Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of sales professionals quite like that moment when they have to ask for the sale. You’ve walked the prospect through what makes your product unique and why it’s a perfect match for them, you’ve handled any & all objections they may have while listening intently to their concerns, and it’s finally time to close. So what’s stopping you? Recent developments in neuroscience may reveal the answer.
If you’re like most sales pros, the fear of rejection is what’s holding you back. It’s a normal part of the job and something we all deal with, so why does it loom so large in our minds when it’s time to close? You may be interested to know that your brain processes rejection and physical pain the exact same way, which is why rejection hurts so much neurologically. So how do we sidestep this mental barrier? The key is planning and preparation. In other words, choosing the closing strategy that feels the most comfortable to you and most ideally suits your situation. Below we’ve broken down the three closing strategies we see the most success with, which you can start implementing during your next sales conversation!
The Closed Probe Close
This strategy is Stephanie’s personal fave. Here, you walk the prospect through exactly what you’ve learned about their needs, reiterate that you believe your product suits their needs, and ask them clearly what’s stopping them from pulling the trigger. It’s called the Closed Probe because you’re asking a very specific question whose answer will definitely inform the next step you take. Here’s what it looks like in practice:
Mr. Prospect, you and I have discussed your specific needs. I believe I have a good understanding of what exactly you need and are looking for. I’ve offered up a solution that you and I agree would satisfy your needs. That said may I ask, is there any reason why I couldn’t earn your business today?
It’s important that you use the phrase “any reason why” because they can only answer in one of two ways. There either is no reason why they couldn’t close today (yay!) or there is a reason, in which case you now get to handle that objection and work towards a resolution. No matter what, the conversation is moving towards a sale.
The Direct Close
The Direct Close is exactly what it sounds like: direct. With this strategy, you’re cutting right to the chase and asking if they’re ready to discuss closing the sale. No gimmicks, no tricks, just straight talk. Here’s an example of what you could say at the end of the sales conversation:
“Mr. Prospect, how does this all sound to you so far?”
If they’re happy and ready to move forward, you’d say:
“Great! The next steps are …”
If they aren’t ready to move on, you get to handle that objection and keep the momentum rolling. This is similar to The Closed Probe but is faster, more blunt, and a little less conversational. It’s important that you keep your prospect’s personality in mind when deciding how to approach the close. For example, a “cut the crap” prospect may respond well to a Direct Close, but a casual & more friendly prospect might be a better candidate for The Closed Probe.
The Alternate Close
The last strategy we’ll discuss today is ideal for those prospects who love choices. Here, rather than asking a direct question, we’re offering options. This way, the prospect feels like they’re in control, which we know from neuroscience research will make them feel more comfortable. In action, it may go something like this:
“Mr. Prospect, at this point in the conversation would you like to keep walking through how our product can help you, or are you ready to look at the numbers?”
This approach works especially well when you have multiple product offerings you’re pitching and it’s time for the prospect to narrow his/her considerations:
“Mr. Prospect, having talked through what Product A and Product B can do for you, which one would you like to move forward with?”
In either case, you’re both letting the prospect guide the sales conversation and moving in a definitive direction towards a closed sale.
Based on your sales style, what you’re selling, and the unique personality of your prospect, you may end up using one, all, or some combination of these closing strategies. No matter what, going into this phase of the sales conversation with a plan will make it feel less daunting and quiet that part of your brain that’s afraid to fail. To steal a common expression, prior planning prevents poor performance! If you’re looking to learn even more about closing, and the neuroscience that drives it, consider purchasing the full Neuroscience Selling video series from Stephanie Chung & Associates! In it, Stephanie walks through every step of the sales journey, from body language & first impressions to handling objections & closing. Click the link below to get started!