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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Close Naturally

Know which of the 7 types of closing lines works for you.

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I AM OFTEN ASKED, “How can I know whether my selling profile is serpentine, missile, or sneak?” While all salespeople will use more than one of the seven types of closes, the type that’s most natural will help define your selling profile.

To recap, the missile is the most direct selling profile; his presentation is just about the jewelry. He doesn’t get off track or off subject. The serpentine, on the other hand, will talk about the jewelry, then her vacation, then jewelry, then fishing, then jewelry, then shoes and shopping, and so on. The serpentine is great at building relationships. Finally, the sneak is like a chameleon. She’s very good at matching client personalities. The sneak’s clients are glad they bought but are left trying to figure out how it happened!

Serpentines make up about 70 percent of the sales force, missiles are 20 percent, and sneaks are 10 percent.

You will sell most effectively when you sell profile-correct, and much of that has to do with the closes you use. There are seven types of closes: Direct, compliment, whisper, indirect, reassurance, question, and assumption.

1) THE DIRECT CLOSE

EXAMPLES: “Just do it,” “Go for it,” “Now’s the time,” “Buy it,” “Sold,” “Give me your credit card,” “You know you want to do it.” Description: A missile can use a direct close all the way through the presentation, and it doesn’t seem pushy because it’s natural for them. Serpentines and sneaks might use this close at the end, but they need a lot of self-confidence so that it doesn’t come across as out of character. If they use it at the wrong time, it can come across as pushy.

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2) THE COMPLIMENT CLOSE

EXAMPLES: “You’re going to love wearing that,” “That’s beautiful on you,” “You’re going to get compliments on this every day.” Descripti o n : This is a serpentine-dominant close. Clients love compliments when they’re genuine. Most male missiles do not use this close, although some female missiles do. Because I am a missile, if I worked in your store and you heard me say, “The blue in the sapphires will match the blue in her eyes, and she’s going to love wearing it,” you’d think I was ill. It doesn’t match my personality. But if it works for you, the more sincere compliments you give, the more comfortable the client will be in making the purchase.

3) THE WHISPER CLOSE

EXAMPLES: “I can tell you’re ready to buy,” “How did you want to take care of this?” “We can do check, cash or card,” “How did you plan on giving this to her?” “She’s gonna love this.” Des cripti o n : Sneaks use the whisper close to make it more private. Their style is to draw the client in. Some missiles use it too, and I personally love it. Most serpentines don’t whisper because they’re so conversational. When you whisper, the client leans in.

4) THE INDIRECT CLOSE

EXAMPLES: “You know, it’s time to do what your heart’s telling you,” “Trust your instincts,” “Is this what you had in mind?” “By what you are telling me, I believe this is the one. What do you think?”

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DESCRIPTION: This is serpentine or sneak dominant. These used to be called “trial closes.” You use the indirect close to see where your client is and if she’s ready for the close at the end of the sale.

5) THE REASSURANCE CLOSE

EXAMPLES: “She’s gonna love wearing this,” “She’s not gonna believe you did it,” “She’ll never take this off,” “This will tell her you’d marry her all over again,” “Your only regret will be you didn’t do it sooner,” “Every woman dreams of wearing one of these,” “Every time she looks at this, she’ll think of you.”

DESCRIPTION: This is a close every profile and both genders can and should use for all clients. This should be used all the way through your presentation (except at the end) and is probably the most important close of all. There is no push or threat. Clients get their self-confidence from your ability to give them reassurance that it’s OK to spend the money. The ask-listen-paraphrase close is also a type of reassurance close. Everyone needs to become natural at using this close.

6) THE QUESTION CLOSE

EXAMPLES: “While we’re wrapping this up, how did you want to take care of this?” “Do you want a four or six-prong head?” “When are you giving this to her?” “What size does she wear? I’ll have it for you today,” “Are you surprising her with this as soon as you leave?”

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DESCRIPTION: The question close can be used by all profiles but is missile-dominant. This close is often used incorrectly and can become a sale killer if asked in “yes or no” fashion. Never say, “Can I wrap this up for you?” The client can say no. The words “can I, may I, would you, let me” should all be stricken from your vocabulary. Salesmanship is not about asking permission; it’s about telling and timing. If you ask and your timing is off, the client will not only think you’re pushy, they’ll think you’re not listening to them.

7) THE ASSUMPTION CLOSE

EXAMPLES:“She’s gonna love wearing that beautiful diamond,” “You are going to be very happy wearing that ring every day.”

DESCRIPTION: This close is sneak-dominant. This close assumes that the client is buying. You do this through the use of pronouns that show ownership, such as “you” or “yours” and “his” or “hers” — or you can just use the client’s name. Because sneaks are very good at designing the presentation to fit the client’s personality, they make the customer feel they can afford the piece and buy it. Work out your profile and memorize some of the corresponding closes. The more you know, the higher your closing ratio will be, and the more your associates will turn to you to help them close sales.

Because I’m a missile, if you heard me say, “The blue in the sapphire will match her eyes,” you’d think I was ill.

Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at [email protected].

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