When I give customized training workshops for clients, we always discuss the areas where reps need to improve. When they tell me their reps need work on closing techniques, I begin worrying. That’s typically indicative of a larger problem: not moving the call and the sales process to the point where the close is appropriate.
I suggest minimizing the use of, or eliminating, the word close and replacing it with commitment. Closing implies an end; instead, you want to open and build a relationship. To do that, you need constant movement on each of your calls toward an objective, especially your initial Smart Call. This movement happens when your prospects commit to doing something between now and the next call.
A football team doesn’t throw the long bomb every time it gets the ball at its own 20-yard line. A man doesn’t ask a woman to marry him after one date. Neither tactic is a high percentage play. And—just like on sales calls—to achieve the objective, you need to move forward and enjoy the little successes along the way. The momentum builds and the ultimate commitment is much easier since you’ve traveled closer to the objective.
Therefore, the close shouldn’t be the major part of the call; it’s simply the validation of what’s been covered so far. Most football teams would be able to easily score a touchdown if they have moved the ball to the one-inch line. And the commitment ...