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Shane Decker: A Happy Ending for Everyone

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Clients get self-confidence from your ability to reassure them that it’s OK to spend their money.

Published in the December 2012 issue

Somewhere along the way, salespeople became confused about the close at the end of a sales presentation. They thought it would be a good idea to ask the client to buy. Never ask — tell. You don’t want the client to be able to say no.

Too many salespeople do a show-and-tell presentation, telling the client about the item and then leaving him hanging at the end. Remember: Between 60 percent and 70 percent of all clients cannot make up their own minds, so they’re waiting for us to do that for them. Clients get self-confidence from your ability to reassure them that it’s OK to spend their money.

On Sales Strategies: A Happy Ending for Everyone

Don’t ask, tell, when closing.

BY SHANE DECKER

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Published in the December 2012 issue

Somewhere along the way, salespeople became confused about the close at the end of a sales presentation. They thought it would be a good idea to ask the client to buy. Never ask — tell. You don’t want the client to be able to say no.

Too many salespeople do a show-and-tell presentation, telling the client about the item and then leaving him hanging at the end. Remember: Between 60 percent and 70 percent of all clients cannot make up their own minds, so they’re waiting for us to do that for them. Clients get self-confidence from your ability to reassure them that it’s OK to spend their money.

Unlike the closing statements you might use throughout a presentation, the close at the end is more professionally direct (without being pushy or threatening). Assuming everything else was done properly, there’s a 30-second window at the end of every presentation when the client has made up his mind that he’s going to take the item, but he’s waiting on you to confirm his thought process. The secret is knowing when that moment has arrived and then not only saying the right thing but saying it in the right way. Never ask, “Can I wrap it up for you?” because the client can say no (don’t say “May I,” “Could I,” Would you,” or “Let me,” either).

Here are some strong closes for that 30-second window:
“This is exactly what you said you wanted.”
“This is a decision you will not regret.”
“You know this is a moment she’ll remember the rest of her life.”
“How are you going to present this to her?”
“Why wait until she has to ask you for it?”
“She’d do it for you.”
“This is why you came in.”
“Just do it.”
“Go for it.”
“Now’s the time.”
“This will tell her you’d marry her all over again.”
“When you give her this, you won’t have to say a word — it’ll do all the talking for you.”

If you’re positive that your client should buy from you, he will. If you think he can’t, you’re right … and if you think he can, you’re right. Your level of belief will show in your presentation, and clients not only pick that up, they mirror it.

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Telling your client to buy in a way that’s professionally direct gives him peace of mind. He’s coming in for you to help him make a decision. He leaves successful because he leaves with the package. He’s not successful when he has to leave and start the process all over at another store because you didn’t close at the end.

The best way to preserve client loyalty is to close the sale. The second time you close him is easier than the first, and the third time is easier than the second, because you’re gaining momentum with the client, he trusts you more, and he enjoys working with you. To make sure your close is smooth, practice saying closes over and over until it comes out sounding the way you want it to. When the time comes, don’t ask — tell. It’s an ending that allows both you and your client to live happily after after.

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