By K.C. Blonski
K.C. Blonski is the Director of New Business Partnerships and a new contributor to the AchieveGlobal blog. His primary role is to manage all facets of new business development including strategy, sales and marketing. He also works with client organizations to assist in the analysis, development, and implementation of strategies that focus on Owning the Customer Experience--partnering with Saks Fifth Avenue, Limited Brands, Coach, Tiffany & Co, and Wal-Mart among others.
After opening the sales call, exploring the customer’s needs, and offering solutions by highlighting features and benefits of products and services, the salesperson looks forward to the successful finale: the moment of call closing.
But as the song by Green Day goes, “every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” In other words, the goal when closing a sales call should not be simply to bid farewell and good luck. Rather, the wise salesperson should be focused on securing agreement on appropriate next steps. After we hang up the phone, what’s going to happen toward achievement of the goals on which we’ve agreed?
At AchieveGlobal, we recommend focus on four distinct parts of every successful sales call:
But how do you know when it’s time to move into the Closing phase of the call? When the customer has indicated a readiness to move forward to the next steps, or has accepted the benefits of the product or service you’ve described, then closing is imminent.
Just like in opening the call, during closing, the salesperson must check for acceptance of next steps, confirming that nothing has been left out, using questions like, “Have we covered everything?” or “Do you have any other questions?”
It’s important to remember that it’s not over until it’s over. Even as they move toward closing the call, a salesperson can suddenly find themselves back in the probing phase, as the customer raises new questions. In instances like these, it’s important not to rush through closing. A customer who is still asking questions is not ready to close, and the salesperson should first probe further, then support and return at a later moment to closing.
Before the salesperson says goodbye, it’s a good idea to review what the customer stands to gain, should they decide to purchase the product or service, and propose next steps for moving towards finalizing the purchase.
Remember, customers receive multiple sales calls from many different sales people. Ask yourself before closing, have I differentiated myself in the eyes of the customer? Have I presented my organization in a way that shows value to the customer beyond the product or service I’m offering? Only then have you been successful in moving to the next steps.