if not you then who?"

Need I go on? I could ... instead of more reasons how about this;

Books and authors like this one are successful (to a certain degree). What they do is prey upon the minds of people who are not really sure yet that this industry is a great one. Those who end up being preyed upon are good people who are, for whatever reason, second guessing what they do or a little unsure of themselves at the time and they clutch for straws to save themselves from feeling they are in a slimy industry or doing anything wrong.

What is wrong with this method of selling books/materials is that it definitely hurts all of us. It does not put an end to the blemish on our industry, is prolongs this negativity. As some become deceived and themselves become deceivers. Interestingly, it is the deceived that are more dangerous, as you cannot tell a liar or a misleader when they do not know they are misleading!

Earl Nightingale sold more motivational training than anyone else in history. Ask yourself, Would he use this technique to sell a book or tape? I suggest the answer is no. Why would we need to be less than integral to sell information when we can sell an unlimited amount of training easily and not delve into the few skeletons hiding in the back of the closet of what should be revered as the greatest industry in the world?

I cannot blame you for asking about the quote Thomas. I can see that it did not sit right with you. And, I am sure, you have learned what author not to read in the future, which is a wholesome benefit from this experience. Perhaps you can get your money back?

"It is an ill wind indeed that blows no good." We all should thank Thomas for saving us $20 ... glad I won't be buying that source of obviously useless information! - by Gold Calling
Here is my sleazy tabloid headline;

"Brain wash all of your prospects into breaking open their wallets and giving away their families' savings so you can get rich while others wonder what happened!"

As if ... thmbdn2;

Please, excuse my sarcasm, it is rare for me to display in such an awesome place as this forum. It is just that I cannot stand aside and allow that kind of crap to be passed on to the innocent. - by Gold Calling
Thomas - here is what I think (for whatever value you may feel my opinion is worth) ... take that book and throw in into the trash can.

There are so many reasons why this author is missing the mark that it is just clearly not an influence you want in your career. In my opinion this author uses a direct marketing technique known as "Sleazy Tabloid Headlines" to get noticed and sell books. This is kind of like those trashy tabloids on the way out of a supermarket that say "Tom Cruise's son is an alien!"

Here are just a few things that are way off base with this comment;

(1) As Skip mentioned, closing is not the same as lack of integrity.

(2) Sales do CLOSE, as in a real estate transaction is CLOSED.

To have a CLOSE take place in the eyes of the law both money must change hands and services or goods must be provided.

However, as a sales practice or technique, "any question you ask, the answer to which confirms the prospect wants your product" is a closing question. Once this professional definition is established, how does the following show lack of integrity? "Would you like us to deliver that Friday or is one day next week more convenient?" Or, is the next example bad for either the prospect or the sales person? "Is there any reason why we can't get the paperwork out of the way?"

Calvin said it perfectly; "As if a buyer, who doesn't want what you have, will change his mind because of a close? Please! What salesperson thinks that?"

(3) Sales people do not convince. This is a very, very poor assumption of those who have not been well trained (or mislead). I can see how this can be misconstrued but, honestly, no one can really convince a buyer to buy. Yes, we have influence over people but we are not in the brain washing business.

If we were brain washers then the statement; "He could sell snowballs to Eskimos" would be true. But we are not. And there is so much business out there that there is no need to even try to sell to a prospect who does not have a real need for our product or service.

Yes, it is true, there are unscrupulous sales people. There are also pushy sales people who don't get it and end up giving us, the real pros in a serious profession, a bad name. But just because there are bad actors (this is an expression, not a put down of the acting profession) does not mean the sales industry is slimy or that sales techniques are less than totally professional.

(4) There are selling situations where there is little difference between you and the competition. In these situations you better ask for the business, if you do not and the other sales person does he/she will be taking their significant other out on the town with the commission check, not you. And, there was no reason why you could not have had the experience of winning that business instead of someone else. Remember; "if not you then who?"

Need I go on? I could ... instead of more reasons how about this;

Books and authors like this one are successful (to a certain degree). What they do is prey upon the minds of people who are not really sure yet that this industry is a great one. Those who end up being preyed upon are good people who are, for whatever reason, second guessing what they do or a little unsure of themselves at the time and they clutch for straws to save themselves from feeling they are in a slimy industry or doing anything wrong.

What is wrong with this method of selling books/materials is that it definitely hurts all of us. It does not put an end to the blemish on our industry, is prolongs this negativity. As some become deceived and themselves become deceivers. Interestingly, it is the deceived that are more dangerous, as you cannot tell a liar or a misleader when they do not know they are misleading!

Earl Nightingale sold more motivational training than anyone else in history. Ask yourself, Would he use this technique to sell a book or tape? I suggest the answer is no. Why would we need to be less than integral to sell information when we can sell an unlimited amount of training easily and not delve into the few skeletons hiding in the back of the closet of what should be revered as the greatest industry in the world?

I cannot blame you for asking about the quote Thomas. I can see that it did not sit right with you. And, I am sure, you have learned what author not to read in the future, which is a wholesome benefit from this experience. Perhaps you can get your money back?

"It is an ill wind indeed that blows no good." We all should thank Thomas for saving us $20 ... glad I won't be buying that source of obviously useless information!
Gold! What a rant!

...and you're right on.

Saying you shouldn't close (or complete) a sale is like saying there's something ethically wrong with selling goods and services in a free market economy. Selling is an honorable profession. There are honorable people who sell and dishonorable people who sell, but that distinction has nothing to do with "closing".

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Gold! What a rant!

...and you're right on.

Saying you shouldn't close (or complete) a sale is like saying there's something ethically wrong with selling goods and services in a free market economy. Selling is an honorable profession. There are honorable people who sell and dishonorable people who sell, but that distinction has nothing to do with "closing".

Skip Anderson
OK...but please come at me one at a time.

I don't take back my disagreement with the book author's choice of words......BUT..

I believe that "closing" is the least important component in the selling process. - by Joe Closer
OK...but please come at me one at a time.

I don't take back my disagreement with the book author's choice of words......BUT..

I believe that "closing" is the least important component in the selling process.
To be honest, JC, I wasn't directing my comments at you, I wasn't even aware of your feeling, I was just commenting on the general thread topic.

Not to get us off topic in this thread, but I would be interested in knowing what you believe are more important components in the selling process than closing. Thanks...

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Not to get us off topic in this thread, but I would be interested in knowing what you believe are more important components in the selling process than closing. Thanks...

Skip Anderson
Fair enough question. But first I need to say that I don't look upon selling in the same linear process that it's most often taught.

Closing is a natural result of the experience that takes place between buyer and seller. So I value the creation of a good experience above everything else.

But the experience is not a component itself. It is more a complex of successful execution of components.

I'll name three.

First, Agreement. Agreement comes early in a successful sales conversation, contrary to what a lot of people believe. It is then built upon throughout...always present.

Second, the Qualifying process which is often a disqualfying process. (Keep in mind that all selling "systems" are really time management systems in conversational form.)

Third, Attitudal Identification. This is the process of being able to identify the existence or degree of mutual trust and respect.

I hope that suffices to answer your question. I'm tired and I'm going to bed. - by Joe Closer
Yah, Skip. It is important that true leaders like ourselves pass this on. Ours is a great industry with amazing people in it that do what they do in spite of a ridiculous image that surrounds us, even within the industry. WE can't let it stop us. We are champions, not only in the sales arena but as leaders in the sales training arena, it is up to us to put a solid stop to serious BS.

If we don't do it (and I don't specifically mean Skip, he knows), it won't get done.

It will never cease to bother me that crap is circulated around and passed of as expertise to mislead those who don't have the experiences yet to know better. We - in our small way - Cannot let that happen. - by Gold Calling
Hey, Joe Closer, I am having trouble figuring out why your post, 2nd from the last, said "come at me one at a time". My comments were not directed at you personally or what you stated in the thread. My references were to Skip and Calvin, with advice to Thomas, who was good enough to share the passage that tells us not to buy that book. And Skip simply quoted me.

Joe, listen, I read your posts with great interest. It is very clear that you are a student of sales. Very clear indeed. And, that takes time and serious commitment, which I commend you for. However ... please, I have to say certain things here.

Nothing I stated in my post, which Skip quoted, states that closing is the most important part of the sale. However, it is the culmination of the sale. And how can we argue or understate that importance. To start with a simple comment; without sales, and a reasonable amount of them, we do not survive, that's what makes us and what we do so incredible.

Here is what, well, sort of gets me with your post - there are times when closing is very important element in a sale. There are equally more times when it is not so.

You can beleive in a perfect world that you built the foundation of the sale strongly with every selling situation, that closing is a minor part of each sale as a result but that is just not the case. And we can list examples of situations where it is really important, as my long post already alluded to.

I mentioned situations with very close competition. Take a Minolta copier and a Toshiba, where the technology is about the same. There are dealers with excellent service track records that are well established, this is not an issue. Both sales people bring in demos, the staff likes them both. But the buyer is not a friendly guy really, neither sales person sets up a relationship that would cause this personality type to want to do business with one over the other - just because of the buyers personality, not a lack of sales skills. Who gets the order?

Did you know going in that this buyer was not going to end up not being your best example of "mutual trust and respect"? No. Should you disqualify this potential sale because after you have spent the money to bring in a trial machine and the time to meet with the buyer twice and train their staff during the demo, that they just wouldn't warm up to you? Why, they didn't warm to your competitor either!

This happened to me early in my sales career. I was vested in the sale by the virtue of time and effort I committed, so I did not walk away. And I lost. I also asked the buyer why the other guy got the order, the answer is one of the great teaching moments in a sales career.

I will get back to that in a moment.

A friend of mine, who died about a decade ago, was telling me about a girl he new in high school in his senior year. She was gorgeous, he had the real hots for her, he took her out but she ended up with another guy. My deceased buddy then asked her why at school one day, the answer was essentially the same as what the buyer told me!

Both had to do with closing the sale.

Now, I do not intend to enter into a debate about premarital sex but my friend lost out because he was too shy to close the deal (and I will just leave it at that). He told me, since that day, he never lost out for that reason ever again. Sure as I am typing this post, I can tell you that ol' Fast Eddy (as he was known), got a few slaps in his face before he passed on at the age of 42 but he also "closed the deal" more than his average competitor (if I can pout it that way).

Was Fast Eddy ever in a race with a "competitor" again, I can't say. I know that was not the only way he "won the sale" because I was with him one New Year's Eve and saw another example of why you sometimes need to close. And why it (closing) is not always just a natural result of the sale.

Are you wondering why I lost my copier sale? I will tell you. The guy was last in. He told the buyer "I am not leaving till you give me the order!" And he got it. I could have but he got it.

Was I ever in a race with another competitor. Well, unlike Fast Eddy's life, this I can answer. Yes, several times. And at least one more time I lost that I know of. But this time because I had a machine that was higher priced and did not offer any features the buyer needed over my competition's machine.

I have been in selling situation unlike the "race with the competitor" I have described above in three ways. I could go on and on with real life examples. I can also tell you about disqualifying buyers I probably could have closed but did not feel I wanted as clients.

What I am trying to say is - in real life, there is no cut and dry. Things are not one way, black and white, Instead there are many shades of gray. And, when we deal with people we have to deal with the human condition and all of its many variations. None of this has much to do with the book quote. It is just that we cannot get too clinical about selling. Skills exist for a reason. Because really smart people for centuries have been figuring out the art of selling and passing it along.

All of us need to get off our high horses about the way selling is and what we beleive for this reason. We are just the last generation of selling practitioners, Johnny-come-lately-s if you will!

Sure, salesmanship was passed on by word of mouth first. Finally by scribe (Socrates), then in print, then on LP recordings, starting with old 78's. And finally by audio tapes, CD's and DVD's. Now we have the Internet complete with salespractices.com and youtube.com. The method of passing on skills has changed but selling really hasn't.

Closing is a skill not because it is more important that other skills or should be compared to them but because it is a skill that is important all on its own. If you are to master our profession, first you must master this skill (as well as all the others). Best of luck always. - by Gold Calling
Now we have the Internet complete with salespractices.com and youtube.com. The method of passing on skills has changed but selling really hasn't.
Did you mean salespractice.com? msnwnk; - by Admin-Asst
...when we deal with people we have to deal with the human condition and all of its many variations. It is just that we cannot get too clinical about selling. Skills exist for a reason. Because really smart people for centuries have been figuring out the art of selling and passing it along.
Spot on, Gold.

In the sales training I offer, it is important for me to win over the participants so that I have a shot at influencing them. Just as in selling, sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. But one thing is very apparent to me after providing sales training for quite a long time: some people want to expand their scope of knowledge and some don't. Those that do, drink it all in and then figure out what to use, what to dismiss, and what to modify. Those that don't just let it fly by them.

Of course, I'm not saying I have all the answers, or that any sales expert or trainer or veteran salesperson does. But one of the qualities of top sales performers is a passion for constant improvement. And improvement has to occur at the behavioral level, not just in theory. Until sales behaviors change, sales will not improve. Experience alone does not improve sales performance, except when that experience leads to a modification of sales behavior (sales behavior = sales skills).

I'm aware of the large number of participants in this forum that are passionate about improving their sales skills, and I think it's fantastic.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Gold, I think you misunderstood. My quip about "coming at me" was not directed at you.

I tend to make fun of myself because I don't take myself all that seriously. I said it in jest because I knew I was going to express an opinion that many here would not share.

But...I do take selling seriously

I'm happy that my posts interest you. But please indulge me when I say this. I know the selling game cold. In most discussions here, I could take either side of an issue and run with it...and embellish it for that matter. But I have made a personal choice to only express what my experience has shown me to be valid or true.

One comment on your post. I had mentioned "mutual trust and respect". You addressed that by referring to "warming up to". They are not at all the same. - by Joe Closer
Joe, are you saying that in my example, the two copier sales people, who perhaps both had enough level of "mutual trust and respect" with the prospect to get the sale and one did, BECAUSE HE CLOSED, IS NOT VALID?

And, please, I am not taking this personally. Just talking sales with another (actually two other - you and Skip) pro sales people.

Regardless of the words I took to make my point. The point is; there are times when the close is critical to a sale, even if you beleive the sale's foundation should carry the sale (which it should if it can) ... because it doesn't always work that way.

Can we detract from the importance of knowing how to close just because we are masters at building the foundation of the sale? That is like saying there are not times when the close is what gets the sale. Is this your position?

Hey, in my example, which I wrote after mid night I beleive, I may have used a slightly incorrect application of trust and friendship but this does not change the fact that no matter how good you are there are times when the close is critcal. - by Gold Calling
I felt so strongly about this thread this morning that I took the time to read it to one of the most experienced sales people on the planet, my 79 year old father.

While it was nice to have him say "well written" he brought up something "that most sales people forget", which is powerful indeed. It is about human nature. And it is called buyer reluctance.

No one wants to be sold but people like to buy. However, those same people quite often do not like making decisions.

Rather than me going on to explain this from a sales trainerís perspective, why donít I just leave it there and start a new debate.

Under what circumstance is the close critical if at all? What do each of you think? I have mentioned three so far (actually my dad brought up the last one but he does not come on forums);

-Buyer Reticence
- Buyer Reluctance
- a dead heat with competition

I too believe that the close is a non event most often in sales. I am just as certain that is not always the case but welcome different points of view. - by Gold Calling
Joe, are you saying that in my example, the two copier sales people, who perhaps both had enough level of "mutual trust and respect" with the prospect to get the sale and one did, BECAUSE HE CLOSED, IS NOT VALID?

And, please, I am not taking this personally. Just talking sales with another (actually two other - you and Skip) pro sales people.

Regardless of the words I took to make my point. The point is; there are times when the close is critical to a sale, even if you beleive the sale's foundation should carry the sale (which it should if it can) ... because it doesn't always work that way.

Can we detract from the importance of knowing how to close just because we are masters at building the foundation of the sale? That is like saying there are not times when the close is what gets the sale. Is this your position?

Hey, in my example, which I wrote after mid night I beleive, I may have used a slightly incorrect application of trust and friendship but this does not change the fact that no matter how good you are there are times when the close is critcal.
Yes, there are times when a "close", as an act of volition by the seller is called for. It usually happens in those "pregnant silence" instances, where the client becomes non-expressive, but the agreements are apparently in place. Closing then, is a matter of breaking the silence.

But I want to clarify that so it is not confused with the old J. Douglas Edwards maxim. "He who talks first loses." was taught in reference to AFTER a "closing question" has been asked.

The distinction is vital.

So, to understand my "position", with regard to that question, you have to clearly undertand that Closing, as an act of volition, which could be vital in some circumstances, is different from the natural closing occurrence resulting from a well executed selling process.

When you study and learn any field, with the objective of mastering it, you have to be able to see the differences between one thing and another. That is why it's important to clarify what we mean when we use standard terms and words.

I believe you see "closing" as a thing we do. I see it as an occurrence that is derived from a larger picture. - by Joe Closer
Gold, the concept of Buyer Reticence that your father is trying to teach you is what I described, perhaps less appropriately as "pregnant silence".

That...more than anything you have shared about him, shows me that your Dad has exceptional insight on selling. - by Joe Closer
Joe, my Dad has not taught me sales for more than 15 years. What you have read in this forum is my insight. And I thank you for the compliment.

As for;
I believe you see "closing" as a thing we do. I see it as an occurrence that is derived from a larger picture.
This is a semantics discussion and really does not relate to sales. Put it one way or another, phrase it as some philosophy that is more complex or describe it more directly, this has little to do with what you or I practice.

I find it tiresome to discuss philosophy as if it changes what has to happen. Call closing "an occurrence that is derived from a larger picture" rather than "a thing we do", does that mean we don't do it? And, can you see the futility of sharing philosophy?

Once again, Joe, I never made reference to you or what you stated in this thread prior to you referencing what I wrote and trying to make a distinction. I only answered the question of Thomas. and I will state in your own words, at times closing; "by the seller is called for". Dern tootin it is, no matter your stated philosophy.

What my dad stated to me this morning, as I described my point of view in the forum to him on the phone was about closing and was his first input through me. It simply adds to all I included about the importance of closing in some sales calls. His point is perhaps the simplest way of looking at the same thing, what we call - buyer reluctance, which I did not describe in detail in the forum, and why closing is an important skill.

What I had described as Buyer Reticence came from my own experiences.

Interestingly, neither Reluctance nor Reticence is in my view are the same as pregnant silence, rather they are descriptions of the very nature of the human condition of the prospect - if I can put it that way!

Your use of pregnant silence is an issue of timing. If I am understanding you.

He who talks first looses, yes, this is what Edwards used very dramatically to get sales people to shut up (and rightly so). To emphasis, he actually screamed "shut up" during seminars!

There is simply no way anyone can claim that closing is not a required skill. Now, this subject is beyond well cooked, it is burnt. - by Gold Calling
And, since he and I rarely talk sales training until recently, as a result of my wasting a lot of time in this forum, I only related those experiences to him last night even though they were 15 or 17 years ago.
It is my opinion that time spent helping those in need isn't time wasted. If this website gets anywhere near the traffic I suspect it does then thousands of salespeople who visit, but do not necessarily register or post, are reading and benefiting from posts by you, Skip, Pat, AZ and others. There is a lot of bad information out there about how to sell and a lot of salespeople struggling to put the pieces together. Thanks to you and others for making a difference. sn; - by Houston
Houston, you are a good man!

By the way, there are 1534 registered users of the site, approximately 48% have posted. But, you are probably right, many come and read without signing up.

And everyone needs to know what is misinformation about sales. - by Gold Calling
First, Agreement. Agreement comes early in a successful sales conversation, contrary to what a lot of people believe. It is then built upon throughout...always present.
What agreement Joe? - by Gilbert
What agreement Joe?
Simply put, an agreement reflected in apparent attitude, or words, to move forward because of a mutual interest in each other, or in an issue. When that agreement deepens, the opportunity to do business increases.

I know I said "simply put", but it is complex.

Some people will understand. The majority will not. That's just the way it is. It helps me a great deal that most--not all-- of my competition is in the majority. - by Joe Closer
I know I said "simply put", but it is complex.

Some people will understand. The majority will not. That's just the way it is. It helps me a great deal that most--not all-- of my competition is in the majority.
Is there a training program for this or is that something that came with experience? - by Gilbert
Simply put, an agreement reflected in apparent attitude, or words, to move forward because of a mutual interest in each other, or in an issue.
My two cents: JC, I think agreements are very powerful in selling, I agree with you on that. But I don't think that "an agreement reflected in apparent attitude" is an agreement at all.

I see salespeople all the time who waste time with prospects who had an "apparent attitude" to buy. For instance, I do training in industries that sell in the home (such as home improvements, for instance), and many of these calls require two calls: an initial call, then time for the salesperson to create the design or a proposal on his/her own, then a second call to present the design or proposal and close the deal. Maybe my opinion on this is biased by the type of sales industries I serve.

I train salespeople to ask the following question near the end of the first appointment, but after a follow-up appointment has been scheduled:

"When we get together next week to go over your design, if you love what I've done for you, and if the price is acceptable to you, is there any reason you would not move forward with the project when we meet next week?"

If they answer "yes", that's a pretty solid agreement. Not that prospects don't break it, of course, but it's much more solid than an "apparent attitude" to purchase.

[If they answer "no", then the salesperson has an opportunity and obligation to probe further to figure out what's going on].

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
"NO!" and the salesman says; "Oh, why not?"

As intuitive as we become in our careers as sales people, we are never going to be mind readers. That is what questions are for.

Again, Skip, very well stated. You are the personification of professionalism! - by Gold Calling
"NO!" and the salesman says; "Oh, why not?"

As intuitive as we become in our careers as sales people, we are never going to be mind readers. That is what questions are for.

Again, Skip, very well stated. You are the personification of professionalism!
Thank you for the kind words, GC. - by Skip Anderson
Interestingly, I don't see anyone talking about closing throughout the sales cycle - versus - "asking for the order".

Closing is asking for the order but how do SRs:
1. get the next meeting?
2. obtain concurrance on applicable features/benefits?
3. gain agreement on pricing, terms, etc.?
4. move the selling process along?

Closing is not simply a question asked, the answer to which is filled out on an order blank (example). Astute closers are working their magic throughout the cycle and may have closed 10 or 12 times thru the adventure.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
I seriously doubt anyone on the forum will disagree with your post OUTSource Sales.

"Any question asked the answer to which confirms the order" is the concluding one of those 10 or 12 affirmations.

Anyway, the thread started about a quote in a book that I am sure you will agree is quote odd (to say the least). - by Gold Calling
As mentioned in another thread, I don't spend my time reading so-called "business books". This quote is simply another justification: everyone is an expert with the singular interest of selling more books.

The gray-hair's out there feel that these authors can put anything into print. The downfall: the rookies who see the quotes, absorb the content. For an illustration of implied the wasted cycles, look at the length of this thread!

That said, it's a healthy forum which I encourage whole heartedly.

The author seems to imply that those who close, do so with much customer angst created. I'd defy the so-called expert to spend a day in my patch! Clearly, he/she doesn't know what they're talking about - OR - the quote is intended to sensational-ize and thereby grab attention to the author.

I'd be more interested in hearing about the non-closers out there since the implication is that they NEVER ask for the order:
1. how does the customer know where they are in the cycle (if the benefits of the offering don't jump out of the SRs briefcase)?
2. how does the SR extend the selling cycle?
3. what happens at the end of the (won or lost) sales cycle?

Without ANY desire to read the book, I wonder if the original poster has any insight to offer wrt what follows the quote? Perhaps the next sentence was "...only kidding, closing is a tried and true approach in the real world of salesmanship..."!

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Wonderboy, "there's no magic" involved. If you present successfully and the order shakes-out at the end, congratulations!

However, it seems a little assumptive to believe that ALL of your prospects walk thru to an order. When that happens, how do you get the business? Or, do you walk away at that point?

The ability to present successfully is predicated on having closed throughout the process to that point. How do you arrange meetings without a closing question (... is Monday or Tuesday better for you)? In order to get all of the detail required to do a meaningful presentation which responds to the expressed needs, you must be closing throughout.

I wouldn't try to bring you over to the "dark-side" but I'd strongly suggest some 2-man calls with someone who is an adept closer might be an eye-opener for you.

In my Xerox days, there were a couple of guys on the floor who worked well with me. In one instance, we'd gone to Leesburg together for basic training (PSS1 at the time) and he was agressive ex-professional lacrosse player. We'd push each other to make that extra call and in those calls we'd really get everything on-the-table. This approach ALWAYS yielded results because one of us wouldn't take 'no'. It was truly "entertaining" at times!

We presented only when a proof source was required and presentation was the best approach. AND, when we did present, we ALWAYS prefaced the presentation with a close (eg. "... if we can meet those objectives during the presentation, do we have a basis for doing business ...").

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Wonderboy, "there's no magic" involved. If you present successfully and the order shakes-out at the end, congratulations!

However, it seems a little assumptive to believe that ALL of your prospects walk thru to an order. When that happens, how do you get the business? Or, do you walk away at that point?

The ability to present successfully is predicated on having closed throughout the process to that point. How do you arrange meetings without a closing question (... is Monday or Tuesday better for you)? In order to get all of the detail required to do a meaningful presentation which responds to the expressed needs, you must be closing throughout.

I wouldn't try to bring you over to the "dark-side" but I'd strongly suggest some 2-man calls with someone who is an adept closer might be an eye-opener for you.

In my Xerox days, there were a couple of guys on the floor who worked well with me. In one instance, we'd gone to Leesburg together for basic training (PSS1 at the time) and he was agressive ex-professional lacrosse player. We'd push each other to make that extra call and in those calls we'd really get everything on-the-table. This approach ALWAYS yielded results because one of us wouldn't take 'no'. It was truly "entertaining" at times!

We presented only when a proof source was required and presentation was the best approach. AND, when we did present, we ALWAYS prefaced the presentation with a close (eg. "... if we can meet those objectives during the presentation, do we have a basis for doing business ...").

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
Pat, I improved to the point where all of my sales do automatically close themselves out. All I had to do was to give the offer and my prospects bought. No special closing phrases required.

When I entered sales paradise, I learned to recognize who my prospects were which strengthened my sales tremendously. The system I developed is 100% reliable (the only way my system wouldn't work is through sabotage which is why I'm projecting over 90% success with a large population of trainees).

Please keep contributing Pat. - by Wonderboy
Wonderboy, no disrespect intended so please don't be offended by what I'm going to write. I've read your posts before and in my opinion, for what it's worth, I think you're way out of your league in many of these discussions.

My perception is that your responses have been empty and almost always point to some mystery system you've developed that is the champion of all systems. My perception is that your posts lack the depth indicative of someone who possesses such knowledge or system.

I bring this up because I think empty posts like that detract and can sidetrack good discussions.

No response required. - by Marcus
Wonderboy ...

So through magic methodology a prospect's natural reluctance - part of some people's human condition - suddenly disappears so they can buy from you without a closing question. WOW.

I want to go to your sales training school. I would pay you $100,000 for a weekend if you could teach that. In fact, the total elimination of buyer reluctance and buyer reticence by your breakthrough presentation skills would be the biggest news in salesmanship since Socrates had scribed the first information we know of about human influence!

How did you do it? What was the catalyst that allowed you, I assume without the resources of say XEROX, to uncover something that the smartest sales people and influence-rs in history, including Socrates and Plato, Earl Nightingale and Peter Burke, did not discover?

I am impressed (or will be if you can manage to explain it so we can understand you).

Outsource ...


Clearly, he/she doesn't know what they're talking about - OR - the quote is intended to sensational-ize and thereby grab attention to the author.
Bang on again. As I stated in my first post, the sensationalizing is what I referred to as "Sleazy Tabloid Headline", a technique known well in direct marketing to grab attention.

Personally I think there is no OR in this case. In other words both things in what you stated are true. The author does not know sales and used sensationalizing.

TO ALL ...

Let's say Wonderboy really is a wonder, that what he says is true. Does that affect the validity of the quote? Isn't it still hogwash - even if wonderboy can close without dealing with the most common human traits - that does not make the rest of us that do close shysters, does it. - by Gold Calling
closing the sale is part of being a profecional
who ever think that closing the sale is bad practice is a green pea - by vegamario
closing the sale is part of being a profecional
who ever think that closing the sale is bad practice is a green pea
Welcome to the discussion, vegemario.

Yours was the 41st post in this discussion/debate about the impact of closing in sales. Note that there hasn't been a single example of what a close would sound like. - by Joe Closer
Yours was the 41st post in this discussion/debate about the impact of closing in sales. Note that there hasn't been a single example of what a close would sound like.
Does that have meaning to you Joe? - by Houston
Gee, when I read the topic of the thread I see a request for opinions, not a request for how to compose a closing questions. - by Gold Calling
Gee
Read it again.

The topic's title is "Closes are for shysters and chalatans."

I'll bet you think that statement is ludicrous.

I think it is, too, and I'll bet most people here think it's ludicrous. But as you can see, a discussion began with different points of view on the relative value of The Close in selling. A worthwhile topic.

It's common in discussions to give examples to demonstrate a point. It is uncommon here.

That was the reason for my observation. If a prospect asked for an example with regard to a statement I made, I would expect to be prepared to deliver one. In so doing so, I believe it would give more meaning to the sales interview/conversation. Likewise this discussion. - by Joe Closer
There is no need whatsoever to give examples to approve or disprove what's expressed by that quotation, which has been very well proved as false already. - by Gold Calling
Welcome to the discussion, vegemario.

Yours was the 41st post in this discussion/debate about the impact of closing in sales. Note that there hasn't been a single example of what a close would sound like.
Here's a close for you:

"Do you want to buy it?"

But, there are other threads within the "Closing The Sale" section of SalesPractice dedicated to discussing various ways to close, so I don't think it's wise to derail this thread to discuss specific "closes".

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
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