Sales closing techniques are always a contentious issue with our sales training clients in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. Some Salespeople feel that they are a necessary part of the sales process. Without using them, they feel that you simply aren’t a good Salesperson. Others feel that there are far better ways of asking for the business instead of using an outdated, forceful method of getting decision makers to say YES. No matter your opinion, there is one sales technique that virtually every Salesperson uses. Unfortunately, it’s often misinterpreted by buyers who think that it’s not truthful and lacks credibility. How do you convey a sense of urgency to buy without looking manipulative?
Every time you make a B2B or B2C sale, please realize that two sales have occurred:
- The decision maker has purchased you. If buyers don’t like or trust you, you are not going to even be considered in the purchasing decision. We all have walked away from a horrible Salesperson who represents a great product or service to go buy it elsewhere. So, the first sale to be made must be placed in the trust and confidence of the Salesperson. Then, the decision moves to the second sale.
- The decision maker then buys your product or service. Many different factors go into this choice including expectations on quality, benefits, price, value and competitive comparison. When we encounter a great Salesperson, we hope that they represent a great product so we can stop our search, make the purchase and move on. Frankly, every buyer wants this process to happen as quickly as possible with little to no pain or complications. That’s exactly what every Salesperson wants. So, why does every Salesperson and buyer have at least a few horror stories about dealing with each other?
That’s really what it comes down to. The message that one person sends to another somehow gets confused for some other meaning. We take something the wrong way and are quick to stereotype the person we’re dealing with. It happens on both ends of the sales process. Sometimes it may be well earned.
Salesperson: Pushy, Greedy, Slime Ball, Closer, Scumbag, Yapper and Jerk.
Customer: Tire Kicker, Cheap Skate, Grinder, Bossy, Know It All, Demanding and Cynic.
The words to describe bad Salespeople seem to be more colorful than bad clients. Yet, some buyers are just as guilty as Salespeople. Fibbing the details of a competitive quote to get a lower price is something every Salesperson has had to deal with from at least a few buyers in their career. However, if the Salesperson wants to make the sale, we must rise above such tactics and find a way to deal with the clients who choose this path.
Building a sense of urgency as a closing technique
Every buyer has had it. To make the purchase, the decision maker must have a desire to move ahead and want to say YES. That sense of urgency can come from an internal source or motivator and it often does. However, great Salespeople know how to build a sense of urgency to buy based on the prospect of gain or fear of loss.
Guess which one tends to be the bigger motivator? In my experience, the fear of loss. No one wants to lose out on a great deal on one of a kind items that are tough to find. This is the leading cause of decision making in the sales cycle. Here are few examples…
- The low mileage, gorgeous pre-owned vehicle that is in high-demand, showroom condition and hard to find. Can you picture yours now?
- The beautiful house of your dreams in the right neighborhood close to everything you want for a reasonable price. How long will it last?
- The long desired, expensive tech product that goes on sale for 40% off on Black Friday only. That one always gets me.
We’ve all lost out before on something we really wanted because we waited too long and someone else swooped it up.
Has this happened to you?
Knowing this, as a Salesperson, it motivates us to plant the seed to encourage decision makers to accelerate a purchase. After all, any good Salesperson knows the power of this first hand through experience. It’s a great way of nudging a sale along. However, many Salespeople lay it on far too thick giving it a lack of credibility in the mind of the buyer. Ever hear or use any of these closing techniques before?
- We’ve had a lot of interest in this car since we listed it online. Someone is going to get one great vehicle. I wouldn’t wait long if I were you.
- I notice that your wife really likes this house. And it sounds like it’s in the right neighborhood for you, right? You know what they say – Happy wife…happy life. This is a real closing line I heard from a Realtor many years ago after showing us a property way over our price range.
- We don’t have many of these left. How are you going to feel if someone else buys the last one?
While most of us cringe when hearing these, the question remains – how do we motivate the buyer to act without sounding like all we care about is making a sale?
With the customer in mind
I wrestled with this for years as a Salesperson until one day I lost a sale with a customer on a truly unique product that had an inventory of only one. I informed him of the situation and told him that 5 other motivated Salespeople were also talking to their customers about it. On that Friday, I asked him to please consider that when he told me he would call Monday with his final decision. I didn’t want to be a pushy Salesperson, so I didn’t push the issue for fear of all the words you read in this article.
He called first thing on Monday to say YES and you guessed it, it was sold late Friday afternoon by another Salesperson. When I told him about it, he was furious with me. Based on his reaction, I wanted so much to say I told you so, yet I took his verbal tongue lashing and asked him if he wanted a new Salesperson to deal with in the future since he lost confidence in me. He accepted my apology and we both moved on.
Who was responsible?
I felt I was because I couldn’t find a classy, yet assertive way of creating a sense of urgency in our Friday meeting – at least to my standards. At the time I could tell that he thought I was just throwing it out there like the typical fast-talking Salesperson. My inability to best word the true sense of urgency resulted in me not having the courage and confidence to tackle the issue.
To never have this happen again. After some soul searching, I found a sincere, forthright way to communicate the true sense of urgency and feel that I was doing justice to both the customer and me. Here’s what I said from that day forward when in the same situation:
Bob, I want to make sure you that and I are on the same page here. You have every right to think about it. Take as much time as you like. However, please know that if you call me back tomorrow and it’s sold, that’s not my fault. Personally, I don’t like pushing people to buy. That choice is yours. Just don’t get angry at me if someone else decides to buy it before you do. Are in we agreement?
The first time I said this to a business owner, I was very nervous. I felt so uncomfortable that I was ready to walk away from the buyer to give me room to breathe. He was much older than me and I was intimidated by his cool composure. He looked at me, smiled and said that was one of the best closing techniques he ever heard. I told him it wasn’t a technique, it was the pure truth because of what had happened before.
He smiled, impressed even more with my salesmanship. It was then that I realized something that would stick with me for the rest of my career – when delivered with authenticity and passion, the truth can be a powerful closing technique.
Find what works for you
Nothing is worse than a Salesperson delivering a memorized script. Successful communication requires you to find the best wording for your message. Write it down – then make it as short and professional as possible, with only the customer in mind, not the sale. Don’t practice it until you get it right – practice it until you can’t get it wrong.
Once you reach that level of confidence and skill, watch your sales grow.
The practicality of dealing with real sales situations is the basis of our online sales training course The Sales Skills Incubator. If you’re a Salesperson who believes in investing in your skill set, check out our free trial and take advantage of our sale this week for $149 Canadian including taxes until April 17th using the coupon code springsale2019. If you’re a reader, check out our book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Amazon.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY