Often, the best type of close is when the customer closes themselves.
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You can often make this happen via a series of closing questions. A closing question should give customers alternatives other than yes or no. This approach effectively closes the deal but makes the customer feel that they are in charge.
Some sample alternatives:
- Delivery dates
For example, from the above list of alternatives you can craft a question that does not have a “yes” or “no” answer, allowing the customer to feel that they are in the driving seat while edging them towards deciding what you want them to decide.
Taking each of the above examples consecutively, these questions might go something along the lines of:
Delivery Date: “So, when were you thinking of having the item installed?”
Colours: “We do have a range of colors in which you can have the item – which of these do you like best?”
Models: “Well, there is this model, and there is another here with some extra facilities – which of those would you prefer?”
Quantity: “How many of these items would you like?”
It can be tempting to add at this point that other customers have tended to go for this colour, or that many items, or to suggest when they could have the item delivered. It is wise, however, to avoid doing this, as it looks like little more than over-efficiency and pushy salesmanship. Rather than doing this, you should pause and allow the customer to have the next word.
If they are not 100% decided on the item and have a follow-up question, they may resent you talking in a way which more or less celebrates the fact that they have decided to spend their money. What they say next will be the springboard for what you want to say, whether it be to formally close the sale or edge them further towards buying.
Remember, they have not bought anything yet, and they are not “other customers”.
Things to Consider When Closing
Most people have had a buying experience that they felt good about. They were happy with the product and the terms of the deal. They may have felt so good about the experience that they told their friends about it and patronized the business again.
Often this kind of good feeling is a result of being treated with warmth and respect by salespeople — before, during, and after the closing. Remember that the impression you make in the closing is the one that will stay with the customer. Try to make the experience as positive as possible. The way that you treat a customer will have a real impact.
This can be very straightforward and simple, and just requires you to be polite and friendly. You should always ask what more you can do for the customer, whether it be something like getting them an earlier delivery than expected, helping them out to their car with the item or just asking them how you can help further.
It may seem like some of the above tips are self-evident, but it is surprising how often customers come away from a buying experience feeling like – although they have completed the transaction as they came to do – they would not be in a hurry to buy from the same place.
Just being polite and friendly when closing the sale, and wishing the customer a good day as they leave the store can make a huge difference. What you can do practically, and how you do things, will serve you well in any sale.