Conquering the Fear of Closing

Do you know the major reason why prospects don’t buy? They were never asked! That’s right,
no one asked them for the business.

Strange as it seems, salespeople use all their superior selling skills to get in front of a prospect, qualify him, uncover his needs, match their product or service to those needs, and then they stand back and wait for the prospect  to make a decision instead of taking the final step of helping him make the decision.

There are three main reasons why salespeople don’t ask for the business:

  1. They don’t know what to do.
  2. They don’t know how to do it.
  3. They don’t want to do it.

Let’s take a look at the last reason. We all know why salespeople don’t want to ask for the order. It’s the word “NO!”

Sensitive Egos

Despite impressions to the contrary, salespeople are sensitive creatures whose egos are easily  bruised. Like most human beings, salespeople don’t like the feeling of rejection that comes  with hearing the word “no.” Our egos are very tender, and when someone steps on it by rejecting­ our fabulous offer, we’re crushed. After three crushes, we become demor­alized, and who needs that. So, as the theory goes, we try to keep our ego intact by avoiding the noes, and we avoid noes by not asking for the order.

What you must keep in mind, how­ever, is that you’ve got nothing to lose by attempting to  close the sale. You don’t have the business before the attempt and you may not have the business after. But one thing is for sure ‑ you’ll be one “no” closer to getting a “yes.”

Get More Noes

The first step to improving your closing rate is to remind yourself that the person who gets the most yeses also got the most noes. You need to learn to deal with the potential bruises to your emo­tional well‑being. This is easier said than done, and the best way to toughen up your emotional skin is through practise. Go looking for noes.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should ask prospects, “You don’t want to buy this do you?”  That will certainly get you a lot more noes, but not more business. You’ll get more than enough noes by simply trying to close sales properly.

The next step to improving your closing rate is knowing how to do it. In our experience, lots of salespeople will say they know how to close the sale but, when push comes to shove, they are more talk than action. When we ask some of them to tell me how they ask for the business, they skate around and say they use the Alternate Choice Close, the Mi­nor Point Close or whatever. But when I ask for an example of the actual words they use, they’re at a loss.

In other words, they know what they are supposed to do, but they don’t know how to do it. For the most part, they’re simply not pre­pared to attempt a close. Are you?

Salesforce Training & Consulting is a professional sales training firm and registered Salesforce.com Consulting Partner based in Toronto, with offices in Boston and Chicago, providing sales coaching, sales management consulting, salesforce implementation, sales training and sales personnel assessments.

by   Mark Christie