Closing a Sale
Closing a sale is a very important and final part of the selling process. Closing the sale is making the customer say ’yes’ to your preparation. The whole object of the entire selling process is to induce the buying decision of the prospect and thereby close the sale. Unless the salesman gets the prospect to agree to buy the product, the entire efforts are wasted. In this way, the objective of closing a sale is to get the customer in a mood of saying ‘yes’ so that the salesman can ask for the order. He experienced and skilled salesmen know time when to close a sale and the way to close a sale.
Method of Closing a sale
There are several methods, which may be used for closing a sale by the salesman. The popular methods, as usually used in practice are as follows :
1. Affirmative Close : Under this method, the salesman gets the customer to agree to a number of questions. Answers in the affirmative to a few initial questions leave the customer with no other alternative except giving answers in ‘yes’ to the subsequent questions and thereby leading to a successful close of sale. It should, however , be kept in mind that this method has equal chances of both success and failure and the salesman should be prepared for it. This method although used on many customers seem to be best suited to the talkative and responsive customers.
2. Erecting Barriers : Under this method, barriers are erected before the customer closes the sale. Erecting barriers in a sale’s close makes it extremely difficult for the customer to escape from buying. For instance, the salesman feels that the customer has almost approved the product but is hesitant in placing the order immediately. The salesman says, ”Sir, the offer at the old price of Rs. 150 is open for today only. Next day you will have to pay Rs.175 as per the revised price list”. No doubt, this of course amount to high pressure selling but can be used legitimately in many cases successfully. This method is best suited to the silent, unresponsive and non-committal type of customers.
3. Narrowing the Choice: Under this method, the salesman closes the sale by narrowing down the choice of the customer. When a customer is offered wide range of product, it becomes difficult for him to reach a decision. Hence the salesman removes all those varieties one by one, in which the customer has shown the least interest. In this way, only two or three varieties of a product are left with the customer, which seem to be most suitable and favoured. In this way, the sales comes to a close soon.
4. Offering Inducements : Under this method, the salesman offers some extra inducements to the customer. Thus a salesman might offer certain concession or special consideration to the customer who may purchase the same in the expectation of extra gains. For instance, the salesman says to the customer, “If you will take the delivery of this case within a fortnight, I shall allow you 5% extra discount.
5. The Assumption Close: This method is based on the assumption that the customer has already decided and is going to purchase soon. Under this method, after receiving a positive signal from the customer, the salesman asks the customer to fill in his name overshoot or there may be a shortfall, both of which are detrimental to a sales talk close.
6. Use Appropriate Timing: Although the opportunity for closing the sales talk will arise more than once during the interview with the prospect, the salesman must use appropriate timing. As the interview proceeds, the prospect’s interest towards the close of the until it reaches a peak. This would be the best time for moving towards the close of the sales talk. For example, when the prospect enquires about the time required for delivery of goods, it is an indication that the prospect has almost decided to purchase the product.
7. The Test of a Good Sales Talk Lies in its Deliver: All the good points of the product need not be presented simultaneously. They should be presented one buy one. After delivering each point the salesman should wait for reactions of the prospect reserving always his best point to the last, which must be made use at the optimum point of the rise in the prospect’s interest.
8. Maintain a Positive Attitude: The salesman should maintain a positive attitude throughout the sales talk. Hesitancy is the greatest enemy of the salesman. The salesman should always show a calm attitude and hide his tension. He must remain hopeful and should not show his worry about closing the sales talk. The sales talk will materialize with a successful close.
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