Ahh the holy grail of sales.
Every sales person and business owner wants to close more sales – and for good reason too. Let’s face it, if you don’t close any sales you aren’t going to make any sales. Which means you are not going to be in business for too long.
But when should you close the sale? When do you know the sale is ready to be closed?
Well ultimately, and I will elaborate on this – the sale needs to be closed when the customer is ready. NOT when you decide you want to close the sale.
There is a mis-conception that a sales person should always be in control and should ‘always be closing’ however that kind of advice is old news. The customer will want you to close the sale when they are ready. Not before, and not after.
I like to look at it like this. Imagine a timeline running horizontally. There is a red zone, that turns amber, and then switches to green. After the green section, it soon turns back to amber and then back to red. Similar to the penalty power gauges on FIFA games. The red and amber zone before the green section is the relationship building and the desire building stage of the sales process. This is where you are nurturing that relationship, qualifying, and finding all of your prospects pain points. The amber and red zone after the green zone is where you have bored your prospect to tears – you have made them sit through a sales presentation or pitch and they are now so ready to buy that they want to go elsewhere and make the purchase themselves, or perhaps have talked themselves out of it.
Thinking about the above, it is when you are in the green that is the best time to ‘ask for the sale’.
Now, you might be wondering how you know the buyer is ready to proceed – they will not always tell you. So look out for clues.
Normally your prospect may sit further forward in their chair, they may look more engaged. In fact, normally when someone is ready to buy they will become more relaxed and will be more open to you.
They may also start to ask questions that indicate they are ready to buy. They may start asking about pricing options or discounts. They may start to ask about exit strategies and may ask about long-term customer support.
All of the above are clues that your customer is ready to buy.
And if it gets to this stage – shut up! Stop pitching, stop going through your presentation. Answer their questions fully and intently and then ask for the sale!
If you don’t recognise these clues, then you will find yourself slipping into the amber and red zone after the green zone and you will have lost your chance!
Remember; your customer will buy when they are ready. Be willing to listen, to guide, and to help them make that purchase.
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