Closing time: How to naturally close a saleArticle added by Steve Lewit on September 3, 2014

Steve Lewit

Buffalo Grove, IL

Joined: February 27, 2008

My Company

In my world, there is no such thing as going for the close, which is the singular goal around which traditional old-school selling is based. In my world, sales come to a close naturally where my clients give me a clear no or a clear yes as to whether we will implement their program or not.

All this happens at closing time. Step into my world and let me show you how.

The set up for closing time

Whatever you want to happen at the end of your selling process must be set up at the very beginning of the meeting and then reviewed at each meeting thereafter. These are called rules of the game or up-front agreements. You must establish the rules for decision-making early in the first meeting.

"Mr. and Mrs. Client, how about we work together to design a new financial strategy for you? Along the way I’ll give you the pros and cons of everything we talk about — that’s my job. Your job is to tell me what you would like and what you would not like included in your new plan. Eventually we’ll reach a point where your plan is fully designed. It will probably take two or three meetings. At that point I’ll give you the pros and cons of the whole plan, which, again is my job. At that time, your job is to give me a clear no or a clear yes as to whether we should implement your new plan.

Now, you should like your new plan because you really designed it. However, if you don’t and want to go in another direction, I’ll be perfectly OK with that; you won't hurt my feelings. We’ll have spent some good time together, and if it doesn’t work out, then we’ve both done our best.

Mr. and Mrs. Client, do you see any reason that we can't work together to get to a clear no or yes decision?"

This is the setup for closing time — the point at which your meeting process is coming to an end.

See also: Keep it simple: Perfect your closing strategy

Closing time

OK, you've done your setup. You reviewed your client’s plan at each meeting, as you know that clients tend to forget quickly what they have agreed to, and you are at the point where a decision is needed. For example, it’s time to end the process. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Review your client's story with them

Here’s where you go back to the very first meeting and review why your client came to see you — their emotions regarding the issues you have been talking about; the things they like and didn’t like — all in high-definition detail.

See also: How to double your closing ratio

2. Explain where you are now in your process

“Mr. and Mrs. Client, we seem to be at a point where we have looked at all your options, discarded the ones we didn’t like, and now have a plan in place that seems satisfying to you and will give you the peace of mind (or some emotional relief) that you are looking for." (Review the plan.)

3. Review the decision rules

"It seems to me that we are at the point where we need to decide whether to implement your new plan or, if it is not clearly something you believe will let you sleep better at night, then we part ways and you folks seek out someone else who may be able to help you better than I can. Remember, if that's the case, you won't hurt my feelings; after all, we have spent some good time together and have done our best. On the other hand, if we move forward, then I'd be delighted to have you as my client and, as I do with all my clients, I will do my very best for you in the years to come. So, what do you see happening next?"

See also: Fear: the closing technique of losers

When you bring the sale to a close, in my world you should get a clear yes or no decision. But what if your client breaks the rules and gives you some kind of a stall or wants to think about it? Tune in for the next article to see what to do with folks who are decision-averse and prone to stalls — those who turn you from being a financial professional into a professional chaser.
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