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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Listen With Your Eyes, Close With Finesse

Simple observation of a customer will help you smooth the close.

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MOST CLIENTS WILL make you work for the sale — we both know that. But when a client is ready to buy, he will give you clues. Some of these clues are verbal, but most aren’t. What you’ve got to do is listen with your eyes. Watch the client intently. (That doesn’t mean stare at him and burn a hole through his head and make his brain smoke out. Just be observant.)

Here are nine clues to look for:

Clue 1: The client smiles first. You didn’t initiate it. This tells you he’s happy with his decision, and he’s just waiting on confirmation from you. Depending on whether you’re a serpentine, missile, or sneak, you’ll use a particular close that’s right for your selling profile.

Clue 2: The client nods his head up and down. He’s telling you “I’ve made up my mind.”

Clue 3: Excessive handling of the item. That shows ownership. He doesn’t want to take the item off or give it back to you. I’ve talked about the reassurance close before, and that’s what the customer might need here.

The client puts his checkbook or credit card on counter. He’s saying, “Shut up and take my money!”

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Clue 4: Long silences. An old wives’ tale says “He who speaks first loses.” Not true. Just give him a second to think about it. Now, if you’ve said something that’s made the customer be silent for three to five seconds, you will need to speak and give him reassurance.

Clue 5: Facial excitement or enthusiastic body movement. This means it’s time to close. He doesn’t need reassurance; he’s ready to buy. Any close will work.

Clue 6: Objections at the end of the presentation. These will generally be price-related (“that’s a lot of money”) or indecisiveness (“I need to think about it”). The Golden Rule of Objections is this: Objections always show interest. If the customer wasn’t interested, there wouldn’t be an objection. All the client wants you to do is handle the objection so he feels good about his decision. Too many salespeople can’t handle the objection, so the customer leaves and goes somewhere else to buy it. Learn how to handle objections so you can give the client the reassurance he needs, then follow up with a close.

Clue 7: A repeated question. He asked you a question at the beginning of your presentation, and now he’s asking it again. He’s not asking because you didn’t answer thoroughly enough; he just wants to hear it again. An example might be:

Customer: “You think I’m going to love it?”
You: “I know you’re going to love it; you’re going to be extremely happy every day you wear it.”
Customer: “OK, I’ll take it.”

Women give this clue more often than men do.

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Clue 8: The client asks, “Is this your cash price?” He’s saying he wants to buy it, but he wants to see if you think it’s worth the cost. Chances are, if you’re getting a lot of price objections, you’re not romancing the value enough. So, re-romance the value (for example, use a rarity statement like this: “You know, it takes a million diamonds mined to obtain a single carat-size diamond”). Hold your price.

Clue 9: The client puts his checkbook or credit card on counter. He’s saying, “Shut up and take my money!” When you see that, you’re talking too much and you missed the 30-second window to close. He’s giving you another chance. Don’t miss it! is

This story is from the April 2010 edition of INSTORE.

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