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Posted: February 24, 2014

How to become a sales-closing rock star

The secret is simple

Liz Wendling

The best way to close sales is to stop trying to close sales. There are entire books, seminars, trainings devoted to closing the close, landing the client and sealing the deal. The basis of the teachings is that “the close” is recognized as the holy-grail, the be all and end all, and the most important part of the sales process.

The close is important! However, the close is a result of a well-managed and thorough execution of the entire sales process.

When sales professionals show up to a meeting with the mindset and intention of closing the sale, the energy is heavy, the intention is wrong and the customer feels it. Unfortunately, these professionals are still using old-school sales techniques that buyers can spot a mile away. These closing techniques are becoming less and less effective with each passing year. When a buyer hears these techniques, they roll their eyes, become defensive and instantly know that you have not updated your approach in decades.

I hear sales professionals talk about wanting to close more sales. Sales managers push their salespeople to close more sales.  Business owners talk about new ways to close more sales. The trouble with all this talk about closing sales is there’s one key person who is less enchanted with the concept of closing—your customer!

Consumers are so sick and tired of being on the receiving end of those types of sales situations. So sick and tired that while you are learning how to be better at closing, they are busy learning how to be better at buying. Today’s buyers are smart and savvy and any attempt to “close them” sends them to your competition.

Your job is not to “close” people. Your job is to help people close themselves. Your job is to create an atmosphere and experience that makes people want to buy. Your attempts to close the sale, is causing them to reject your offer and sends them to your competition.

These sales professionals are unaware of why they are losing deals and missing opportunities. One minute they are passionately pursuing a sale, things are going well and in the next moment they are being treated like annoying insect. They moan and say things like this, “I can’t get anyone to call me back,” or “I send proposals and then never hear back,” or “Everyone is thinking it over,” or “My price is too high.”

I receive calls every day from sales professionals and business owners who believe that the only skill they lack is “how to close.” They say, “If only I was a better closer I could make more money.” “Could you teach my sales people how to close more sales?” “I’m great at everything else but I have trouble closing the deal “or “Can you show me a better way to close deals?”

They’re convinced that the one thing missing in their sales process is the inability to close effectively. They declare they’re not closing the sale because they lack a method to execute closing properly. They think that there’s a magical phrase, slick one liner or fancy closing statement that makes closing the sale easy. 

Selling is not about getting your needs met, your quotas and your products or your services. When you start paying more attention to your customer needs, pains and problems and start solving their issues and challenges you’ll find you no longer have a closing problem.

There is no secret sentence, no magical phrase or covert closing technique that will transform you into a closing rock star. What does make you a closing rock star is when you are willing to take your mind off the close and put your focus on mastering the process.

Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant, sales strategist and emotional intelligence coach. Liz is driven by her passion for business and generating results for her clients. Liz understands the challenges that business owners are facing building a business and selling their professional services in today's market.

Liz shows clients how to tap into and use their innate strength, power and confidence to develop highly successful businesses. She teaches them to create effective, dynamic and fluid client conversations that turn interested prospects into invested clients who keep coming back.

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Readers Respond

Concisely stated, Liz. I was reminded of a former sales manager's comments while reading this too. He said never forget the prospective customer also has a "buying process" and our job is to align with that - including the emotional touchpoints and hurdles of that particular individual - not run roughshod over them. By Kerry on 2014 02 24
Well said Liz! I saw you speak last week and this point really hit home to me. By Diane on 2014 02 24
Great article Liz .I feel that I always listen,then I put my customer needs first then the sale naturally follows,but only when everything comes together and feels right. Change 35 By Brian Wray on 2014 02 24
You are spot on with this one! Thanks for sharing. By steve on 2014 02 24
Nice Article Liz. I always like to hear your take on the sales process and ways to improve our craft. By Phil Boyce on 2014 02 24
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